Andrei Zharenkov: «It is nice to get to know about their success»


How many hockey coaches can say that they trained a future Stanley Cup Champion? Andrei Nikolaevich Zharenkov definitely can. It was he who practically persuaded young Misha Sergachev to try his hand at hockey. He also shared his knowledge and experience to future KHL and VHL players – you know these names for sure: Timur Khafizov, Alexei Puzanov, Adel Sadykov, Arsen Khisamutdinov.

– Andrei Nikolaevich, do you follow the successes of your players?
– Now I have my own team of guys born in 2009, so I do not have much time for this. But when information comes across, of course, it is nice to get to know about their success.

– Several guys from that team played in the KHL and VHL teams. How did you notice their potential?
– It just somehow turned out that it was a good age. For the first I got this opportunity to build hockey team. We reviewed a lot of players. Then there was a hockey boom, more than 120 people came. And then many connected their lives with this sport.

As for the guys’ prospects, I will say that Misha Sergachev had good physical characteristics. He was taller than everyone else, and very coordinated. Although he came a year later than all the other boys, after 2 months he caught up with everyone, and after 3 months he was playing in the first line. Timur Khafizov also had good qualities, he had athletic parents, it was clear that he would play. Arsen Khisamutdinov, joined my team at the age of 14. Adel Sadykov came from Kazan when he was 13 years old. After graduating from our school, Sibir drafted him at the KHL Junior Draft. Irek Gaifutdinov, who now works as a coach at our hoceky school, is also my student.

– Mikhail Sergachev is the only native of Tatarstan, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion. Do you feel particularly proud?
– The most interesting thing is that his parents refused to bring him to hockey several times. He and my daughter went to the same group in kindergarten. I immediately noticed him, a tall guy, a head taller than everyone else. I talked to his parents, then I talked to him. It all worked out so well in the end. Lucky case.

– Are your current players motivated by the fact that they have Misha Sergachev's coach?
– Mikhail, we must give him credit, although he did not graduate from our school, he considers himself a student of Neftekhimik. He helps the school a lot. You know, he purchased exercise equipment for the gym, which was renovated by HC Neftekhimik. It is great because our young hockey players have athletic training. Sergachev bought an entire section at the Neftekhim Arena and is distributing tickets for this section to those who, for financial reasons, are not able to attend Neftekhimik games. This is an excellent example of club patriotism and respect for our school.

This is a good example and guideline for our current players who work hard and want to achieve the same success. There are guys who come from Chelny every day to practice, can you imagine how charged they are? Some guys have great potential. But hockey is a sport where a lot depends on luck and on the coach with whom they will continue to work.

– What rules do you follow in raising children? What is the key thing besides skating and physics?
– First of all, this is psychological preparation. There are guys who have great skills, but at the same time, they are not ready for puck battles. It is necessary for them to be ready. Being able to cope with emotions is a trend in modern hockey. You need to be ready to play against any opponent.

– Is it difficult to say goodbye and let your students go into the big world?
– I have been coaching for more than 20 years. I raised players born in 1998, and now I have players born in 2009, they are already 15 years old. I took them from the very beginning, it is comfortable to raise them from young age till graduation. Time flies. The main thing is to know for yourself that you were able to do your job honestly and put everything you could into it. After that, you let them go with a light heart.

Back to the list