Tamaz Pertia: “Young players don’t even ponder how talented they are”

Valmiera FC head coach Tamaz Pertia has spoken about the start of the Optibet futbola Virslīga new season, players and the national team of Latvia:

“I consider the beginning of the championship as successful, specifically in terms of the quality of the game, and considering what we played against. We hoped for that kind a result, and we succeed. Of course, there is little regret about a draw [2:2 against Daugavpils], but regarding how this game progressed, and that we leveled in the final seconds, indeed, it’s a sin to complain; control of the ball, the quality of the game was also on the level.

As for the young players who have joined the team, I’ll say honestly, they don’t even ponder how talented they are, how quickly they progress. A number of footballers have already adapted and I am very pleased with their growth, it is obvious. I even like it that they don’t understand it themselves, how promising they are, and in what level teams they can play after a day or two. Their development is very important for me. I have very much faith in my players, these games at the training camp and the start of the championship showed, that these young people can be trusted, in every way, both in football and beyond it. Indeed, they are well-bred, well educated, so it’s easy for me to work with them. Of course, there is a language barrier between us, but there are people in our club who help me very much with translation.

We have also learned our opponents in these two rounds, all as one of them being assembled with experienced footballers, many have chosen such a path. Many footballers have been brought in from good championships, good teams, like BATE [Belarus], which has also played in the Champions League at its time. Many footballers with loud names can be found in Riga FC and RFS squads, but to be honest, they don’t mean anything to me, in my sense it’s something like, when comparing Aston Martin’s two models — omitted in 1956 and 2020. I choose the 2020 model, of course. Each club has its own policies, each has its own vision for which it aspires. Being the second youngest team after FK Metta, we have no way of interfering with this choice. I’m in favour of achieving things with young footballers, to see them grow up.

Speaking about the championship itself, I already mention in one interview, that it’s very good, yes, of course, while we’re playing on artificial pitches there’s a little bit of infrastructure bugs, not something we’d all like. Not everything can be changed as quickly and easily as we’d like to think while standing aside. For us coaches and players, the key is to show quality football, the football infrastructure must be considered by club leaders and football professionals, they must think about good pitches and quality locker rooms.

Addressing the issue of Latvia’s national team. I am very pleased when our players are invited to the national teams every time, it is very pleasing that they are included in these lists. On behalf of the Valmiera FC team and I personally wish a good luck to NT, growth and wins; wining is essential, because flirting with fans, like “we’re playing well but losing” is in no way reassuring, you all know that. We have to win, take away the points, end up with draws with strong opponents, then we will realise that our NT level is growing and is on the right track. Just to be delighted at how lovely is, that our footballers are selected, how good is that and that, but we lose; you can’t live without the spirit of the winners. The whole management of the national team, the coaches and the footballers, let this spirit of winners come back, which once was with the NT who played well [EURO 2004].”