Psemislav Lagozny: ”Valmiera can fight with any opponent”

22 July 2022

Former FK Jurmalas Spartaks and FK Tukums 2000/TSS coach, polish football specialist Psemislav Lagozny rated Valmiera FC’s perfomance during the season and their readiness prior to the big exam at the UEFA Conference league.

”First of all, what I remember from my Valmiera visit, is the fact that people there have “fallen in love” with football. Every game we can see fans not only in the stands but also around the fence! The second really important factor to make a step forward for the club is a new stadium with natural grass. I think the club needed this and now you can enjoy playing in the new stadium. Unfortunately, I never won in Valmiera as a coach so I don’t have a lot of positive memories from my visits there.

The first difference is the coach. I think the previous coach did an incredible job there and he set a good foundation for the future. For sure he will be an important person in club history. He had a characteristic personality, and style of play which helped players to be more mature.

The new coach Jurgis, with whom I met in my Tukums period for sure made some changes. We can see that The team has made a step forward. I think he made some upgrades. He was inside of the training process, so he knows all of the important details and factors inside the team, for example, tactical organization on the pitch. I’m thrilled that my college has a beautiful time managing Valmiera and making so good results this season. I will keep my fingers crossed for him.

Everybody must be surprised about the team’s perfomance! Of course, before the season everybody thought that Valmiera will be one of the candidates to win championships but these results had to surprise even people inside of the club. This is confirmation, that club has good organization, strategy, and also plan “B” because they gave a chance to Jurgis who was ready for this challenge.

In the beginning, in my opinion, they didn’t feel the pressure. Everybody talked about the FC Riga project managed by Thorsten Think, RFS who was a Champion, and Liepaja who in my opinion made a lot of good transfers before the season. The situation that Valmiera was “in the shadow” helped the team. They started collecting points, players and staff feel more self-confident after positive results, and now you have a very strong and organized team in Latvian Football.

The most important factor before today’s game is the fact that most of the players participated in the last Euro Cup game! They have experience from this situation what is really important in European competition.

Second, in my opinion, players and staff must remember that game last not 90 but 180 minutes! Valmiera lost the first game in additional time in the first game! If they achieved 1-1 in the first (away) game and repeat 0-0 at home, they would be satisfied and happy after the final results.

Of course, now we have a new rule about “away goals” but from my experience goals in the last minute of the game are very important, and in my Legia Warsaw time we lost 4 European games because of the goal conceded in the first game exactly in additional time.

It’s a big football lesson for everybody in the club! You can compare your team, club, and level of the players not only in the local market but in an international environment.

Second, for the players who play in a country like Latvia, there is a big chance to show skills and focus on foreign scouts or clubs. I know that a lot of European clubs look at these kinds of games as a verification of players from our region.

Third, for the players is a new situation. When you play in Latvia 4 times against all of the teams, players know each other, they know all of the direct opponents on the pitch. Now is a little bit different situation, but in this situation, I see also a lot of pluses.

If I understand regalement well, this situation is thanks to country ranking and AS Roma’s victory in Conference League final right? If it’s true you should send some local supporters to Rome for one of the AS Roma games to help local supporters as a thank you.

I think is a good situation, because for the future is important ranking, and points and you got a promotion “for free”. Also, it means that you are more “fresh” than an opponent who had to play in 1st qualification round, I mean about travels, flights, time on the pitch.

I still follow Latvian football and I can say that this team is well organized.
You know what, I think that for the future it was a perfect situation that you lost against Spartaks in the league! Not because it’s my last club, but it is a kind of “wake up” call for everybody in the club! This situation showed players that nothing is not over and they still must be ready for difficulties in this season!

They must focus on each moment, on each training session no matter against whom they play. And this situation happened at the correct time before the cup game where Valmiera showed character by winning against FC Riga playing with 10 players and before the European competition.

As I see, key players don’t have injuries so the coach probably can use the best lineup for the game. Also, I see good chemistry between players. In this season we can see a good connection between Yokota and Murata. Very good scoring and assist stats by Krolis and Mena and also in my opinion Valmiera have “nothing to lose”

We must remember that Valmiera plays only 5 years in Latvian Virsliga and 2nd time in the row they have a chance to compete in Euro Cups! In my opinion, it’s a great achievement and everybody should enjoy this moment instead of make pressure on “NOW WE MUST”! If fans, the club, and the Valmiera board will follow this way I think you can make a surprise in these games.

A minus is the experience. You play against Shkendija Tetovo, who has a reputation and position in European cups. They play in Euro cups every year since 2014! And 3 times they played in the play-off round!

But recently Latvian clubs played well against Shkendija (FC Riga during the season 2021/22) and I hope this year will be the same.

Every single game should be like a big holiday for Valmiera FC and like  Diego Simeone usually says “Partido a Partido”  game after the game be focused only on the next opponent.

I’m sure that the team will be very well prepared for this game because Jurgis is professional, and he will do everything to prepare the team in the best way he can. I also must wish him good luck, because sometimes is necessary and one moment can change everything not only in football but also in life.

Using this chance, I want to wish all the best to all the Latvian clubs in European qualifications!”


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