“Kovalchuk entered the headquarters of Siberia!” The sofa expert became a coach for a day: News: Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)

In the match “Siberia” – “Severstal” Andrei Martemyanov was assisted by a new coach. A place on the bench of the Novosibirsk team was taken by the winner of the “Sofa Expert” project.

“Kovalchuk entered the coaching staff of Siberia!”, – this news, which appeared on the social networks of the Novosibirsk club, shocked many. Especially those who have not looked beyond the title. No, the Olympic champion and two-time Gagarin Cup winner did not end his player career and did not switch to coaching. Andrey Martemyanov’s assistant, albeit for one day, was Alexander Kovalchuk. He became the winner of the “Sofa Expert” competition, which in some way served as a continuation of the project “I want to go to Siberia”. Any fan who has reached the age of majority could compete for this prize. A total of 313 applications were sent.

– The idea was born two years ago, but everyone was very keen on hockey – there was no time for that. And after the end of last season, they returned to this project. They began to think over, prepare, and until mid-August, no one warned Martemyanov that he would have a new assistant. And when told, he surprised us, taking the idea with a bang. After all, the locker room and bench are sacred places for coaches. I’m sure very few people would go for it. We were not given any special framework, – says the head of the press service of “Siberia” Maria Levinskaya

The press service of Siberia Airlines took over the primary screening of the contestants. When registering, a field “about myself” was given. And for a reason. It was by the one who presented himself as the 15 lucky ones were identified. Moreover, one person entered the competition largely by accident, instead of another – whom they could not get through. The first task included a forecast for the season and tentative fives, with which Siberia will enter the regular season. And then the sofa experts had to issue an analyst on the first test matches that the team played in Minsk. There were specific questions, for example, “Which of the young players showed themselves better than others?”

From the second stage of the competition, the selection was carried out by the sports department of the club, headed by the sports director Sergey Klimovich. He plunged headlong into this project, was a kind of curator. Klimovich read every report, although some sent works on ten sheets. As a result of this stage, 10 people have already passed on. At the same time, one guy was saved by the point he earned following the results of voting on Vkontakte profiles. And this dozen got the task to evaluate the performance of “Siberia” at the Romazan Memorial. At this stage, an additional point could be earned thanks to the KHL, which also gave its assessment.

– Due to limited financial resources, we could not show this project to everyone to make it interesting. This is a slightly different story than “I want to join Siberia” when we selected players for the team. Hockey was filmed there, it’s a little easier. It was funny how people said that they were hockey players, and then they could not resist even skating. Here we also wanted to arrange a reality show, but it didn’t work out. We decided to invest in the prize so that the winner will remember this day for a lifetime. Even me, how much I work in the club, if I were on the bench during the game, I would stand with my mouth open! – is talking Maria

It was hard for the jury members to select the five finalists, and it had to happen that after the decision was made, one of the participants withdrew. There was no time and they decided to enter the decisive stage with the four. All this time, the contestants sent their answers by mail, but regularly held meetings at the stadium. At the same time, there were always different locations: in the dressing room, the press center, and the final right on the ice. The favorite was the flight attendant Evgeny Polezhaev, but he performed the decisive task too creatively. I even came up with poetry! Whereas the future winner Alexander took his focus directly on hockey.

The winner was rewarded with a one-day contract with his favorite club. His Kovalchuk signed in the office of the general director of Siberia. After completing all the documents Kirill Fastovsky introduced a new coach to the staff headed by Martemyanov, and already Andrey Alekseevich announced the replenishment to the players. Alexander attended training, in the locker room and together with everyone was preparing for the first home game of the season.

– Everything is interesting to see that I have not seen. How the coach makes comments, how he praises. Excitement was, is and will be. Even when the grandchildren will be – this excitement will remain! Dreams Come True. As psychologists say, he closed the gestalt, became a coach for one day. Initially, everything was perceived as a joke. I saw the announcement of the competition, sent an application. When I got into the top five, then I already began to think about winning, – the winner shared his first impressions.

The culminating day came on September 13th. The fan coach was promptly sewn a corporate suit, after which it was indistinguishable from Martemyanova, Loach, Atyushova and Tarasenko… He took a seat at the edge of the bench and rather modestly watched as his colleagues lead their charges. Alas, for Alexander and all fans of Siberia, their team lost to Severstal with a score of 2: 4. Nevertheless, the Novosibirsk mentor found a few warm words both for the project itself and for its winner.

– He won, so he was next to us, part of the team. First in training, then in the game. The fact that such a show was held – I’m just delighted! Well done. I liked it, everything is very original. This is an interesting moment for the popularization of hockey. Okolohockey in our league needs to be developed and done at a good pace. Hockey becomes more interesting this way. Not only the game itself should capture, but also various actions, personalities. I am only for such moments! Nobody ordered us anything, – the head coach of “Siberia” told about his ward Andrey Martemyanov

Kovalchuk himself, after the final siren, had difficulty finding words. Despite the fact that his coaching debut fell on the defeat of his favorite team, the novice specialist was overwhelmed with feelings. And even if he never stands on the coaching bridge again, hockey will look at a completely different angle.

– I watched hockey from the bench. The game looks completely different! A different perception than on the podium or on TV. It would seem that I plunged into this for just one day, but now I will watch the matches of Sibir in a completely different way. Now I will sit in my seats until the end, despite the score. Many fans think of the hockey players as “came out, skated, forgot”. In fact, everyone is experiencing. I saw no indifference. Insanely interesting experience! – summed up Alexander

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