The coronavirus pandemic has drawn the veil of confusion over many sporting events. The continental hockey league (KHL) is no exception. Riga Dinamo the club management had long negotiations with the team’s general sponsor Gazprom Export on support for 2020/2021 therefore, the signing of a contract with the head coach was also delayed. Dinamo the representatives measured more than seven times until the team handed over the steering reins to Ant. “It will be interesting,” said the hockey connoisseur, who is well acquainted with Ant’s handwriting.
Emotional and demanding
Captain of the Latvian state unit Kaspars Daugaviņš in the autumn of 2015 from Moscow Dinamo moved to Ant trained Torpedo command. Kaspars spent less than three seasons in Nizhny Novgorod, also serving as the team captain’s assistant for one season. Daugaviņš had the opportunity to see if Ant is as hot-headed as he is told and how it is seen, for example, YouTube video, where after the game he pulls his fists with Nizhnekamsk Neftehimik head coach Yevgeny Popihin. “I agree that Ant is emotional,” talks to Saturday admits Kaspars. “Like the players, the coaches have ups and downs in their careers. When the team is doing badly, Peter has a high wave of emotions and he is more nervous. The players will have to get used to it. On the other hand, when these crazy moments are, he can gather the team. Torpedo time was never that the team, so to speak, flew away. We always got out of the conditioned pit. Peter also knew how to squeeze the maximum out of the players. You can’t just play with him. There are basic things that must be strictly observed. Players will definitely have to reckon with the fact that personal ambitions will have to be subordinated to the interests of the team. We also had players on the team who couldn’t stand the tension. In the end, however, we achieved the result – all five seasons we took the lead play-off.”
Daugaviņš emphasizes that Ant is an active hockey supporter. He’s demanding a lot of work with a lot of strength in duels that might not appeal to technical players. “We also had technical guys on the team, but they weren’t big in terms of height, so maybe it was easier for them to meet Ant’s requirements.” Riga Dinamo will continue to play the team captain Lauris Darzins, and from Moscow Dinamo Miks Indrašis has moved home. Both are tall, with a good understanding of the game and agile hands, but neither Dārziņš nor Indrašis are typical of pushing around the edges. Concerns about whether Lauris and Miks will fit into the drawing of the Ant game and whether they will be able to fulfill the amount of work required by the coach, Kaspars dispels in one word: “Calmly.” However, he adds: “Both will have to get used to Ant’s demands.”
According to Kaspars, he has not played with another coach as tactically strong as Ant. “His trump card is clearly the tactics he has developed. The players on the pitch know mechanically what to do – everything has been worked out down to the last detail. Every nuance matters.”
The parable of Hartley
When you hear the word “nuance”, you instantly want to draw parallels with the head coach of the Latvian national team Bob Hartley. He also pays close attention to things that many may find unimportant. “Indeed, some things are very similar to Peter and Bob. The first is definitely a lot of time spent watching videos. The second thing is to follow the instructions exactly. Both can pause the workout for at least ten minutes to patiently explain how to do one or the other exercise. This is done as long as the players are no longer in the slightest doubt. Also, fast and aggressive play unites both coaches. ”
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