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Alexei Kovalev, Russian ice hockey team captain and forward does not think he will make a hockey coach when he quits
He will shift to golf, to all appearances, he said to Novosti after today's team training. "It never occurred to me to be a coach. I'll be skating with kids or give occasional lessons-but no permanent job for me! I'll better leave all my secrets to my sons," he snapped. As soon as the World Cup games are over, Alexei will rush back to Russia to go on with preparations for the summer's flight round the world. "I mean to set out toward July's end, and I still have some problems to settle. I'll appear in certain golf meets, while in Russia-I hope it will be the President's Cup, May 30, and possibly, the Russian Cup. That's where I've usually come up. I have no reason to go to America just now," he went on. A golf career has its attractions, and he is eager to go on with it. Meanwhile, he is up to his ears in World Cup chores, and is too pressed to think about summer holidays, "The Russian team has a big job to do, and we all concentrate on it. The boys and I, we dined out after the latest meet. In fact, we've had only two meals all together since the Cup games started. We all know why we are here in Vienna. No one has taken a wife, let alone friends, along with him-we want to be on our own here. After all, the world games last a mere two weeks, and we'll have all the time we want to ourselves after it." Russians are meeting Finns in quarterfinals May 12, so Alexei has taken stock of the Finnish team. "We know to a T what they can do. We met them on many occasions within the season. I don't think they have any surprises up their sleeve. They will surely have some new boys, but they'll play on the same old arrangements. "They are a quick team, but if we get them stuck in the center, they'll have no end of problems. They need to pass the center at top speed-then they are good in attack. We must be as tough on them as we can in the center. That'll make the whole thing. We're not just to rush around. That will be a game of position tactics. We're not to let them get past us." The very idea of world quarterfinals rules out the appearance of middling players. "Our team spirit is what matters most now," said the captain. "I don't care whom we confront-if we make a well-knit team, we'll outdo any rival. We're leading the show now, and we have long deserved it." True, Vienna's Stadthalle, Cup venue, has poor ice. The Finnish team has every chance to get accustomed to it in no time, however, even though it has played only in Innsbruck, of all Austrian venues, for now. "I think all European players come on bad ice, now and then, and Finns are no exception. We Russians also have all sorts of ice-you never can tell," remarked Alexei. He has grudges against championship organizers for the scanty training time they grant. "A session lasts a mere forty-five minutes. Then, they open the door, and you've gotten to leave, or you're in for a fine. So we had no chance to stay on our own, and polish any tricks," he complained
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