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28. November 2014

Voskoboinikov: playing in China was great experiance

Nõmme Kalju’s and Premium league top scorer in 2013, Vladimir Voskoboinikov returns to Kalju after succesful season in China with aim to help Kalju become champion again.

Signed with Chinese first league club Qindao Hainiu in Feburary, he helped club to have succesful season. Club reached goal to stay put in first league. In local cup tournament, club reached semi-final. Vosko played in 22 games, scoring 6, giving 4 assists and earning 4 penalties.

Did loan contract to China, offered by Nõmme Kalju, came as a suprise to you?
I knew there will be offers, but the one coming from China, suprised me. There were also options to leave Kalju in summer, but I decided to stay. After good season in Estonia I recieaved chance to go to China and I took it.

How was your season in China, were you happy with your decision to go there?
It was good decision and I am happy about it. Also I am satisfied with our teams performances. Club, where I played has existed only two years and it was our first season in first league. In Chinese Cup tournament we reached semi-final and we also reached our goal in league – we didn’t drop out.

What is the level of Chinese football?
In my opinion level there is higher than in Estonia, especially those team who aim to go to top league. There were five or six teams like that. Most clubs are in quite same level and competition is heavy.

What was your life like in China? How did you spend your free time there? 
Before going to China, I didn’t know anything about life in there, I was only heard of citys Peking and Shanghai. I lived in town called Qingdao, what was resort city and life was like in paradise. I was given 4 room apartment by the club and despite it was big city, I lived near team hotel and stadium.

Qindao was not ordinary Chinese city. It was built by Germans, later was added Chinese culture and they have mixed here. Definitly one of the most beautiful citys in China, there was always something to discover. Obiously we visited Great Wall of China.

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How was the communication in club, with foreigns and locals?
I didn’t have to learn Chinese language with such short time. Every team has a translator, who translates Chinese-English. Also there was a big help from our Scottish assistant coach, who however left to he’s home country because of family reasons. We had three foreigns in club and we were all helped by translator and I felt very well in club.

Describe the team, what was the atmosphere there?
Teams inside chemistry was very good, we had no problems. We had a lot of youth players in team. Chinese are very friendly, always ready for work and listen. Very peaceful team.

Adding to that, we had a very famous head coach, Su Maozhen, who went to trial in Manchester United and broke he’s ankle there. Sir Alex Ferguson later invited him to coaching course, cause he spoke English well.

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What was the atmosphere in games, how big was the attendance?
Atmosphere was great! Stadiums in China are very modern, only 1-2 older ones, but most of them are new and nice. People are very intrested in visiting games, the average attendance is about 15 000-20 000. In the last game of the season there was attendance of 35 000 – 40 000. People were really nice, also towards opponent team.

Tell us about something interesting that happened to you?
In the beggining phase of season we played in city called Shenzhen. In the matchday it started to rain and the ground was under a lot of water, but referee decided not call of game! There was so much water as if we were playing in swimming pool! Luckily I am tall, but some shorter guys were really strugling, cause the they were knee-deep in water. Game in “swimming pool” ended with 0:0.

I remember that after the game opponent team’s captain,  foreign player, went to the referee and said: “It’s possible to play in the pitch like in China.” It was a great experiance!

You have played in Belgium, Russia, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Georgia. What impression did China leave?
China is very progressed country with a lot of people. I can honestly say, I did not know quite anything about China, but it was great experiance. Their country and culture leaves very good impression. I suggest everybody, who has a change, visit Asia, China.

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Nõmme Kalju had difficult season, lacked goalscorers after you left. How would you evaluate Kalju’s season?
I observed Kalju’s results and watched some games. Season started with dissapointment, as win over Infonet was turned into technical loss. In the middle of season team the team was back in top and i thought that with added players like Mikk Reintam and Martin Vunk they can hold onto top spot. But then Levadia and Sillamäe also showed their nature and we finished season with dissapointment. I really hoped to see Kalju become champion, but they couldn’t do it.

Now that you are back in Kalju, what are your thoughts ahead of season 2015?
Despite where I play, in China, Russia or Estonia, professional player must always aim high. I am optimistic ahead of next season and we definitly will play for Estonian Cup and Premium league title.

Vladimir Voskoboinikov
Nickname: Vosko
Date of birth: 02.02.1983 (31 years old)
Birth of place: Tallinn, Estonia
Height/weight: 188cm/83kg
Positsion: striker

Vosko