Interview of “Gabala” club president Fariz Najafov to “Report”
– How satisfied were you with Gabala’s performance in the first half of the season: Did you expect to go to the winter break in the second tier?
– Of course, we knew the potential of our team. 9 new players were involved in the team, one of them was our goalkeeper Elmaddin Sultanov, who returned from loan, one of them was Urfan Abbasov, who played for Gabala, and the other was Fernan Lopez, who played successfully two seasons ago. Both Magsad Isayev and Nijat Mehbaliyev, as well as 4 legionnaires, were invited to the contract after a serious analysis by our coaching staff. It is gratifying that all the new players quickly left the adaptation period behind and we were able to show the team game. Thanks to the team game, the absence of our two injured players, as well as those who were penalized, was almost not felt. At the beginning of the season, our demand from the team was to show a meaningful and competitive game. As you can see, this task was completed, and the results were gratifying.
– What is your attitude to the transfer of the general manager of your club Zaur Azizov to the position of sports director in “Neftchi”: Can he be kept in the club?
– We worked with Zaur for 13 years. He was one of the most important people in the formation of the team. He is one of the architects of today’s successful outcome. Of course, his departure is a loss for us. But we are professionals and must always be prepared for such separations. I wish him success in his new position.
– Before Zaur Azizov left, a number of your players received offers from Neftchi. Don’t you think that this move will accelerate the flow of your players to Neftchi and your team will weaken in the second half of the season?
– At the moment, the departure of any player from the team is not a topic of discussion. It’s not the people who tie the players to the club, it’s the official relationship.
– Can the appointment of Gabala Football Academy Manager Nail Karimov to replace Zaur Azizov affect the activities of your academy?
– I do not believe that this appointment will have a negative impact on the activities of the academy. Because over the years, a working system has been formed in all departments of the club, all employees are well aware of the requirements of their positions. It is also possible that at the beginning of next season there will be new appointments to the staff of the academy.
I would also like to note that the successful performance of the academy students in recent seasons plays a big role in the results of our team. In the first half of the season, 8 students of the academy played in the main squad. They scored 11 of the 25 goals we scored in the championship and cup. Two players have made their debuts, and several more are waiting their turn. Probably none of the Premier League clubs can boast of such figures. Let’s take into account that more than 10 of our players, who have shown themselves well, are now irreplaceable members of other clubs. I watch the games of the reserve team and the lower age groups, and I am sure that every new season we will give the next stars to the country’s football.
– There are already staff reductions in the club’s management. How do you see ways out of this situation?
– As I said above, the club currently has enough qualified staff. The knowledge gained over the years from both local and foreign experts, as well as international experience, is now being fully implemented. On the other hand, due to the club’s limited financial resources, things are not as diverse as before. We plan to continue our way with this team. If the situation changes in the future, we can return to this question.
– What is the level of sponsorship support for your club: Is a new sponsor expected or an increase in the amount allocated by sponsors?
– As you know, a contract was signed with a new title sponsor at the beginning of the season. The department is currently working on further sponsorship or cooperation agreements. We are pleased with any cooperation that will not damage the image of the club. In the current situation, the availability of additional financial support can help the academy to work more efficiently.
– Where will you spend the winter gathering: inside the country or abroad?
– We are working on several options for the winter gathering. A statement will be made in the coming days.
– Will there be more visitors from Gabala this time as well?
– I can give a more specific answer to this question. No one is expected to leave the team. It is possible to attract a new player.