During the international break, 13 Valmiera FC players represented national teams. Our players went traveled to represent different levels and ages of national teams. The Latvian national team was represented by five of our prospects, the same amount of players was at the U-21 camp as well as one for each – Ukraine U-21, Latvian U-19, and Uganda national team.
At the Latvian national team camp for the UEFA nations league D group games, the Latvian Football Federation had called-up Raimonds Krollis, Alvis Jaunzems, Rihards Matrevics, Daniels Balodis, and Emīls Birka. The team represented by our players managed to earn four victories in four matches – 3:0 against Andora, 4:2 against Malta as well as in two meetings against Liechtenstein 1:0 and 2:0 at home and away respectively.
Valmiera FC captain Raimonds Krollis got involved in the play coming off of the bench in all four matches earning one assist against Liechtenstein when in front of home fans Arturs Zjuzins scored the only goal of that match. Krollis, so far has played 23 games for the national team and has managed to score two goals.
Alvis Jaunzems stepped on the pitch in three of the Nations League matches coming off of the bench and was in the starting eleven vs Liechtenstein. During this camp, Alvis played 132 minutes. In total, our reactive midfielder has played 22 games, 777 minutes in total. It’s notable that Jaunzems made his national team debut on September 3rd, 2020 against one of our current opponents – Andora.
Rihards Matrevics, Daniels Balodis, and Emils Birka didn’t get to play during this camp. Our goalkeeper Matrevics made his debut on March 29th when he played 45 minutes against Azerbaijan, meanwhile, Balodis and Birka are yet to make their national team debut.
Roberts Veips, Maksims Tonisevs, Kristers Lusins as well as players on loan – Rudolfs Zengis and Vladimirs Stepanovs got their call-ups to the Latvian U-21 team. This time only Kristers Lusins was left without any playing time due to health issues. U-21 national team played two games at the Euro U-21 qualification splitting results in half 1:0 victory against Isreal and a 0:2 loss against Hungary.
Roberts Veips started in both games with the starting eleven and played a big role in the match against Israel when on multiple occasions he had to go out and block dangerous shots at the net. To this point, Veips has played 17 games, and 1443 minutes for the U-21 team while scoring a single goal.
Maksims Tonisevs skipped the game versus Israel due to the yellow card limit but against Hungary, he returned to the pitch. In this game, Tonisevs was assigned the captain’s armband and earned another yellow card. Tonisevs has played 19 games and 1402 minutes for the U-21 team.
Rudolfs Zengis who is on loan at FK Metta this season started the first match and was substituted in the 80th minute. Against Hungary, he spent the early part of the game on the bench but had to get involved in the game at the 36th minute to replace a teammate that had been injured. Zengis has played 9 games and 593 minutes, while making his debut on September 7th of 2021.
Vladimirs Stepanovs who is on loan at SK Super Nova started both games. Against Israel, he assisted in the only goal of the match while also playing the full 90 minutes and being swapped off in the 5th minute of extra time. Against Hungary he played 46 minutes. Stepanovs made his U-21 debut in March of 2022 having played 4 games and 171 to date.
Ivan Zhelizko represented Ukraine’s U-21 national team at the Euro U-21 qualification tournament where his team showed a great deal of successful football winning against North Macedonia (4:0), Faroe Islands (4:0), Armenia (2:0) and drawing (3:3) against the very strong French side. Ukraine finished second in Group H which will give them an opportunity to play against other second-team place teams.
In three of the games, Zhelizko was sent on the pitch in the second half of the game having gotten involved in very important moments. The only game on the starting eleven was against Armenia which allowed him to earn an assist in the 49th minute of the game. So far Ivan has played 10 games in the Ukrainian U-21 colors.
Derrick Kakooza was called upon to the Uganda national team where his team played two games at the Africa Nations cup qualification tournament. Two games were spent with split results – a 0:2 loss against Algeria and a 1:1 draw with the national team of Niger. Kakooza played in the match against Algeria where he came on the pitch from the bench at the 81st minute of the game. To date he has played three games for Uganda national team.
At the U-19 Baltic Cup Klavs Lauva represented the colors of Latvia helping his team to earn the title of Baltic champions. Latvian U-19 team beat Estonia with a score of 7:1 and drew against Lithuania and Finland – 1:1 and 0:0 respectively. Lauva played in the game against Lithuania which was his only second match at those ranks. He made his debut on March 27th in an exhibition game against Croatia.