Latvian football is rich with players and different levels of tournaments. The second tier is a host for our own – Valmiera FC/VSS team. FS Jelgava were the winners of the previous edition of the Optibet Nakotnes league, thus earning themselves a spot in the highest level of Latvian football. Our team finished the season in fourth place.
Since the start of the previous season, Renars Rode is the head coach of the team. His main task is taking care of young players and assuring that there is development for the first-team guys. The start of new season has had a shaky start, despite strong performances. In the first round, the team lost against FK Tukums 2000-2/TSS with a score of 0:1. Then a convincing victory against FK Dinamo Riga (2:0). Team returned home for the first time this season on Friday when they hosted FK Beitar. Prior to this game, Rode gave an insight into the most important things surrounding his team.
Valmiera FC/VSS head coach Renars Rode: ”We began our preparation process in January so that we could be ready for the new season. We work a lot in the gym. The preparation process was good I can only say positive things about it, quality work was put in. The boys worked hard, we practiced twice a day. I think that right now we are ready for the marathon that is the Nakotnes league. For me, this is the first pre-season with the team and I can say that this year my work has been made easier. Last year we all got to know each other, learned, and figured out mutual expectations.
If we are talking about the game itself, we are trying to play just like the first team does. That way it is easier for the first-team players to adjust. They get to play on this team, which helps them develop further. The same thing applies to the young players – we do everything so that they can learn the same things that the main squad does. We work, so that we can realize our opportunities and continue to progress.
This year Marcis Erglis joined the coaching staff. He helps with the training process as well as many different things that are necessary for me. In terms of the squad, there are changes, some players have come, and some have gone, it’s football, a natural process of it. We are trying to raise our level now and in the future.
As for the team leaders I want to say that the whole team is important. Each of these kids gives an effort, maybe some of them don’t get the game time but during training, they are really important in assuring that everyone progresses. Each of them is giving something to the team and I’m not talking about the first team players, but the academy kids. I don’t expect Virsliga players to be the obvious leaders. We all are aware that together we must work towards our shared goals.
If we take into account the previous season then I can say that Karlis Patriks Libietis, Eriks Maurs-Boks and Ritvars Krists Zauska, and many others have proved themselves. Our targets include fighting for a victory in each and every game, a fight for the top spots in the championship. However, the most important thing is playing the game itself, and the development of these players. If we do that in a correct manner, the results won’t be far along.”