Artem Chobanian

As the Under-21 European Championship grows in importance the same can be said for both the Under-19 and Under-17 versions. Both offer a glance into the future, a peek at what may be to come, and sometimes this can inspire a whole nation to wish it were the future today. One place forgiven for thinking this would be the Ukraine.

Ukraine recently defeated England in the Under-19 championship final, triumphing on home soil with a 2-0 win in front of 25,000 people. On show for the Ukrainians were a group of stars surely destined for bigger things and perhaps amongst them lies the next Andriy Shevchenko of his generation. Those to keep an eye out for in future are:

Kyrill Petrov – Defender

Kyrill Petrov is a real captain and was the key player in his side’s crucial games against Switzerland and England. Petrov won everything thrown his way in the centre of the Ukrainian defence producing a series of flawless performances. Strong in the tackle the defender kept concentration for the entire 90 minutes and being named captain seemed to only help him grow in maturity and experience. Petrov may be a future Dynamo Kyiv skipper in the making.

Temur Parzvania – Defender

A super reliable centre-back who played all five games in the tournament. Parzvania made just one mistake against England that allowed Everton’s Dan Gosling to score. Despite this Parzvania improved in every match and won almost all his battles with opposing strikers. Perhaps the shyest member of the Ukrainian squad, the defender only released his emotions after the final when victory was assured. Another Dynamo Kyiv product set great things.

Denis Garmash – Midfielder

Ukraine’s semi-final and final hero, displaying his cannon-like shot at will. The tireless attacking midfielder was always leading the Ukrainian attacking avalanche and got his reward by opening the scoring against England in the fifth minute. Garmash led by example and with a spot in Dynamo Kyiv’s second team can probably expect a promotion sooner rather than later. Indeed, Dynamo’s president Ihor Surkis stated Garmash has every chance to turn into the next Ihor Belanov and he would see the midfielder in the senior team tomorrow if continued in the same vein.

Dmitro Korkishko – Forward

Yet another Dynamo Kyiv player worth a mention. Firstly for his decisive goal against the English in the final and secondly for the outstanding flair he showed throughout the tournament. Korkishko nearly managed to set Garmash up for a Euro 88 van Basten style goal as Ukraine were rampant. The forward turned out in almost all the qualifying matches before the tournament and with 14 goals stands as Ukraine’s top Under-19 marksman. On the pitch Korkishko is transformed into a powerful striker who is more than a match for the best defenders in this age group. Growing and improving so quickly Korkishko will soon be promoted to the senior Dynamo Kyiv team.

Yuri Kalitvintsev – Coach

Not part of the team but one to watch nevertheless and an important part of the Ukrainian machine. Kalitvintsev deserves the highest possible praise for leading Ukraine to victory. Appointed at the beginning of the year Kalitvintsev was responsible for preparing the team and creating a powerful unit to compete with on many occasions more talented rivals. A former Dynamo Kyiv captain, the coach was previously in charge of the Under-17 team, leading them to the European Championships at that level. There is more to come from this coach and he will surely be in demand from Ukrainian Premier League sides. Ukraine will be hoping he resists any advances and takes the challenge of nurturing this group to compete in the Under-21 championships in two years time.

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