Dynamo Kiev's balancing act paying off
That the youth team of Dynamo Kiev posted yet another 5-0 win in the Subroto Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday did not come as much of a surprise. What has been a revelation is the work ethic that goes into the making of one of Europe's premier teams.
While the teams from the region have been content with doing a few drills a day prior to their matches, the Ukrainians have been practicing incessantly in the unfamiliar heat.
"It (regular training) is a feature that runs deep in our club's culture, and reflects in our name, too," said coach Oleksandr Ischchenko.
All work and no play isn't done, though. On Sunday evening, one ran into the boys having a feast, despite problems in communication, at a popular fast food joint in the heart of the city.
And on Monday, a rare off-day, the coach went off to see the Taj Mahal, while the kids remained closer to the base, visiting Red Fort and Qutb Minar instead.
The balance has paid off - three straight wins have established the side as firm favourites. But Ishchenko sounded cautious.
"Our main goal, before we left for Delhi, was to bring the cup home," said the coach.
"But the weather is an issue - back home, the temperature is hovering between 10 and 12 degrees right now."