CSKA youth team goalkeeper Pavel Ovchinnikov answered the questions from club’s press-cutting service
— Why did you move from athletics to football?
— There was a serious choice between professional athletics career or relatively amateur level of any kind of sport. I chose the second one, because I wanted to take part in team sports with ball. Fortunately, there was a football school “Strogino” nearby, I joined it when was 8 years old. Now I am surprised when I remember playing as a central defender. Was even technical guy (laughing). Was a captain several times. Dribbled everybody. I was confident and tried to check my skills on more serious level...
— ...going on trial in CSKA youth school?
— I wasn’t hesitating, because my family are red-blue fans. I was on trial by the eyes of Pavel Koval. He positively reported about my skills and I moved to the second team of my age.
— Was Pavel Koval, who trained Akinfeev, the man who decided to use you as a goalkeeper?
— No, I suggested playing as a central midfielder, but was just awful (smiling)! Then, when we were doing tests, it turned out that I have great jumping skills. I was suggested to play as a keeper. At first, it was even worse, I conceded every ball which was moving to me. But by the time the situation has been improved.
— Who was the man who re-qualified you from central midfielder to goalkeeper?
— My first goalkeeper coach was Andrey Miroshnichenko, who put his soul into me and even more. Now I remember exercises with a smile but it wasn’t even close to it when I was doing them.
— Seems like you became a goalkeeper without joy, because Ovchinnikov fits a goalkeeper surname.
— At first I didn’t pay attention to it, but when Sergey Ivanovich came to our club, everbody was making fun of it. I’ve read even that his is my father, but it’s not true. I’m chaffed without it.
Source: CSKA press-cutting service