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Author: Alexei Yestafieev (Soviet Sport Newspaper)
Translated By: Yevgeniy (Eugene) Belashchenko
Date: October 5th, 2000
VADIM TARASOV: The Path to the Russian National Team has been Five Plus Years Long.

After replacing almost half the team, the renewed Metallurg Nk, which has been taken over by a new head coach, Andrei Sidorenko, who by the way is also the only non Russian coach in the Super League, has been playing surprisingly well in the first phase of the season.  In any case, with a goalie like Vadim Tarasov and a developing forward and recent leader of the National Junior Team of Russia, Yevgeniy Lapin, this is probably not unexpected. 


The first match of Vadim Tarasov for Metallurg Novokuznetsk was in September of 1995 against Torpedo Ust Kamenogorsk.  In Ust Kamenogorsk along with a current teammates Alexei

Koledayev, Artem Argokov and Yevgeniy Pupkov, the very young at the time Tarasov started to play, and as a defenseman.  In 1994, along with Nikolai Myshagin, he left Kazakhstan for a season for a small Kusbass village Gramateino, and from there he arrived in Novokuznetsk, where Myshagin was invited for the post of the head coach. 


V. Tarasov: In 1994 I was 18, I played for the Kazakhstan’s National Team at the Asian Cup.  In August of 1995 I assumed Russian citizenship in Novokuznetsk.  In my passport there is an appropriate entry about this.  At first I was told: you have to wait two years, until you are allowed to play for Russia.  Now it seems to be five years.  But even this period has already passed.  Who did not tackle this question : Sergei Nikolayev, and Roman Khairetdinov (former head coach and GM of Metallurg Nk, -- AE ), the current management of Metallurg also promised to help.  It is possible that something depends on the management of the Kazakh Hockey Federation, I am not entirely sure. 


In any case, it is strange that a goalie who is considered the best in the Super League over the past two seasons by many experts, can not play for the Russian National Team.  If he was a soccer player, the problem would have probably been solved already.  


V. Tarasov:  Currently our leadership is about 90 percent hard work and only then the abilities of the coaches, players and luck.  Under Sidorenko we are training somewhat differently, but the main principle is the same, enormous effort.

In the August of this year Tarasov went to North America for the first time, spending two weeks at the School of Vladislav Tretiak.  I will remind that in June ’99 he was selected by the Montreal Canadians 196th overall.


V. Tarasov: I missed the first week of training at Tretiak’s school: I had to play two matches at the Stal Cup before our fans.  Still, the interaction with the greatest goalie forced me to look differently at many things.


This past summer Tarasov ended up in the center of a grandiose scandal, signing a contract with Avangard Omsk, though the period of his contract with Novokuznetsk has not yet expired.  The biggest city of Kuzbass was in shock: the fans did not want to lose their hero and the team their undoubted leader, who the 8,000 capacity Palace always met with loud ovations.


V. Tarasov: No one should end up in such as situation.  I am at fault for the full 100 percent of it, I should have though about what I was doing.  This is a lesson for me that will last my entire life.


Alexei Yestafieev from Novokuznetsk

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