Armenia’s French football coach promises gradual improvement

August 10, 2004


Yerevan, 6 August: “I am not a magician and we will achieve good
results gradually,” the new Armenian national football coach, French
specialist Bernard Casoni, told a news conference today. He was
appointed the head coach of the Armenian national team on 2 August
and arrived in Yerevan the night before the news conference.

Asked by an Arminfo correspondent about the chances of the Armenian
team of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany (Armenia
will play the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania,
Andorra and Macedonia (in their qualifying group)), Bernard Casoni
noted that it is in matches with such top teams as the Czech Republic
and the Netherlands that teams such as Armenia gain experience and
proficiency. Bernard Casoni acknowledged he knew nearly nothing about
Armenian football and the Armenian national team and in the first
qualifier against Macedonia in Skopje on 18 August he will prefer the
group of players already in the national team, at least for the time
being. The French specialist intends to consult the leadership of the
Armenian Football Federation about players. Footballers playing both
in the Armenian national football league and abroad are expected to
be in the national team. “My first impressions suggest that there are
quite a few good players in Armenia who just need to be brought on,”
Bernard Casoni said. As far as Armenia’s sports facilities are
concerned, the country lacks first-class facilities, but whatever is
in place should be developed and improved.

Asked by an Arminfo correspondent if the national team is going to
play in an attacking style or defensively, Bernard Casoni said that
every single match will define its own tactics.

“Right now, I am thinking only of our forthcoming match with the
Macedonians. I watch films of their matches and think about how to
organize the upcoming match,” said the coach of the Armenian national
football team.

In his turn, Ruben Ayrapetyan, head of the Armenian Football
Federation and a member of the Armenian National Assembly
(parliament), who attended the press conference, said that the
contract with Casoni has been signed for a year. Unlike his
predecessors, expatriates that used to train both the national team
and Pyunik, Casoni is going to concentrate only on the national team
and will give guidance to Armenia’s teenage and youth teams.

“Of course, in view of the group that we have ended up in, we do not
set the objective of qualifying for the World Cup, but we will do our
best to make sure that the national team plays good football,”
Ayrapetyan said.