Thank God, Georgian Weiss managed to transfer…

today 06:45

Already tomorrow, Slovan Bratislava will play in the opening match of the first preliminary round of the Champions League 2022/23 against Dinamo Batumi. The Georgian champion is largely unknown in Slovakia. All the more, the Whites can use the previous experience of coach Vladimír Weiss Sr., as well as the pair of Georgian legionnaires Guram Kashi – Džaba Kankav, with football in this country in preparation for the important matchup.

Before the duel with Batumi, we talked to stopper Kašia, who celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday.

At the last minute, the sports director of Batumi wanted to transfer Slovan stopper GURAMA KAŠIU

How is the team prepared for the new season and especially for the two matches of the first preliminary round of the Champions League?

“We had an excellent training camp and we still have a few days ahead of us to prepare well for an extremely important meeting. We have to be ready, we have no other choice. I believe that new players will also benefit. I am looking forward to the new season. We all realize that we need success in the European Cup to fulfill the ambitions of the club and our fans. It also means a certain pressure for us, but we have to deal with it.”

When the Champions League draw took place a few weeks ago, were you pleased that Slovan got an opponent from Georgia?

“Actually not at all. Firstly, because they are a very good team, against whom we will have a difficult time. Secondly, because it is a club from my country and I always keep my fingers crossed for Georgian teams in the European Cup. So, to be honest, I am definitely not happy that we are playing against Batumi. We are waiting for a team that has made incredible progress in recent times. However, I will do my best to help my team progress.”

Dinamo Batumi is a relatively unknown team in Slovakia. Last year he managed to win the premier championship title. What else can you reveal?

“The club is from a part of Georgia where football is extremely popular. In the last five years, the team has been constantly improving, culminating in winning the league trophy. The club built a new 20,000-seat stadium, which will be filled by fanatical fans in all – even league – matches. The sports director is my friend Vladimer Dvališvili.”

Is your former national team teammate behind the team’s current success?

“I can’t answer that. However, the system he works in clearly works. He is only a year older than me, but he has already successfully moved into the career path and is doing a great job. He brought in excellent players and created a well-functioning machine. The fans are satisfied and the team has an excellent atmosphere. The team is once again leading the top competition and is on the best way to defend the title.”

Does Dinamo Batumi have a strong owner when the club can afford to sign the best players in the country?

“I know the owner. He loves football and he loves the city. He invests the funds in the right way. It is important for the club that it improves gradually. He doesn’t go after big names, but scouting works well for him. There are also excellent legionnaires in the squad, for example the Brazilian striker Flamarion. In the middle of the field, there are several young talented domestic footballers.”

Do you also know coach Gia Gegučadze?

“I was still very young when he coached Dinamo Tbilisi. At that time, I was in the B-team, where he also flashed, so we worked together. He is a very intelligent coach whose strong weapon is the tactical side. He likes to play attractive football, with high attacks and frequent possession of the ball. Now in Batumi, he has the right types of players for this method.”

If we could still touch individuals, who will pose the greatest danger?

“Definitely Dzhighauri, he is very good. Then there is Davitashvili, who played excellent matches in the national team. In defense, there are three players from the national team: left back Azarovi, stopper Kobachidze and right back Čabradze. However, I could name others. At the same time, it means that the team has a lot of experience. There are great players in every formation who create the necessary balance. Maybe it sounds too positive on my part, but it is a club from my country. Although, it does not mean at all that Dinamo is better than Slovan. We also have a very good team.”

Martin Regáli (Ružomberok), Guram Kašia and Dávid Hrnčár (both Slavs)

Source: TASR

So it will be a big challenge for both clubs, right?

“Definitely. I am an optimist that we can move forward with our coach and our players. Although it is clear that it will not be easy.”

If we were talking about the chances of advancement, what are they?

“I’m definitely not a good punter, so I won’t say any numbers. However, I believe that we will be better and go to the next stage.”

Is it good news for Slovan that Chviča Kvaracchelia managed to transfer to Napoli and will no longer play in the 1st preliminary round of the Champions League?

“I was praying that he would go to SSC and miss our doubleheader. He is an incredible talent. A left winger who does incredible things with the ball. If I had to compare him to someone, he is like Vlado Weiss. Of course, I don’t want to say that he is better, but he is younger…”

Did you get a lot of phone calls from Georgia after the draw?

“Definitely. Sports director Batumi Dvališvili was among the first to call me. He was investigating whether he could get me into the team, he asked under what conditions I would come. I replied that he couldn’t afford me… I really had a lot of people calling and writing to me. And not only journalists, but also Dinamo fans.

We played several national team matches in Batumi, and people there like footballers from the national team. They tried to convince me not to play at full strength against Dinamo. I say I know what needs to be done to promote the right team… Of course, I see it with humor. I will, of course, go all out on the pitch.”

What match do you expect in the opening matchup?

“The tactics will be determined by the coaches, I am not the right person for this question. We’ll see, maybe the visitors won’t play with aggressive pressing right away and will wait. We have to use all the experience, thanks to which we will be able to analyze what the opponent will prepare for us. So, if you had asked me after ten minutes of the first game, I would have been able to answer you better.”

How important is the fact that the team will be prepared for the opponent by Vladimír Weiss Sr., a coach who knows a lot about Georgian football, for Slovan?

“Vladimir Weiss and I have known each other for a very long time, and he also knows Georgian players, especially the national team. He also knows Dinamo’s coach, who coached the twenty-one team at the time. I believe he will come up with something magical and especially effective. He has the skills to do it.”

How did you feel in the summer when he left Slovan’s bench for two days?

“I was sad. However, shortly after that I was happy because he came back. He brought me here, before that he trained me in the national team for five years. He’s like my soccer dad. He takes care of us and we try to give it back to him on the field.”

When you came to Slovan last year, you had certain ideas. How much did they fill?

“I am happy to be in Slovan. We have had a good season, the group stage of the Conference League can be considered a success. We won the title early and especially deservedly. We only regret the loss in the cup final. Next season we want to fix it, we want to defend the title and get into the group of the European Cup again.”


In the rematch in Georgia, Guram Kašia will have numerous support in the audience of Batumi Stadium. “My family will definitely come to see. What is already very clear is that it will be incredibly hot and there will also be high humidity. We will definitely sweat a lot,” smiled the former defender of Dinamo Tbilisi, Vitesse Arnhem, San Jose and FC Lokomotive Tbilisi.

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