Dynamo's youth team has completed the first round of the U-19 Championship. Ihor Kostiuk's men are leading the table, but Shakhtar can overtake the Kyiv side by two points in terms of points lost. "Dnipro-1 and Rukh are also not far behind. The whole fight for the championship will be in the spring.
A new team
In the summer, Ihor Kostiuk actually created and trained a new team. Very little remained of what was there last season. In fact, the players born in 2003-2004 have disappeared. The players born in 2005 were joined by those born in 2006, who played on loan for Zorya last season.
The new goalkeeper. Vyacheslav Surkis is defending the Kyiv goal. This position was simply vacant. Now there is a big problem with goalkeepers. We don't even have a second goalkeeper.
The new defence line. Nazar Balaba and Taras Mikhavko play in the centre. The former played for Dynamo last season, and the latter joined from FC Lviv in the summer. The Rivne-Lviv centre of defence is now complete. Denys Dykyi, a player born in 2006, started playing on the left flank. At the end of the first round, Ivan Kotukha, who played for the team last season, won the competition. Oleksiy Gusev retained his place on the right wing.
The new middle of the field. Danylo Ishchenko and Kyrylo Osypenko, players born in 2006, started playing. The development of Nazar Yanchyshyn and Maksym Vasylets is not as good as I would like. Roman Salenko has opened up. He started to play closer to the attack, although last season he was a full-back.
Old and new flanks. Dmytro Kremchanin and Andrii Matkevych retained their positions from last season. But in the last match against Rukh, both of them did not play due to health problems. Matkevych was seriously injured in the match against Polissia. That's why Kyrylo Pashko is getting his chances. "Novyi Tsygankov is currently in the process of formation. I was injured in the previous season. Now he has gained a little bit. He scored against Shakhtar. Another talented player of 2006, Vladyslav Kalyn, did not play much. He is currently injured.
A new striker. Matviy Ponomarenko started playing on the wing. Vladyslav Herych, a newcomer to the team from FC Lviv, plays alongside him. Vitalii Lobko is not quite up to the U-19 level yet.
Every line has changed. There is a new goalkeeper, two new defenders, a new midfield, a new forward. It will take time for this team to play together.
"Dynamo does not use the 2004 quota
Now, according to the regulations, teams can claim 5 players born in 2004. In Dynamo, only one player can actually be one of them - Anton Tsarenko. From time to time, he gets playing practice in the youth team, but it is not much. The rest of the players were released by Dynamo this year. They purposefully relied on 2006.
The opponents are more actively using the 2004 limit. At this age, every year is a lot. Thanks to this, you can get results at the level of the youth championship, because you have an advantage in physical strength, physical development and experience. Neither Shakhtar, Dnipro-1 nor Rukh have a player born in 2006 in their goal. The middle of the pitch is completely green. Hence the individual mistakes and loss of points.
The myth that Kostiuk is a physical trainer
Ihor Volodymyrovych was labelled as a primitive footballer. He has no development and is all about the result. Usually, this is written by people who do not watch matches or use only statistics. In fact, 80 per cent of Dynamo's current first team squad has come through the youth team coach. "Simple football not only brings results, but also helps players develop. The 2005 and 2006 national teams of Ukraine have a Dynamo core.
Kostyuk is a dependent coach. He cannot turn players 180 degrees after they graduate from the Academy. Everything that was brought up in the Dynamo school needs to be worked with. The way the children's coaches formed the player in the Academy, that's how he reaches the youth team. Unfortunately, the level of the pupils is not as high as we would like. The newcomer Mikhavko immediately became one of the team's leaders and is already in the UPL application. Our own pupils Yegor Syzonyuk, Maksym Korobov, Vladyslav Zakharchenko lost out to him. The same Gerich had a great start.
The second point is age. When your opponents are older and more physically developed, it is simply not possible to play anything difficult. If you force players to play in full control against players two years older, it can be very painful.
Kostiuk works with the material he has. Based on the opportunities he has. He tries to build the team step by step without jumping over the steps. Because the players have only been with him for two years. You have to teach them, push them to adult football, but then you won't enjoy the fruits of your own work.
We defeated the leaders but lost points in matches against the mid-table
"Dynamo could have been the leader today with a margin of victory. Kyiv defeated all their rivals - Shakhtar, Rukh, Dnipro-1, and Oleksandriya. And they won with a two-goal lead.
We lost points where we shouldn't have, out of the blue. We had full control of the match against Polissia. Then, for some reason, left-back Dykyi started to beat the opponent, being the last to the goal. Balaba was sent off in the first half. With one less player, Kyiv attacked and conceded the second goal on a counterattack. Dynamo had a dozen chances but failed to score, while Polissia scored twice on one chance.
We lost points with Veres. An optional penalty and unrealised chances resulted in a 1-1 draw.
The same with Zorya - 2:2. Geric's loss in his own half of the field and a shot from 30 metres out. Let him shoot like that 10 times, he doesn't score a single goal. Complete lack of concentration at the corner. One player hits the ball with his head from 6-7 metres out. It's good that we came back from 0-2 down and showed character.
Then we lost to Kolos 3-4. It was simply not the day of Dynamo's goalkeeper and a complete extravaganza of the Kyiv defence. There were a lot of individual mistakes.
Dynamo's defence lacks reliability and maximum concentration. In the match against Dnipro-1, with the score 2-0, a penalty was awarded out of the blue. The situation did not require risk. At the same time, Kyiv were playing with a man advantage after Daniel Kivinda was sent off. With the score 1-0 in the match against Rukh, at the very end of the game, Mikhavko cut off and brought the opponent to the goal. It was good that goalkeeper Surkis made the save in both cases.
Progress of the players
Roman Salenko joined Dynamo from Dinaz as a forward. He played in the support area. He lacks tenacity and selection. Kostiuk found him a place as an attacking midfielder, where Roman can realise his creative qualities and ability to put pressure on the opponent. In the autumn, Salenko Jr. opened up. He started scoring and received his first call-up to the Ukrainian youth team in 2005. He even made it to the first team.
Matvey Ponomarenko is already very close to adult football. He has learnt to use not only his naturally physical qualities, but has also learnt to be a more versatile forward. Compared to what Matvey was like last season at Zorya, the progress is huge.
No one had heard of Taras Mikhavko before he joined Dynamo. It was a complete surprise. The player's potential was immediately revealed. He was included in the first-team squad. Although he has been in the club's system since the summer.
Kyrylo Pashko stopped playing children's football thinking only about attacking. He is learning how to work on defence and tactical issues. In the match against Shakhtar, he ran after a flanker and scored a goal instead of waiting. If he continues to work on himself, everything can work out.
Kyrylo Osypenko is becoming a leader in the middle of the pitch. He knows how to work with the ball, pass it, sharpen it, and beat it. Compared to last year, Zorya's progress is obvious.
That's all that's obvious, but there is still a lot of development that is not so striking.
The problems with this are no less than in the first team. The head coach is left without some of the leading players because they are not ready to play. In the match against Rukh, only one of the four wingers was healthy. Nazar Yanchyshyn played on the wing, although he is a player in the middle of the field.
One of the team leaders, Andrii Matkevych, was out. He was already one of the leaders. He could bring results. He suffered a serious shin injury in the match against Polissia in early October.
We had high hopes for Kyrylo Pashko and Vlad Kalyn. The former missed the start of the season, while the latter hasn't played since October. The depth on the flanks has slipped. Young players did not get such important experience.
Vladyslav Herich had a good start. He scored a lot at the start of the season. Then he got injured. Since October, everything has gone downhill.
Maksym Vasilets and Nazar Yanchyshyn missed a lot of games. They were unable to get in shape. We lost not only our places in the club but also in the national team.
There are no ready-made players for the first team
Let's call a spade a spade - today there are no players who are immediately ready to strengthen the first team. Someone has not yet developed physically, someone needs to gain experience through loan.
But this does not mean that the youth will not go to the training camp with the first team. Here we need to proceed not only from the development of young players, but rather from the needs of the first team.
We need four goalkeepers at the training camp. Therefore, Vyacheslav Surkis will work with the first team. He has earned this right. There were not very convincing matches, like with Kolos, but he also saved a lot.
The problems in the first team with the defence give Taras Mykhavko a chance. He may still lack anthropometry and physical strength, but he is quite fast and works well with the ball. There are qualities that can be used.
Matvii Ponomarenko has scored 15 goals. He should work with the first team and try his hand there.
Perhaps Dmytro Kremchanin will get his chance. Physically, he is well prepared. Given the problems with the wingers in the first team, he can try.
The process of bringing in players born in 2007 and younger is ongoing. The team is already very young, inexperienced and unstable, so there is a big risk of taking players from the Academy. Despite this, Volodymyr Ozymai made his debut for the U-19s. He is included in the application for the youth championship. Now it will be enough for him to have some minutes and the opportunity to train with senior players. He is a player for the next season.
Pavlo Liusin is doing very well in the U-17s. He was born in 2008. He is an attacking midfielder with all-round talent. Volodymyr Yezerskyi called him up to the Ukraine national team in 2007. He did not stir up any trouble there. I think he will play for the U-19s in the spring and will work with Kostyuk in the winter.
Danylo Moiseev is a good goalkeeper. Given the quantitative problem at this position, he may have a chance in the winter. I really like right-back Oleksii Rybak. I think he has a good chance of replacing Alexey Gusev next season if he leaves the team.
The 2007 national team includes centre-backs Daniel Dekhtyar (not to be confused with Metalist's Kirill Digtyar) and Demyan Tretiak (formerly of Dinamo Zagreb). But they don't have many chances, because Maksym Korobov and Vladyslav Zakharchenko are still in 2006.
There are interesting players in the middle of the field - Oleksandr Ilchenko and Bohdan Redushko. The former has been a bit lost since returning from Hertha, but he still has potential. Redushko has been performing well for the U-17s.
Maxim Kalinkin is a good forward. But the competition in the U-19 is huge. Therefore, it is unlikely that he will be useful now. His issue is postponed until the summer.