“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

We asked Vladimir Bodrikov to talk about how he and his friend Alexei Gatsko came up with the idea of ​​founding the Gelepalmas team, which won the championship of the amateur league Gelendzhik in the first season. How it all began, how the training process was built and how they instilled a love of football for the city residents - Vladimir answers these and other questions.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

- The idea of ​​Gelepalmas arose a couple of years before the formation of the football team. In one of the cinemas of Gelendzhik there were two palm trees in tubs, they grew up in the cinema for forty years. When the building was undergoing reconstruction, no one needed the palm trees, and my friends and I volunteered to pick them up.

They attracted volunteers, with the help of which they took out palm trees, planted them near the sea, built a gazebo there. In this place artists, architects and people of other creative professions began to gather. In the new company, we began to come up with various ideas in order to somehow entertain ourselves. The reality in our country, it seems to me, is a little gloomy, but we can form our own reality around us, which will be more cool and fun. The creation of "Gelepalmas" is an attempt to make a holiday for people.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Nikolay Bagno

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Nikolay Bagno

I accidentally saw on Instagram that there was a set of teams to participate in the local championship . My friend always hurt football, even studied in Moscow as a football manager. So to create a team, we had good opportunities. For Gelendzhik, the tournament was important: it has been running for thirty-two years, sixteen teams are participating in it. We decided to try something new - why not? In order to collect the players, we had only two weeks.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

- In the first week we managed to find a coach, he used to play in FC Spartak Gelendzhik and just completed his professional career as a football player. The players also gathered quite quickly: these are young guys who are in the eleventh grade or have just graduated from high school. For example, Sanya (we call him that because the guy is very similar to

Sana'a from Manchester City

) is our young star. There are guys who work in the Ministry of Emergencies, on the border, in the fire department. It is symbolic that they became defenders in the team.

There is a rule in the tournament that each team in the amateur league can take on three players from FC Spartak Gelendzhik (the amateur championship takes place when the main club has a vacation). My friend, who was responsible for the sports part, understood that it was important to show the result, and therefore we needed the help of professional players. It was not easy to persuade them, but in the end we took the team forward, defender and goalkeeper. At the end of the tournament, when we became champions, they remembered that the first couple of trainings did not understand where they got, and doubted at night before the first game whether it was worth coming to it at all.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

- Our players trained systemically: one training session in the gym and two games on the field per week.

In addition, our training was open - every person, regardless of age and physical form, could come and practice with the team. People responded, and ultimately there were twenty-eight people in the application. Of course, there has always been a lot of work, but also a lot of humor. For example, we have a striker Vova, he did not miss a single training session, he lost eight kilograms. And we have a rule: if you come to five trainings in a row, then the coach should let you out in the game.

Vova could not score sixteen games in a row, and there were many chances: sometimes the ball got stuck in a puddle when he hit the empty net, sometimes he hit the crossbar or even ran past the ball at the crucial moment. We always trolled him. In the seventeenth round, a huge holiday happened for us - Vova scored. We were so happy as if we had won the championship.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Maxim Gligalo

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Maxim Gligalo

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Maxim Gligalo

- We worked a lot with the fans.

In Gelendzhik, it’s not customary to go for amateur football, although it always seemed to me that a huge number of people should come to the amateur league, especially in a small resort town. Fans who were close in spirit to us began to gradually come to our games. Entrepreneurs, creative people, photographers, architects pulled themselves in, families came to football. Once we did a penalty shootout and the winners were given tickets for the Krasnodar - Bayer match in the Europa League.

Our funny Instagram also attracted people.

Someone tells someone that he is interested and comes to the match, even if football is not close to him. He comes to see simply because he feels that this is the place where he will receive a lot of energy. Nobody used to chant chants, but now a group of people shout them and beat the drum. For those guys who previously played football only in the yard, this support was very powerful. This encouraged everyone, and they began to play to the bone crunch.

At the end of the championship, we did not lose a single match, we won fifteen games in a row.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

- We started by finding a company that made us a cool uniform. We rented a gym for physical training and a field for game training. We spent our own money on this, the sum is comparable to the month of two people living in Bali. We did not try to look for sponsors, as this is a new team - we understood that we had nothing to offer.

But now “Gelepalmas" should be of interest to sponsors, it is a living team, it has fans and vibrant social networks. But these are plans for next year.

Earning income at this stage is not possible. Yes, and in our case, it would simply destroy the whole idea, we would not have achieved what we wanted, if the attempt to earn money was paramount. If you have the opportunity to lead an unusual life, you have no right to turn out from this.

Forming a holiday around is a hobby. This is a story that gives you not money, but a crazy charge of emotions and a lot of communication.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Kristina Ipatova

- The main difficulty is the large number of people involved in the process. People to communicate with. We divided the areas of responsibility so that everyone does what he is best at.

When people began to believe in each other, everything turned into a powerful machine. But it took time.

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Sergey Tinyakov

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Sergey Tinyakov

“Our victory became a sensation”: 7 questions to the founder of an amateur football team

Photo: Sergey Tinyakov

- After you have taken the peak, there is only a path to the next peak. It so happened that in the amateur championship we immediately

reached a maximum of

. Our victory was a sensation for everyone.

This is a phenomenal success, because the championship runs thirty-two years and there are teams that have never won.

We have an offseason, and we are thinking about a social project that is not related to football. As for football, then everything changes. Our coach was invited to work as a second coach in the city team of FC Spartak Gelendzhik, five players from Gelepalmas, who used to chase the ball in the yard, will now play in a professional team where they pay salaries. Therefore, we will be closer to the beginning of the season to decide how to develop further, look for new players and make new plans.

Founders of the team : Alexey Gatsko, Vladimir Bodrikov.
Trainer: Igor Cherkashin.
Players: Yegor Ridosh, Sergey Fedorovich, Sergey Skakunov, Mikhail Chernenko, Andrey Yarysh, Magamed Magomedov, Alexey Potapenko, Dmitry Khrisostomov, Nikos Ashkalov, Dmitry Semenyuk, Alexander Khusainov, Vladimir Chelyaev, George Caravas, Eugene Nikolaenko, Pavel Potanin, Vladimir Skakunov, Maxim Kryuchenko, Evgeny Fidonyan, Roman Last ovnik, Rustem Emadinov.

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