Kirill Pechenin is considered to be one of the most talented Belarusian wide backs. The player speaks on move to Brest, beginning of the season and national team in the big interview for “City on Bug” magazine.
Let’s start from the basis. Why have you decided to move to Dynamo Brest?
The answer will be simple and trivial. This is one of the best clubs of Belarus with high ambitions and perfect conditions for development. Moreover, I’ve been in touch with the management throughout some time. I could move to Brest early in 2019, but we failed to clinch the deal. Nevertheless, they wished to see me in the team, and this also influenced on my decision.
How much time did you need to blend into the team?
I thought it would take a couple of months. And eventually it took. By the end of the pre-season I felt 100%-integrated in the squad. There’s nice atmosphere in Brest, the lads were friendly from the very beginning and we have beautiful relations. Of course, I communicate a bit more with my peers – Roman Yuzepchuk, Evgeny Shevchenko and Pavel Pavlyuchenko.
You’ve returned to your native Vitebsk together with Dynamo Brest by “Belavia” charter flight. How was the new experience?
Surely, it was an unusual story, which underlines the level of the club. I love and respect Vitebsk, but the road to Brest normally used to take 9-10 hours. It’s mentally and physically hard. Of course, it’s better to make such cross-country trips by plane.
That game was unlucky for you. Was it frustrating to pick up an injury in the native city?
It’s not about Vitebsk, it’s frustrating because by that moment I’ve gained nice fitness and started getting more chances on the pitch. However, due to the injury I missed four weeks of trainings, and as a result, I had to start from scratch. Now I’m fine, feel like 90% ready. There’s room for improvement and I work hard during trainings.
The first Brest derby happened in previous round. Was it a special game for the team?
I wouldn’t say everyone was wound-up or too emotional. Surely, we felt the background of the game. First, we wanted to prove ourselves that we can play better and win after the streak of poor results. Second, we desired to show, what club is number one in the city.
What’s your attitude to derbies in football?
A derby is always a nice banner, with more passion on the pitch and at the stands. These are special games. When I was a teenager, one of the most important games of the year in Vitebsk were clashes with Naftan Novopolotsk. These games were named as “the Northern Derby”. Such matches increase interest towards football and the teams, so I enjoy them.
The team benefited from the win over Rukh, not only in terms of three points, but also psychology, right?
We were upset with the series of poor games and were angry at ourselves. There were less smiles during trainings. The whole team desired to win in order to “reset”. And we felt this off our chests right after the final whistle. Now we must move on, getting more and more points.
The formation during the game was with three central defenders. Was this unusual for you?
Such tactics was new to supporters and journalists, but we’ve been preparing it during trainings. The coaching staff explained in details, every player got instructions. Moreover, I used to play with such a formation, so it was easy to adapt. In my opinion, we played quite well with 3 central defenders, but we can do better. Anyway, it’s nice to have variability and versatility in the attack and defense.
There are matches against mid-table teams ahead. Shall we expect the winning strike?
Let’s avoid forecasts. I can just firmly state that we shall not underestimate our opponents. We are training and preparing with full focus, because everybody understands there won’t be easy walks in any game. Dynamo lags 9 points behind the first place, and there are 57 points still undrawn, our today’s position doesn’t mean the end of the title race, there’s time to make things better in the table.
How would you assess the first third of the season for whole team and yourselves?
I would refrain from assessments, but currently I’m dissatisfied and I want to improve to show better football. I guess, the start for whole team was far from ideal.
Do you have personal goals for the season?
I’ve never thought and never had any numbers to reach. A forward can maybe set a goals’ mark, what about defenders? Distance covered, playing time, assists or tackles? So, I avoid thinking about certain milestones.
It’s always bitter to recollect defeats, but what did Dynamo Brest lack in the Final of the Cup, to beat BATE?
We were just unlucky… You saw, the lads were fighting throughout the whole match, and there’s always a winner and a loser in such clashes. This time we were the defeated side.
Why do many players take off silver medals right after the ceremony? Of course, it’s pity to lose, but it’s an honor to be the finalist, many players can only dream to take part in such a game…
When you play in a final, there’s only one award for you – the trophy. Golden medals symbolize victory, silver ones – defeat, that’s why many guys want to get rid of them as soon as possible, don’t blame them. It’s not about disrespect towards opponents or organizers.
Today many pundits assess teams through advanced statistics. What’s your attitude to it?
Football is the most popular kind of sports in Europe. One of the reasons is its unpredictability. No matter what advanced statistics you have, you’ll never know what happens in the very next game. No one can make exact predictions. Let’s take Xg – according to this indicator, Dynamo Brest are among top-3, but in fact, we sit lower. The statistic information and analyses are useful and make football better, but you shouldn’t underestimate the factor of luck and accident.
What was the most vivid game in your career?
I will name two matches. First, the Cup Final in Vitebsk last year. We were really close to the trophy and dreamt to win it in our native city. Second, my international debut against Wales. It’s hard to describe the emotions from appearing on the pitch in the t-shirt of the national team. Listening to the anthem, you realize that you’ve been dreaming about this moment since childhood. Even now I feel goosebumps speaking about it.
You’ve spent almost half a year in Brest. How’s the life in the city?
A beautiful place, maybe, the most European city in our country. It’s compact and very warm, it’s far colder in Vitebsk. My wife and me were amazed with the weather when we moved here. In April I was wearing shorts outdoors, it’s hard to imagine this in Vitebsk. Unfortunately, it’s raining hard during recent weeks, and it resembles me Vitebsk :)
How do you spend your spare time?
We love to explore the city, walking down the streets, visiting cafes. Sometimes I meet my teammates, many of them love computer games, but I enjoy watching their clashes.
English Premier League
Manager you dream to work with?
Teammate of your dream?
Stadium you dream to play at?
Favorite kind of sports, besides football?
Ice hockey and Formula-1
Pizza or sushi?
What was your brightest act?
Proposal to my girlfriend
The most beautiful place you’ve been in?
Rain or snow?
Snow, I’m a northerner :)