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Kazakhstan hockey players will get $10 000 each for World Championship victory

17 february 2012, 12:44
Yuriy Zverev, general director of Kazakhstan Ice Hockey Federation. ©Danial Okassov
Yuriy Zverev, general director of Kazakhstan Ice Hockey Federation. ©Danial Okassov
Nurlan Orazbayev, general manager of men's national hockey team. ©Danial Okassov
Nurlan Orazbayev, general manager of men's national hockey team. ©Danial Okassov
Kazakhstan national ice hockey team players were promised at least $10 000 if they win the World Ice Hockey Championship that will be held in Finland and Sweden in May this year. Yuriy Zverev, Kazakhstan Ice Hockey Federation general director said this at press-conference dedicated to the team’s presentation, Tengrinews.kz reports.

“Each player have been awarded with $10 000 from the President of Kazakhstan for our victory in the Asian Games. The Ice Hockey Federation has given $10 000 as well. The award will be no less if we win the forthcoming Championship – it will be even a larger sum. I think $10 000 is a minimum,” Zverev said. However, the players are going to play in the Championship not because of the money, team administration officials said. “You know what contracts they have with Kontinental Hockey League. For example, Kolesnik. He is going to play for us not because of the money; he wants to support our guys. He was born here and he is a patriot of this country. He has a warm feeling for this land and us. And we feel the same towards him,” Zverev said.

“Players are coming because we have changed our attitude. The Federation has changed its attitude – longstanding training camps and the way they treat players. Players realize we need them here and it is the most important thing. It was a difficult period when we didn’t have sport gear and equipment. At present everything is available for them,” Nurlan Orazbayev, men’s national hockey team general manager, said.

Orazbayev explained why Kazakhstan team didn’t compete in two tournaments prior to the World Championship. “Initially we planned to participate in these two tournaments. But we decided against it in November 2011. The goal of the tournaments was to select sportsmen for national teams. Have you seen Euro Hockey Tour recently? Russian, Czech and Finnish teams are qualifying players before the World Championship. As for Kazakhstan national team, Kontinental Hockey League players will take part in the Championship for sure, because their level is higher than of those who play in Kazakhstan Championship. I think if they are physically fit they will travel to the Championship for sure,” the general manager said.

Taking the tough KHL schedule into account trainers of the team used the breaks between matches to prepare for the forthcoming World Championship. “We have decided abstain from these tournaments. For example, Eremeyev and other Barys players have got enough experience and these tournaments won’t affect their playing in May. Zhailauov – Krasnoslobodtsev – Gavrillin trio will play in the championship. There is one more trio consisting of Polishuk – Romanov – Pushkarev. Upper will be paired with Starchenko,” Orazbayev said.

According to the general manager, the Federation managed to arrange a friendly match with Italian team only. Administration of the team didn’t want to arrange matches with admittedly weak teams, for example, Romanian team. “Top teams don’t want to play against us either. To compete with them we need to become a permanent group A player first. We do play one season and don’t play the next one, meanwhile friendly matches must be planned one year or even a year and a half beforehand,” he said.

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