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neilhoskins77

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About neilhoskins77

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    Newcastle-Upon-Tyne & Cwmbran, South Wales

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    Bristol.R & Newcastle Utd

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    Kyrgyzstan & Lurgan Celtic FC

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  1. FMS Awards 2017 (Story of the Year Preliminary Round Voting)

    Votes sent and claimed.
  2. July/August 2016. A indication of how quiet July was going to be came when the news that the Kyrgyzstan FA have had the pitch relaid at Stadion Dolena Omurzakova was actually considered news. Ok, so I jest somewhat. How many managers get to work for an FA that takes note of the way you get your side to play, and have a new and absolutely perfect pitch laid, allowing time for it to bed in a little before we host some matches too. A big thumbs up to the FA for that. Vladimir Badalov has strained his abdomen lifting weights, and the 16 year old Neftchi Kochkor-Ata winger now has some work to do to make sure he is match fit when the next squads are named in the last week of August. It would be a real shame if he were to miss out, as Badalov has been superb so far this year for the Under-19's. In better news, our FIFA World Ranking continues to improve in July, as we move another three places up the standings into 117th place. We're edging closer to our target of breaking into the top one hundred and achieving the nations highest ever ranking. July had been a tough month for Vladimir Badalov, and August wasn't about to get any better for the teenager. After recovering from his injury and returning to training, Badalov pulled a hamstring while getting himself back into action, and will now be out of action for another three weeks, making his participation in the September International Window questionable. The injuries were not exclusive to the Under-19's left winger, as the Seniors will be without Ruslan Amirov, the 25 year old Alga Bishkek goalkeeper suffering the same injury as Badalov sustained first time around, but the keeper will miss around a month. Mid-August arrives, just over a week from naming the squads, and we receive more good news from FIFA. The latest World Rankings see us now placed in 112th, a rise of five more places. We're now just 24 points away from the top 100, and are just behind nations such as El Salvador and Canada. We're also in front of nations such as Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and FYR Macedonia. There are nations now below us that refused to give our Under-19's a match just months ago. I'm delighted with our continued progess. Unfortunately though, on the eve of the squads being named, both the Under-19's and Seniors will lose another player each to injury. The age group side have lost their Captain and centre midfielder, Semetey Daniyarov. The 19 year old Ala-Too Naryn player has twisted his ankle in a training session and will be out for a couple of weeks. Seven times capped Thailand based left winger, Karim Izrailov, is also going to be absent. The 29 year old has twisted his knee in the lead up to Navy FC's vital relegation six pointer with Sisaket FC, and with only a month of the domestic season remaining, the three week lay off may bring an end to his club season. As it turns out, Daniyarov is now considered too old to be selected for the Under-19's. He isn't the only one either, as Sergey Skorik, Boris Drozdetskiy, Timur Jumashev, Dastan Kylychbekov and Temirlan Atabaev are also now inelligible for the Under-19 side. That's a fair amount of talent and experience for us to lose in one go, and these next few International Windows are going to signal a changing of the guard to a certain extent for the young side. Kyrgyzstan Senior National Squad Announcement Armenia (92nd) - Away (2/9/16 at Vazgen Sargsyan Hanrapetaken Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia) International Friendly Tajikistan (141st) - Home (6/9/16 at Stadion Dolena Omurzakova, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) International Friendly | Name | Position | Age | Club | Height | Value | Caps | Goals | | Kirill Priadkin | GK | 39 | Kaisar (KAZ) | 6'3" | £950 | 10 | 0 | | Pavel Matyash | GK | 29 | UiTM (MAS) | 6'6" | £4.2K | 9 | 0 | | Vakhitzhan Akbaraliev | GK | 26 | Alay | 6'3" | £825 | 0 | 0 | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Manas Zhutanov | D (RLC) | 25 | Abdysh-Ata | 5'11" | £1.1K | 4 | 0 | | Valery Kichin | D (LC) | 23 | Yenisey (RUS) | 5'11" | £89K | 17 | 0 | | Azamat Baymatov | D (C) | 26 | Alay | 6'3" | £1K | 23 | 3 | | Shuhrat Rahmonov | D (C) | 28 | Alay | 6'3" | £1K | 2 | 0 | | Tamirlan Kozubaev | D (C) | 22 | Dordoy | 6'1" | £1.4K | 3 | 0 | | Ulug'beq Mo'minov | D/WB (R) | 31 | Alay | 5'11" | £275 | 1 | 0 | | Sherzod Shakirov | D/WB (L) | 25 | Hala (BHR) | 5'11" | £1.3K | 11 | 0 | | Vadim Kharchenko | D/WB/M (R) | 32 | Dordoy | 5'9" | £220 | 25 | 1 | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Daniel Tagoe | DM | 30 | Busaiteen (BHR) | 5'10" | £0 | 16 | 0 | | Sergej Evljuskin | DM, M (C) | 28 | Kassel (GER) | 5'10" | £56K | 4 | 0 | | Raul' Dzhalilov | M (L), AM (RL) | 22 | Tobol (KAZ) | 5'10" | £4.9K | 0 | 0 | | Anatolii Vlasichev | M (C) | 28 | Omani (OMA) | 6'0" | £17K | 17 | 0 | | Pavel Sidorenko | M (C) | 29 | Alga Bishkek | 5'9" | £1K | 11 | 0 | | Anton Zemlianukhin | M/AM (RC) | 27 | Sukhothai (THA) | 5'9" | £120K | 23 | 8 | | Edgar Bernhardt | AM (RL) | 30 | Rödinghausen (GER) | 5'9" | £33K | 12 | 1 | | Viktor Maier | AM (RC) | 26 | FC Emmen (NED) | 6'0" | £86K | 11 | 0 | | Ahletdin Israilov | AM (RC), ST (C) | 21 | Cherkaskyi Dnipro (UKR) | 5'7" | £130K | 3 | 0 | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Ildar Amirov | ST (C) | 28 | Unattached | 5'5" | £0 | 8 | 3 | | Tosin Aleriwa | ST (C) | 26 | Abdysh-Ata | 5'8" | £1.3K | 0 | 0 | | Vitalij Lux | ST (C) | 27 | Unterhaching (GER) | 6'0" | £30.5K | 16 | 5 | There are some changes to the squad that went to Gibraltar and Andorra, some forced, some not. Ruslan Amirov is replaced in the goalkeeper trio by uncapped Alay Osh stopper, Vakhitzhan Akbaraliev. We're quite forunate in that we seem to have a number of goalkeepers at a good age and getting regular football. There's not too much change in midfield, Daniel Tagoe has changed clubs, but remains in Bahrain, while Raul' Dzhalilov could make his Senior International debut after being called up to replace the injured Karim Izrailov. Up front, still unattached striker Ildar Amirov has earned another opportunity after his double in Andorra, while there is another potential new cap in the squad, as Nigerian born Abdysh-Ata Kant striker Tosin Aleriwa is called up in place of out of form Vladimir Verevkin. However, things change just one day after the squad is named, when Sukhothai FC's manager, Somchair Makmul, informs the Kyrgyzstan FA that our star midfielder Anton Zemlianukhin, has been told he will not be released during this International Window, and that he has been withdrawn from the squad. The 40 year old Thai manager refuses to answer my calls, and will not enter into any dialogue on the matter, which is a real shame for us. I was hoping we could come to a an agreement where Zemlianukhin could come to Armenia, play in the game there, and then return back to Thailand, where they're not due to play again until the 10th. That clearly isn't going to be an option, and as the players contract with his Thai club expires at the end of the year, we can only really hope that he moves on at the end of the season. Called up in his place is a fourth uncapped player, FC Kara-Balta's defensive midfielder, Bakyt Kashkaev. The 27 year old has never played International football at any level, but he is very capable in playing several roles, and now has a chance to show what he can do at this level. Kyrgyzstan Under-19 National Squad Announcement China - Away (1/9/16 at Yutong International Sports Centre, Shijiazhuang, China) Under-19's International Friendly Tajikistan - Home (5/9/16 at Dolon Omurzakov, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) Under-19's International Friendly | Name | Position | Age | Club | Height | Value | Caps | Goals | | Georgiy Slavnyi | GK | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'4" | £325 | 0 | 0 | | Abdulnur Mamytov | GK | 18 | Alay | 6'5" | £325 | 0 | 0 | | Iljas Ormombekov | GK | 17 | Unattached | 6'4" | £0 | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Danislam Zagidulin | D (R) | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'0" | £375 | 0 | 0 | | Igor Ashirbekov | D (R) | 17 | Unattached | 5'6" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Akram Ernis | D (L) | 17 | Unattached | 5'7" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Ayzar Akmatov | D (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'2" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Ulugbek Salamatov | D (C) | 17 | Ala-Too | 5'11" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Ulan Taalaybek | D (C) | 17 | Kara-Balta | 6'0" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Maka Sakebaev | D (C) | 17 | Unattached | 6'1" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Nurtay Kurmantay | D/WB (L) | 19 | Ala-Too | 5'9" | £475 | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Ernist Batyrkanov | DM, M (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'2" | £625 | 0 | 0 | | Kanat Yuldashev | M (R) | 16 | Aldier | 5'11" | £575 | 0 | 0 | | Vladimir Badalov | M (L) | 16 | Neftchi Kochkor-Ata | 6'0" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Beksultan Kaipov | M (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 5'11" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Abdurashit Saydirakhmatov | M (C) | 18 | Alay | 5'9" | £600 | 0 | 0 | | Aidar Mambetaliev | M (C) | 18 | Alga Bishkek | 6'2" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Azamat Omuraliev | M (C) | 19 | Kara-Balta | 5'7" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Abror Sataev | M/AM (L) | 17 | Unattached | 5'5" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Viktor Kelm | AM (RL) | 19 | Bezanija (SRB) | 6'1" | £3K | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Almaz Omoraliev | ST (C) | 19 | Shakhter Kyzyl-Kia | 6'0" | £95 | 0 | 0 | | Janboto Yrysbek | ST (C) | 19 | Ala-Too | 5'9" | £500 | 0 | 0 | | Kadyrbek Shaarbekov | ST (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 5'10" | £500 | 0 | 0 | Ala-Too Naryn may be struggling to preserve their top flight status this season, but with nine players in our Under-19 squad, they are certainly doing something right when it comes to producing young players. Considering that five of the remaining fourteen names on the squad list are currently without a club, then it's quite some going. Sergey Skorik no longer being available means that Georgiy Slavnyi and Abdulnur Mamytov are going to the battle for the keepers shirt for now. They should keep an eye on the youngsters behind them in the queue though, and if some of those lads find a club and get regular football, it could get very interesting. We have a decent defensive core, but really lack depth in this position, not helped by Boris Drozdetskiy now being too old to play at this level. The midfield has been hardest hit, with the core ripped out of the side with the loss of Semetey Daniyarov and Dastan Kylychbekov. It's not all doom and gloom though, Viktor Kelm and the emergence of Vladimir Badalov gives us genuine threat on the wings. We'll need some of those in the squad to put their hands up over the coming months and claim the centre midfield roles. Up front, we're short of options, and Almaz Omoraliev is still the best we have by some way. Eldar Taalaybek has lost his place in the squad as his form for Ala-Too hasn't been good, and he didn't perform well in the last get together. He loses his place to team mate Janboto Yrysbek, who has done a much better job in the top domestic division so far. He does suffer a gashed leg a day or two after the squad was announced, but he should still be available as long as he heals quickly.
  3. June 2016 (cont). It's the final game of our summer International Window matches in Europe, and the Seniors are eying up a third successive win as they prepare to face Andorra. The deck will be shuffled here, which was always the intention. A couple of fringe players and those newer to the squad will get their opportunity to stake their claim for a place when the competitive action begins. Tuesday 14th June 2016 - 7:30pm International Friendly Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra Andorra v Kyrgyzstan Attendance :- 1,299. Weather :- 21c. Six changes are made from the win in Gibraltar, starting in goal, where Pavel Matyash takes over the gloves. In the right back spot, Ulug'beq Mo'minov makes his International debut at the age of 31 years old, not for his country of birth Uzbekistan, but for his adopted nation. At centre back, Tamirlan Kozubaev is left out today, with Azamat Baymatov brought in to his place. The midfield trio has one change, with Pavel Sidorenko brought in to replace Anatolii Vlasichev. There is an opportunity for Ahletdin Israilov to make an impression as he gets a start at the right inside forward role, with Edgar Bernhardt switching across to the left flank. Up front, unattached 5'5 tall striker Ildar Amirov gets a shop window to showcase his skills for any clubs thinking of giving him a route back into the game at a good level. Another day, and another artificial surface to play on, not that it's necessarily a bad thing, it suits our passing football style. We started the passing from the first whistle, and had Andorra chasing shadows for the early stages. When they resorted to fouling us, Anton Zemlianukhin sent a free kick goalwards, and Oliveira pulled off a top drawer save to push it over the bar. A goal was coming, and it didn't take long. Andorra tried to push us back with a long ball that Ulug'beq Mo'minov easily dealt with. He headed the ball not just clear, but to the feet of Sergej Evljuskin. The counter attack was immediately launched from right to left, and Edgar Bernhardt swung the ball between the centre backs, and Ildar Amirov set off, getting to the ball first, rounding Oliveira, and sending the ball high into the net to put us ahead within ten minutes. Zemlianukhin was clearly in the mood today, and attempted to add to the scoreline, this time from open play. After some nice interplay, he hit a swerving and dipping left footed shot that had Oliveira beaten, but just went the wrong side of the post, hitting the side netting. We continued to rack up the chances, but none as good as the one hosts had on the half hour. When Bernhardt's free kick from out wide was easily dealt with, the very patriotically named Xavier Andorrá set off down the right. He kept going, and our defence was very slow to get back. By the time he got to the corner of the box, it was 3 on 1 in Andorra's favour, but he never really made a decision, and his team mates were left frustrated when he played somewhere between a square pass and a shot that just rolled through the goalmouth, and Pavel Matyash watched go well wide. Ildar Amirov had the ball in the back of the net a few minutes later after a great run from Evljuskin, but the striker didn't time his run well enough, and the offside flag cut short his celebrations. Before the break, Valery Kichin tried to catch out Oliveira from wide on the touchline, the keeping getting nowhere near it, but the ball landing on the roof of the net. Kichin was the only player I switched at the break, bringing on Sherzod Shakirov at left back. Andorra made four changes at the break as they looked to turn the tide in this match. That hadn't really looked very likely so far, and five minutes into the second half arrived a chance to cushion our lead, a short throw in led to Evljuskin finding Bernhardt, who smashed a well struck shot off the near post. By the time the hour mark had arrived, Andorra had made all their changes, and tried to emulate what we were doing by pushing their defensive line further up the park to try and keep us from passing the ball around in their half. It worked for them for a little while as well, but some changes with twenty minutes to go seemed to open Andorra back up again. Karim Izrailov was the catalyst after replacing Bernhardt on the left in one of the three changes. Five minutes after coming on he took the ball on halfway and ran at his marker. It was barely even a contest, and Izrailov sent a cross into the middle. Amirov's shot from six yards out was saved by Oliveira, but he could only push it into the path of another sub Anatolii Vlashichev. The midfielder had plenty of net to aim at, but a last ditch block from a defender stopped him doubling the lead. The defender was out of luck though, as the riccocheted right back to Amirov, and tucked home his second of the evening. Our two goal striker left the park moments later, replaced by Vladimir Verevkin, and taking in the plaudits from the players and staff on the bench. Daniel Tagoe came on for Pavel Sidorenko at the same time. Ahletdin Israilov took advantage of Zelianukhin not being on the park to grab the ball when we were awarded a dangerous free kick. It wasn't a bad effort, but it missed the target. Daniel Tagoe had our last chance of the match with five minutes left, driving a vicious shot past the post. It wouldn't be the last chance of the game though, as sub Gabriel Riera sent the ball across the edge of the penalty box with a minute to play, and found fellow sub Joan Carles Toscano. The 31 year old forward had played 22 previous International games without finding the net, so it was a magic moment for him when he found the top corner from 20 yards out. It wouldn't ruin our day, but it did take the shine from it a little bit. Andorra (0) 1 - Joan Carles Toscano (89) Kyrgyzstan (1) 2 - Ildar Amirov (8,75) Pavel Matyash; Ulug'beq Mo'minov, Azamat Baymatov, Manas Zhutanov (Shuhrat Rahmonov 69), Valery Kichin (Sherzod Shakirov 45); Pavel Sidorenko (Daniel Tagoe 77), Anton Zemlianukhin (Anatolii Vlasichev 69), Sergej Evljuskin; Ahletdin Israilov, Edgar Bernhardt (Karim Izrailov 69); Ildar Amirov (capt - Vladimir Verevkin 77). Unused Substitutes :- Vadim Kharchenko, Ruslan Amirov (GK), Tamirlan Kozubaev, Viktor Maier, Vitalij Lux, Kirill Priadkin (GK). Possession :- 46% - 54%. Shots on Target :- 1 - 10. Man of the Match :- Ildar Amirov (Kyrgyzstan). I was happy with the performance, disappointed we didn't get more than two goals, and a bit annoyed that we switched off a little bit at the end, making the scoreline look a lot closer than the match actually was. We got the win that we were expected to get, both here and in Gibraltar, but I want us to start moving towards a place where we're expected to win convincingly, and no longer classed as one of the 'minnow' nations. We still have a lot of work to do, so we need to keep the fixtures coming. I deal with that fairly quickly, and a block of fixtures are added to the calendar for both the Seniors and the Under-19's. I tried to keep the fixture lists as similar as possible, but there were instances where that wasn't possible due opponent availabilty, and sometimes frankly, because nations were happy to play our Senior side, but not interested in scheduling a match against our Under-19's. The Under-19's had rejections from nations such as Armenia, Estonia, Latvia and Cyprus. Clearly, they need to get some wins on the board to attract better nations to play them. That was less of a problem for the Seniors with some wins on the board and a FIFA World Ranking that, for the moment at least, is on the rise. The next International on the calendar is on the 1st September, when our Under-19's play China, while the following day, our Seniors are in action in Yerevan against Armenia. The two sides will then head back home to Kyrgyzstan, where they will complete the September window with home matches for both against the neighbours from Tajikistan. In October, both sides will head to the same destination to start with, as fixtures are scheduled in Singapore. They will then go their seperate ways, with the Under-19's playing a Monday afternoon fixture in India, while the Seniors will remain in South East Asia for a Tuesday evening match in Hong Kong. There is less symetery in November's fixtures, which may well be subject to change depending on competitive fixtures to be added to the calendar. The Under-19's are scheduled to host Kosovo on a Thursday night in Belovodskoye, while the Seniors face an Friday afternoon fixture against India in Mumbai. The youngsters will then fly out to Hong Kong for a Monday evening fixture, while the Seniors return to Bishkek, where they are due to complete their 2016 fixture list with their toughest assignment to date, a home fixture with Cyprus at the Stadion Dolena Omurzakova. There is a fixture pencilled in for next summer as well, with both sides due to play home fixtures against Moldova in June. Hopefully, someone will see fit to organise some Under-23 games soon, as I'm unable to arrange matches for that age group.
  4. June 2016 (cont). We've relocated for the second part of our mini European tour of minnow nations, and we're now in Andorra. This small Principality is landlocked to the North East of Spain, and the South of France, right at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, making this prime skiing location in season. Football isn't, and never has been a big deal here, FC Andorra are the biggest club, and they play in the Spanish League system. Those left to fend for themselves in the Andorra's League setup have done so with little to no success. While the domestic League is competitive, the Andorran teams have failed to make a splash in Europe, even when competing against other minnow nations. Despite a twenty year headstart, and double the population, Gibraltar appear to have overtaken Andorra recently, and Andorra find themselves five places behind them now in the rankings, down in 205th spot. After travelling north on the Saturday, we quickly settle into the hotel, before getting everyone out to stretch their legs in a light session in the evening. The youngsters will play on Monday, while the Seniors will finish the International Window on Tuesday night with their match as they go for three in a row. The instructions from the club are much more reasonable this time as well, with nothing to adhere to for the Under-19's, while there is just one request regarding the Seniors, with Thai relegation candidates Navy FC asking that Karim Izrailov plays no more than 45 minutes in this one. But it's the Under-19's that are up first. Monday 13th June 2016 - 7:30pm Under-19 International Friendly Estadi Nacional, Andorra la Vella, Andorra Andorra Under-19's v Kyrgyzstan Under-19's Attendance :- 299. Weather :- Drizzle, 13c. Some of the Senior players must be wondering whats going on, as the Under-19's play their match in the two year old Estadi Nacional, with it's 3,300 capacity, while tomorrow nights match takes place in the stadium that has a capacity of only around a third of that, and nowhere near as modern facilities. Our youngsters have adopted the 4-3-2-1 formation that the Seniors used on Friday night in Gibraltar. There are changes in personnel as well, starting with Georgiy Slavnyi taking over in goal. There's a change in the back four, Boris Drozdetskiy coming into the side to replace Ayzar Akmatov. In midfield, Dastan Kylychbekov and skipper Semetey Daniyarov are joined by Aidar Mambetaliev, with Daniyarov playing the playmaker role in the middle. The two wide players are pushed up into the inside forward roles, while there is now just one striker, Almaz Omoraliev, which means Kadyrbek Shaarbekov loses his places in the side. The striker takes his place in a twelve strong bench for us, twice as many as Andorra have available as replacements this evening. In the persistent rain, Nurtay Kurmantay was hoping a free kick would cause the Andorran keeper problems, but he couldn't get the ball beyond the wall. The ball pinged around a little on the edge of the box, before Iván Bezares showed safe hands when Aidar Mambetaliev tried to curl the ball past him. Inácio Ribeiro had earned a very early yellow card for the challenge that gave away the original free kick. Bezares needed to be alert when one of his centre backs ducked to allow a long ball to run through to him. It was poorly judged, as there was nothing like enough power for it to go all the way thorough, and Almaz Omoraliev set off towards the goal, but the keeper saved that one with his feet, and from the same player, tipping an effort from the edge of the box around the post after Vladimir Badalov had headed the ball down to Omoraliev. We had Andorra pinned in for long spells, and when they weren't pinned in, we were counter attacking them, Badalov sweeping the ball across the park for Viktor Kelm, and as the defence retreated, he cut it back to Dastan Kylychbekov, but the midfielder blasted his shot over the bar. We were in such control that it was annoying when seven minutes before the break Andorra won a corner near the right edge of our box. Diogo Furtado crossed it to the far post, and it was headed back into the middle for centre back Pablo Suárez. In a role reversal, our striker Omoraliev was more hinderance than help at the back, his clumsy challenge felling the Andorran, and the ref awarding the penalty. Suárez would take it himself, and he sidefooted down the middle after Georgiy Slavnyi had comitted to diving to his right, and against the run of play, we were behind. Briefly. Badalov was having another good game down the left, and after a nice run, he sent the ball back to Mambetaliev, who dropped it over the defence, Omoraliev making amends for his mistake by catching it sweetly with a half volley that left Bezares helpless and made sure we level heading into the break. You'd have thought that Andorra would be pretty satisfied to be all square, such had been our domination over proceedings. Their five half time changes suggested otherwise, especially as they only had six available in total. I settled for just two changes, Boris Drozdetskiy and Badalov replaced by Ulan Taalaybek and Abror Sataev. We continued our control, and Kylychbekov continued to get forward whenever the chance presented itself, Omoraliev held the ball up before laying it into the path of the midfielder, he kept his shot low, but it drifted just past the far post. Andorra's changed their keeper, and José Antonio Menudo was called into action in the 68th minute, Kurmantay striking a free kick that was destined for the top corner, Menudo managing to get a fingertip to it and turn it over the bar. From the corner, Kelm waved everyone into the box, and then sent it to Kylychbekov outside the box. He drove a powerful shot through the crowd of players, but Menudo saw it, and oushed that one aside too. From another corner, Abror Sataev was put in a good position, but we didn't get enough power on his shot. I made three more changes, two in midfield, and another up front, with Eldar Taalaybek tasked with winning us the match. Andorra tried to catch us on the counter, and twice Slavnyi had to make saves from well struck shots by Jose Carlos de Aguiar Soler, the striker leaving the game in the 74th minute with a head injury that took Andorra down to ten men. Normal service was resumed when Kurmantay flashed another free kick just past the frame of the goal, and with just over ten minutes to go I made more changes, changing everyone who hadn't been changed apart from Mambetaliev, and bringing on players who hadn't yet seen any gametime. But we had run out of steam now, and a Mambetaliev shot wide of the target was as close as we got to winning this one. Andorra Under-19's (1) 1 - Pablo Suarez (39 pen) Krgyzstan Under-19's (1) 1 - Almaz Omoraliev (43) Georgiy Slavnyi (Abdulnur Mamytov 79); Danislam Zagidulin (Igor Asirbekov 79), Ulugbek Salamatov (Ayzar Akmatov 79), Boris Drozdetskiy (Ulan Taalaybek 45), Nurtay Kurmantay (Timur Jumashev 79); Dastan Kylychbekov (Ernist Batyrkanov 70), Semetey Daniyarov (capt - Abdurashit Saydirakhmatov 70), Aidar Mambetaliev; Viktor Kelm (Temirlan Atabaev 79), Vladimir Badalov (Abror Sataev 45); Almaz Omoraliev (Eldar Taalaybek 70). Unused Substitutes :- Sergey Skorik (GK), Kadyrbek Shaarbekov. Possession :- 45% - 55%. Shots on Target :- 5 - 8. Man of the Match :- Georgiy Slavyni (Kyrgyzstan Under-19's). I agreed that a goalkeeper should be man of the match, but as well as he did when called upon, I think even Georgiy Slavnyi would struggle to argue with either of the Andorran keepers collecting that man of the match award. It's been a rocky International Window for the youngsters in Europe. They came up against two sides they would have expected to beat, should have won both, created enough opportunites to win both, and yet won neither. Better game management is needed from the Under-19's, and that doesn't just mean the players either. If I hadn't have made the late changes, we could have hung on for a win against Gibraltar. I also didn't need to give everyone a game against Andorra, and we could have maybe found a winner in a match we should have won. There's always things to be learned in International football.
  5. June 2016 (cont). The Under-19's are restricted to watching the Seniors match in the team hotel. That's exactly how much tickets are at a premium for the match on Friday evening. That's because the Gibraltar side have to play all their competitive matches outside of their own tiny nation. The Victoria Stadium doesn't meet UEFA or FIFA requirements for competitive International matches, and with neighbouring Spain not exactly considered friendly territory, the natives regularly make the near 400 kilometre trek through Southern Spain, and into Portugal, where the Estádio do Algarve has become their home away from home. There's probably people in the UK that own more land than Gibraltar has available, and until the government and the FA find a way to fit a new stadium into their tiny nation on the southern peninsula of Spain's mainland, then Friendlies such as this one are the only chance to watch Senior International football inside their own borders. So that's Gibraltar and their problems, though I'm happy that my squad are here to take them on in their own home territory. We have our own problems though, firstly with club instructions, and no fewer than half a dozen players who have been asked to play no more than 45 minutes in this match. The players that are requested to adhere to this are Kirill Priadkin, Valery Kichin, Sergej Evljuskin, Anton Zemlianukhin, Edgar Bernhardt and Viktor Maier. It's not likely that the instructions will be adhered to, there's simply to many for us to be able to logistically do that and give ourselves the best chance to win the match. Our second issue is that as far as this match is concerned, we're damned if we do, and damned if we don't. The Kyrgyzstan media who have come on this trip consider this match fairly meaningless, and consider a win a foregone conclusion. Friday 10th June 2016 - 7:30pm International Friendly Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar, Gibraltar Gibraltar v Kyrgyzstan Attendance :- 2,226. Weather :- 27c. As we the search continues to find a way to allow all our best players be on the park together, we have another tactical switch around here in Gibraltar for the Senior side. We'll try our hand at a 4-3-2-1 today, with the full backs of the back four asked to play almost exclusively defensivley. In front of then, a trio sat in the middle off the park. One is a ball winner, another is a box to box player, and sat in between them playing in his favoured advanced playmaker role, Anton Zemlianukhin, our talisman delighted with the new formation that plays very much to his strengths. Further up the park is a lone striker, supported by to inside forwards, who are not only being asked to supply the width, but also link up the midfield and that striker, both wide and through the middle. A full house makes a hell of a difference to this stadium, as the locals come out in support of their Senior National team. They were given very little to cheer about in the opening ten minutes though, as we pinned our hosts into their own end, and passed the ball around nicely. Vadim Kharchenko found some room, and attempted a cross that was blocked, and the ball went right back to the skipper. He tried again, this time finding Vitalij Lux, who met the ball at the near post with a volley that found the bottom corner to given the German based striker his fifth goal for his country. Gibraltar went close to getting an immediate equaliser when George Cabrera hit an effort off the angle of bar and upright, and after a corner was only partly cleared, Tamirlan Kozubaev hit one off the top off the crossbar at the other end. Karim Izrailov showed a good understanding of what we wanted from an inside foward, coming off the left wing and infield, and then laying off a pass to Anatolii Vlasichev, the midfielder hitting a beautifully struck shot that was curling towards the top corner before Jordan Perez sent out an arm to push it over the bar. We were putting our stamp on this game, until Sergej Evljuskin held onto Roy Chipolina's shirt as we tried to get on the end of a corner, and the ref pointed to the spot. Liam Walker is one of Gibraltar's most experienced players, and sent the spot kick low and measured into the bottom corner to level the match. The score stuck through to the break, the closest anyone coming to adding to the score was a long range effort from Edgar Bernhardt that Perez held easily. I'm not usually one for making half time switches unless things are going badly wrong, but today, we make four changes at the interval. Kirill Priadkin, Valery Kichin, Evljuskin and Bernhardt are all replaced, with Ruslan Amirov, Sherzod Shakirov, Pavel Sidorenko and Viktor Maier are come on, I ignore the instruction that Anton Zemlianukhin should only play 45 minutes. Gibraltar don't make their first change until the 57th minute, and a minute later, they fall behind for a second time. Scott Wiseman fouled Lux on the left edge of the 'D' on the edge of the box, and Zemlianukhin hit an unstoppable left footed free kick around the wall and into the top corner to reinstate our advantage on the scoreboard. Izrailov and Lux both failed to add to the lead with headers that didn't have enough power to unduly trouble Perez. When Gibraltar tried to get something going, Jean-Carlos Garcia got into the box, but never really made up his mind what he wanted to do, and was crowded out easily. I made my two final changes with fifteen minutes to go, Zemlianukhin replaced by Daniel Tagoe, who would now turn that advanced centre midfield role into a more withdrawn defensive role. At the same time, Lux was replaced up front by Vladimir Verevkin. With just five minutes to go, Gibraltar would get as close as they were going to as far as finding an equaliser would go, Alain Pons whipping in a cross, Walker connecting with a header that flew across the goalmouth and hit the outside of the far post. Unlike the Under-19's last night, the Senior side held on, claiming their second consecutive win into the bargain. Gibraltar (1) 1 - Liam Walker (27 pen) Kyrgyzstan (1) 2 - Vitalij Lux (10), Anton Zemlianukhin (58) Kirill Priadkin (Ruslan Amirov 45); Vadim Kharchenko (capt), Tamirlan Kozubaev, Manas Zhutanov, Valery Kichin (Sherzod Shakirov 45); Anatolii Vlasichev, Anton Zemlianukhin (Daniel Tagoe 75), Sergej Evljuskin (Pavel Sidorenko 45); Edgar Bernhardt (Viktor Maier 45), Karim Izrailov; Vitalij Lux (Vladimir Verevkin 75). Unused Substitutes :- Ulug'beq Mo'minov, Azamat Baymatov, Shuhrat Rahmonov, Ahletdin Israilov, Ildar Amirov, Pavel Matyash (GK). Possession :- 39% - 61%. Shots on Target :- 2 - 8. Man of the Match :- Anton Zemlianukhin (Kyrgyzstan). Ok, I know, 'it's only Gibraltar', but I'm still happy with that. When you have a guy like Anton Zemlianukhin in your lineup, you give yourself a chance of winning matches, and we may have a formation that will allow us to bring out the best in our midfield maestro. He now has eight goals in 22 caps, and has declared himself happy with the progress that Kyrgyzstan are starting to make. Less happy is his club manager. Sukhothai FC manager Somchai Makmul, told the sports press in Thailand that he was disappointed that one of his best assets was called away for International duty at all during a busy period of the Toyota Thai League, but it was a slap in the face that his well meant request was ignored. When given a right to reply, I asked if Makmul would have been as quick to request his player only play for 45 minutes if they'd been call up to the Thai National Squad. The silence as a reply for pretty deafening to me. We had other things to concern ourselves with, mainly packing up to leave Gibraltar, and head to our next destination. We would be heading North, with the next port of call being another small European nation, Andorra.
  6. Thanks very much Oche. It's going to take a bit of time I'm being told, but being able to get a little bit done is at least making me feel better.
  7. June 2016 (cont). The Senior and Under-19 sides have arrived at their hotel in the first port of call on this short tip, which is in Gibraltar. Two clubs who have players in the Under-19 squad have requested they play no more than half the match against our first opponents, Kara-Balta are keen to make sure no risks are taken with Ulan Taalaybek, which is understandable due to his concussion, while Shakhter Kyzyl-Kia have no obvious reason for asking for Almaz Omoraliev to be used sparingly. Thursday 9th June 2016 - 7:30pm Under-19 International Friendly Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar, Gibraltar Gibraltar Under-19's v Kyrgyzstan Under-19's Attendance :- 139. Weather :- 28c. In twenty four hours time, this stadium will be at capacity. More about that tomorrow. As it is today, the 2,226 capacity stadium has just 139 souls inside for and Under-19 International that is very much regarded as a contest between two minnow nations from different continents. Both nations will line up in fairly similar fashion, with the home side playing a 4-4-1-1, while we play with a 4-4-2, looking to utillise a formation that best suits the players we have on the trip. On an artificial pitch and in our all white strip, we looked a bit tentative to start with. Both sides struggled to make chances early on, and when Gibraltar tried to create one with an 18th minute counter attack, Dastan Kylychbekov went to extra mile to stop it by taking Craig de la Rosa's legs from under him, taking one for the team and accepting the resulting yellow card. He got into position to make amends five minutes later, but the midfielder got his shot all wrong, sending the effort way over the cross bar. Gibraltar were being forced to shoot from range when the ball was down the other end of the park, while from a free kick, Nurtay Kurmantay got his free kick and down over the wall, but Mark Bryan held it comfortably on his goal line. A neat passing move from the hosts led to Javan Robertson sending a low shot skidding towards goal, Sergey Skorik getting down well to push it away. Robertson would have the last chance of the half too with five minutes to go before the break, getting in another effort from a similar position, this time beating Skorik, but also the near post, the shot ending up in the side netting, and the game still goalless at the break. Gibraltar made a pair of changes at the break, while we stayed as we were for the time being. Kurmantay made a real hash of a far post clearance seconds after the restart, fortunately for the us at least, the full back wasn't punished. Robertson's latest effort to get himself and Gib on the scoresheet saw an effort from range graze the roof of the net, while a long ball upfield hit Leon Payas and Almaz Olmoraliev went in goal, however his usual finishing wasn't there, and he put this effort over the top. As the hour mark approached, we would get another free kick in a dangerous position. Kurmantay got this one up and over the wall as well, though it didn't quite come down enough. It beat Bryan, and thumped against the cross bar. With the keeper prone on the floor after being beaten by the first effort, and the race was on, with Kylychbekov getting there first and slamming the loose ball past Bryan to hand us the lead. We were in control, and I made our first changes in the 63rd minute. On a yellow, goalscorer Kylychbekov came off, joined by Viktor Kelm and Omoraliev. The hosts made five changes just a moment later, including the removal of their primary goal threat, Robertson. As the rain started to fall, we started to play almost on instinct, in almost a counter attacking fashion, and that led to Ernist Batyrkanov breaking up play and finding sub striker Eldar Taalaybek, and he lifted the ball over the defence, with Kadyrbek Shaarbekov reaching it and going clear through on goal, drawing Bryan, before slotting past him, but just wide of the far post. That would be Bryan's last involvement, as he was replaced with twenty minutes remaining. I replaced my remaining two midfielders that had started with fifteen minutes left, while Gibraltar made their finak change at the same time. Clearly Taalaybek wasn't too impressed with Shaarbekov's earlier finish, as when a chance to play him in came up, he decided to go himself instead, not doing any better, and missing the target with a wild effort. Temirlan Atabaev was enjoying a good cameo outing on the right, and in the 83rd minute, produced a cross that picked out Taalaybek at the far post. The striker should have buried this one to put the game safe, but he sent his header just wide of the post, troubling only some advertising hoardings. At the back, we were still making it very tough for Gibraltar to get a clear look at our goal, and with five minutes remaining, I made two final changes to bring some fresh legs into our back four. As the clock drifted past ninety, without being asked to do, our side had become more and more defensive, sat back, and desperate to keep Gib out and record this victory. Raphael Peralta sent the ball forward from halfway, and Tito de Torres took it down. From 25 yards out, he just let fly. Skorik got fingertips to the ball, but not enough to keep it out, and a stoppage time goal meant our youngsters were denied their first win under my management. Heartbreak is too strong a word, but I was gutted for the lads. Gibraltar Under-19's (0) 1 - Tito de Torres (90+1) Kyrgyzstan Under-19's (0) 1 - Dastan Kylychbekov (58) Sergey Skorik; Danislam Zagidulin (Igor Ashirbekov 85), Ulugbek Salamatov, Ayzar Akmatov (Boris Drozdetskiy 85), Nurtay Kurmantay; Viktor Kelm (Temirlan Atabaev 63), Semetey Daniyarov (capt - Abdurashit Saydirakhmatov 73), Dastan Kylychbekov (Ernist Batyrkanov 63), Vladimir Badalov (Abror Sataev 75); Kadyrbek Shaarbekov, Almaz Omoraliev (Eldar Taalaybek 63). Unused Substitutes :- Georgiy Slavnyi (GK), Timur Jumashev, Ulan Taalaybek, Aidar Mambetaliev, Abdulnur Mamytov (GK). Possession :- 45% - 55%. Shots on Target :- 5 - 3. Man of the Match :- Tito de Torres (Gibraltar Under-19's). Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and with that view, I'll have to hold my hands up to a rookie manager mistake. Those two late changes to the back four may well have turned out to be more of a hinderance than a help. The effort from de Torres was a bit of a dagger for us, but it had been a good competitive run out against an enthusiastic young Gibraltar side. They'll now move onto Andorra, where they will have another shot at getting a first win under their belts.
  8. Bygmester Fuller

    I think you've done a great job to salvage seven points from the ruins of that start, and climb off the bottom to earn some respect and a new deal. Hopefully some of Norway's young prospects will be able to take their chance to step up to the Senior side and drag the country forward.
  9. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Thanks very much Oche. Much appreciated mate.
  10. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Thanks very much Ben. It wasn't much fun, but I've been very lucky compared to a lot who have one. Cheers for the kind words mate.
  11. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Chris, it definitely sounds like you and your family have been through the ringer with medical issues. Thanks Mark, I'll certainly have my feet up reading what's happening in everyone else's stories.
  12. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Cheers Chris. Was a bit of a shock.
  13. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Morning all. Just a quick note to say I'll be a lot less active on the boards writing wise over coming weeks. On Saturday night I suffered a stroke at my home, and was rushed into hospital, where they found a bleed on my brain. My motor skills on the right of the body are being slowly built back up, but playing the game etc is too much at the moment. I hope to continue my story in due course. In the meantime, I'll still be reading some of the other fabulous work on our Boards.
  14. Thanks very much Lukafanzer. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far.
  15. June 2016. Asian Nations Cup Qualifying, Playoff First Round, First Leg Bangladesh 3-2 Chinese Taipei, East Timor 1-1 Tajikistan Laos 0-0 Cambodia, Malaysia 3-1 Maldives, Yemen 1-0 India Competitive International football has returned to the continent, and some of the countries further down the rankings start their campaign on the road to the United Arab Emirates, where the Finals will take place in January 2019. With the possible exception of Malaysia, who would certainly have been favourites against the Maldives anyway, all the other ties are close, and there is all to play for in the Second Legs that will take place in five days time. We'll have to wait a little while longer for competitive football, but it is time to name squads for the trip to Europe, where we will be looking to put a couple of wins on the board. Kyrgyzstan Senior National Squad Announcement Gibraltar - Away (10/6/16 at Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar, Gibraltar) International Friendly Andorra - Away (14/6/16 at Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra) International Friendly | Name | Position | Age | Club | Height | Value | Caps | Goals | | Kirill Priadkin | GK | 38 | Kaisar (KAZ) | 6'3" | £1.8K | 9 | 0 | | Pavel Matyash | GK | 28 | UiTM (MAS) | 6'6" | £7K | 8 | 0 | | Ruslan Amirov | GK | 25 | Alga Bishkek | 6'1" | £800 | 3 | 0 | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Manas Zhutanov | D (RLC) | 24 | Abdysh-Ata | 5'11" | £1.1K | 2 | 0 | | Valery Kichin | D (LC) | 23 | Yenisey (RUS) | 5'11" | £105K | 15 | 0 | | Azamat Baymatov | D (C) | 26 | Alay | 6'3" | £1K | 22 | 3 | | Shuhrat Rahmonov | D (C) | 28 | Alay | 6'3" | £1K | 1 | 0 | | Tamirlan Kozubaev | D (C) | 21 | Dordoy | 6'1" | £1.4K | 2 | 0 | | Ulug'beq Mo'minov | D/WB (R) | 31 | Alay | 5'11" | £325 | 0 | 0 | | Sherzod Shakirov | D/WB (L) | 25 | Hala (BHR) | 5'11" | £1.7K | 9 | 0 | | Vadim Kharchenko | D/WB/M (R) | 32 | Dordoy | 5'9" | £275 | 24 | 1 | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Daniel Tagoe | DM | 30 | Hala (BHR) | 5'10" | £2.2K | 14 | 0 | | Sergej Evljuskin | DM, M (C) | 28 | Kassel (GER) | 5'10" | £58K | 2 | 0 | | Anatolii Vlasichev | M (C) | 27 | Omani (OMA) | 6'0" | £24.5K | 15 | 0 | | Pavel Sidorenko | M (C) | 28 | Alga Bishkek | 5'9" | £1.1K | 9 | 0 | | Anton Zemlianukhin | M/AM (RC) | 27 | Sukhothai (THA) | 5'9" | £190K | 21 | 7 | | Karim Izrailov | M/AM (LC) | 29 | Navy FC (THA) | 6'0" | £58K | 5 | 0 | | Edgar Bernhardt | AM (RL) | 30 | Rödinghausen (GER) | 5'9" | £44.5K | 10 | 1 | | Viktor Maier | AM (RC) | 26 | FC Emmen (NED) | 6'0" | £85K | 10 | 0 | | Ahletdin Israilov | AM (RC), ST (C) | 21 | Cherkaskyi Dnipro (UKR) | 5'7" | £160K | 2 | 0 | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Ildar Amirov | ST (C) | 28 | Unattached | 5'5" | £0 | 7 | 1 | | Vladimir Verevkin | ST (C) | 29 | Alay | 5'11" | £1.1K | 11 | 4 | | Vitalij Lux | ST (C) | 27 | Unterhaching (GER) | 6'0" | £39K | 15 | 4 | It's a fairly settled squad, with few changes from the previous double header against Philippines and Sri Lanka. While the injured Sergei Kutsov may have the experience in terms of age, his place in the squad goes to someone with considerably more International experience, as 22 times capped Alay Osh defender, Azamat Baymatov, is recalled to the fold. The other change in the defensive ranks is slightly more surprising. Right back Marat Ajiniyazov did take a knock in mid April, but that didn't keep him out of this squad. What did keep his name out of the selection was the new eligibility of 31 year old Uzbek full back, Ulug'bek Mo'minov. He has been turning in some impressive performances for Alay Osh in their Asian Confederations Cup campaign, and when it became knowledge that he was going to be available, he always had an shot of making the squad. He brings another dimension to our attacking threat, something which gives him the upper hand over Ajiniyazov. His inclusion is the main talking point of the squad announcement, with most pundits believing he doesn't have the quality to improve our fortunes. He wasn't the only new player to be added to the National Pool recently. Also joining him is Nigerian born striker, Tosin Aleriwa, who has now claimed Kyrgyzstani citizenship after spending the required amount of time in the country. He doesn't earn his first call up though, as out of form Mirlan Murzaev's place in the squad goes to clubless forward, Ildar Amirov. The man who I named as National Vice-Captain a few months ago, badly needs some game time. A trip to face Gibraltar and Andorra could be just the fixtures to not only give him a chance to show his talent, but also put himself in the shop window with regards to finding a new club. Kyrgyzstan Under-19's National Squad Announcement Gibraltar - Away (9/6/16 - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar, Gibraltar) Under-19's International Friendly Andorra - Away (13/6/16 - Estadi Nacional, Andorra la Vella, Andorra) Under-19's International Friendly | Name | Position | Age | Club | Height | Value | Caps | Goals | | Sergey Skorik | GK | 20 | Dordoy | 5'9" | £325 | 0 | 0 | | Georgiy Slavnyi | GK | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'4" | £325 | 0 | 0 | | Abdulnur Mamytov | GK | 18 | Alay | 6'5" | £325 | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Danislam Zagidulin | D (R) | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'0" | £375 | 0 | 0 | | Igor Ashirbekov | D (R) | 17 | Unattached | 5'6" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Almazbek Malikov | D (C) | 19 | Neftchi Kochkor-Ata | 6'4" | £170 | 0 | 0 | | Ayzar Akmatov | D (C) | 17 | Ala-Too | 6'2" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Ulugbek Salamatov | D (C) | 17 | Ala-Too | 5'11" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Ulan Taalaybek | D (C) | 17 | Kara-Balta | 6'0" | £425 | 0 | 0 | | Timur Jumashev | D/WB (L) | 19 | Dordoy | 5'7" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Nurtay Kurmantay | D/WB (L) | 18 | Ala-Too | 5'9" | £475 | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Ernist Batyrkanov | DM, M (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 6'2" | £600 | 0 | 0 | | Vladimir Badalov | M (L) | 16 | Neftchi Kochkor-Ata | 6'0" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Abdurashit Saydirakhmatov | M (C) | 18 | Alay | 5'9" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Aidar Mambetaliev | M (C) | 17 | Alga Bishkek | 6'2" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Temirlan Atabaev | M/AM (R) | 20 | Ala-Too | 5'7" | £500 | 0 | 0 | | Abror Sataev | M/AM (L) | 17 | Unattached | 5'5" | £0 | 0 | 0 | | Semetey Daniyarov | M/AM (C) | 19 | Ala-Too | 5'6" | £475 | 0 | 0 | | Dastan Kylychbekov | M/AM (C) | 20 | Ala-Too | 5'7" | £500 | 0 | 0 | | Viktor Kelm | AM (RL) | 19 | Bezanija (SRB) | 6'1" | £3.1K | 0 | 0 | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Almaz Omoraliev | ST (C) | 19 | Shakhter Kyzyl-Kia | 6'0" | £180 | 0 | 0 | | Kadyrbek Shaarbekov | ST (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 5'10" | £500 | 0 | 0 | | Eldar Taalaybek | ST (C) | 18 | Ala-Too | 5'9" | £750 | 0 | 0 | There are three changes to the Under-19 squad from the last get together, with a taller clubless right back, Igor Ashirbekov, brought in as a replacement for Munosib Samsaliev to cover for Danislam Zagidulin. Height is also part of the reason why Boris Drozdetskiy is left out, replaced by Ulugbek Salamatov so we can see what the seventeen year old has to offer going forward. There would be an almost immediate reprieve for Drozdetskiy however, as Almazbek Malikov suffers a groin injury that means he will miss the trip, Drozdetskiy brought back into the fold as his replacement. The other change is a positional one. With the possibility that we'll utilise a formation with just one out and out striker on this trip, I drop the number of strikers selected from four down to three, and bring in a young left winger as cover, Abror Sataev. This seventeen year old is likely to be a back up to sixteen year old Vladimir Badalov, who is in the squad on merit after his impressive showings against the Philippines and Brunei. There is another injury scare just before we leave, with Ulan Taalaybek suffering concussion symptoms in a training session. However, the medical staff assess the centre back and decide it's safe to keep him in the squad and use him if necessary. The action continues in the Asian Nations Cup Qualifying, Playoff First Round, with the Second Legs taking place as we're preparing at the hotel to travel to Europe. Cambodia 2-7 Laos (Laos win 7-2 on aggregate) Chinese Taipei 2-1 Bangladesh (4-4 on aggregate, Bangladesh win on penalties) India 1-0 Yemen (1-1 on aggregate, India win on penalties) Maldives 1-3 Malaysia (Malaysia win 6-2 on aggregate) Tajikistan 3-0 East Timor (Tajikistan win 4-1 on aggregate) That was some performance from Laos to claim their place in the Group Stage of Qualification, though they were aided by Cambodia having no less than three players sent off in the first hour. Next door neighbours Tajikistan have progressed as well, following a comfortable second leg performance to get by East Timor. The five winning nations have done their job for now, while the five losing nations now have just one more chance to move into the Group Stage. They are joined by Bhutan, the lowest ranked nation still alive in the process, and the three ties are drawn. The matches will be played in September and October, which means we have some while to wait yet before we can get stuck into competitive action ourselves. Yemen (166th) v Chinese Taipei (186th) Bhutan (189th) v Cambodia (182nd) East Timor (183rd) v Maldives (173rd)
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