Oleg Bratash was originally planned to coach U20 national team, succeeding Igor Larionov. However, Zubov has been named head coach. Along with Alexander Titov, Vladimir Filatov, Bratash will continue to be part of the coaching staff.
“I am ready to work in this role at the World Junior Championship. I think that our coaching staff has enough knowledge and experience to work at such a large tournament, we have a talented team and we’re preparing for the competition,” Zubov said.
Bratash said about the change: “In order to effectively prepare for the World Junior Championship, Sergei Zubov has been declared the team’s head coach. We will have a lot of conversations with organizers at the tournament. There will be strict Covid-19 protocols. Sergei is fluent in English due to his American experience. He has also coached in KHL. These aren’t major changes.”
Zubov is well-versed in the World Juniors from another region, having won silver with the Soviet Union in 1990 and gold in 1989. The NHL veteran defenceman was awarded Olympic gold in 1992, the Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers and 1999 with the Dallas Stars.
After 12 years spent with the stars, he went back to Russia to complete his final season at SKA St. Petersburg. He was the KHL’s highest-scoring defenceman. As an assistant coach, he began his coaching career and was promoted to head coach in 2015/2016. Later he coached league foes HK Sochi before he resigned from Dinamo Riga a month ago. Earlier this month he served as men’s national team head coach at the Karjala Tournament in Finland.
Russian U20 national soccer team will meet at Novogorsk, outside Moscow, on December 1st. After medical screenings, they will hold a training camp between 4 and 14 December. They will then play an exhibition match against VityazPodolsk of the KHL. The camp has 34 Russian players, many of whom were born in 2002. Matvei Michkov (16 years old) is also on the roster. The team will depart for Canada on 15 December.