Karolis Skinkys

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Karolis Skinkys

2020 Lap 13 11:10

Karolis Skinkys Interview | Off The Pitch

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2020 Lap 14 17:56

Karolis Skinkys: ką reiškia dirbti sporto direktoriumi milijonus gerbėjų turinčiame klube

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2020 Lap 14 18:25

Karolis Skinkys - "We Have All The Ingredients For A Successful Season"
https://iftwc.com/karolis-skinkys-we-ha ... ul-season/

Recently, Mr. Karolis Skinkys, the newly earmarked Sporting Director of Kerala Blasters FC, illustrious for leading FK Sūduva from scratch to earn the championship, found some time from his hustling schedule to share his insights on some of the questions that IFTWC had presented him with.

Mr. Skinkys expressed his happiness when Kerala Blasters FC approached him last year. He said, “Right from the beginning of the communication, I felt trust in the people here, hence the decision to join the organisation was easy. The club has a beautiful vision and I would like to thank the management for trusting me to carry out this vision. I’m very happy to have gotten this opportunity to come to India and feel very motivated to achieve some goals with the club.”

He also said that he was looking for a new project and a fresh challenge, “we managed to win the Lithuanian League 3 times, and with a limited budget we had there, it was hard to expect an achievement more than what we managed at home.”

When asked about the aspects Mr. Skinkys liked here, albeit a series of disappointing seasons, he said, “Kerala Blasters has all the ingredients to be a successful club. In addition to my personal motivation to win a title abroad, I was very happy with the overall environment at the club, passionate supporters and the professionalism of the league. All these factors made my decision easy.”

Mr. Skinkys then talked about how he is going to implement his ideas here to achieve glory, and said, “Looking back at the issues, is pointless at this moment. We now need to think and prepare for the future.

“Some changes have already been implemented. We will now pay more attention in bettering specific protocols like injury prevention, speedy recovery, player fitness and diet etc. It is important to create the right tools and a supportive ecosystem to achieve the desired results.”

The series of disappointing seasons has let the eminent Manjappada down and the crowd numbers have lessened over the years now. On this note Mr. Skinkys said, “Change is a continuous and natural process. Trust of the fans can only be gained back by doing a good job and showing honesty in the efforts we put in for the club. Success will come around.”

Kerala Blasters FC has lost some of their most crucial members such as CEO Viren D’Silva, club captain Sandesh Jhingan who have played some of the most pivotal roles in the history of the club. On this subject matter, Mr. Skinkys said, “Sometimes in life there are situations that are unfortunate, and it is pointless to force and change the natural way of life. They are true professionals and as a club, we have great respect for them.

“As mentioned in my previous interviews, Jhingan’s departure is very painful to me as well. I respect him as an individual. We are in a good enough relationship to stay in touch for the future. This is not the time for us to look back but to move forward to achieve the goals of the club.

“Our target is to have a good team that can best represent the philosophy of the club and carry out the goals set out for Kerala Blasters in the upcoming ISL. We have already announced most of our foreign players and will soon be revealing the remaining squad members too,” he said.

On the note of COVID-19 affecting the sporting system all around the world, clubs have come across a lot of hurdles and challenges. Mr. Skinkys expressed his views on this as, “Without a doubt, all the processes were affected by the pandemic, including recruitment and the season preparation. Not being available in Kerala ahead of the preseason has also been very challenging. However, this is life. Using alternatives like online communications, we have effectively utilised our time to make headway with preparations.”

When asked about how does he plan in incorporating the prospects of the youth footballing system while keeping up the team quality, he said, “As a club, young players are a priority. We have always focussed on giving them a platform to showcase their talent, but nothing, including age, is above quality. We trust in the talent that Indian players have, but the performance of the players are equally important.

“As a club, our core philosophy is to have a team that truly represents Kerala. While we are proud to have fielded 6 local players for the 1st time in the ISL last season on the pitch, it is our vision to continue nurturing football in Kerala and contribute to its growth. Young Blasters is one such initiative that has been commenced with a long-term vision of developing young talents from Kerala.”

And to conclude with the interview, he conveyed his aim for the longer run as to be a winning organisation and to make Kerala Blasters FC the most attractive club for any Indian player.

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2020 Lap 14 18:27

Karolis Skinkys - Indian Youngsters At Kerala Blasters Have Attracted Me The Most
https://iftwc.com/indian-youngsters-at- ... attracted/

Renowned TV anchor Khuri Irani teamed up with Karolis Skinkys, the Sporting Director of Kerala Blasters FC in a recently organized interview on Manjappada Instagram live.

Khuri started the live session by asking Karolis about his decision to accept the position at Kerala Blasters, to which Karolis responded saying, “After the club approached me, I did my research and it wasn’t too difficult to make my decision. Previously, I spent 6 years at FK Suduva in Lithuania, and hence I needed a fresh and new challenge to explore and test myself.”

“It’s not any specific work I do. The role of Sporting Director is wide. My job is to control and create different sporting activities including staff, recruitment of players, and deciding as well as taking decisions of the youth team.”, he added when he was asked about his role at the Kochi-based club.

In response to a question about the decision taken to bring Kibu Vicuna as head coach, he said, “This is the one sure decision taken after I have discussed with management. Before appointing Kibu we talked to his previously managed clubs and many other people close to him. Kibu has previously worked in India and knows the football market and the footballing atmosphere here in India. In other positions of technical staff, we always have looked up for professionals and mainly football ambitious persons.”

Talking about the long term philosophy of the club, “We’re trying to sign and keep players on long term contracts who have consistently performed well. It helps the team to improve more every year with the same set of players. Moreover, I have found a very positive mentality in Indian youngsters who are very eager to prove themselves. I am excited to look after their outcomes after the season ends”, he addressed his view about Indian young players.

Khuri continued the session by asking about the absence of fans this season and challenges in the pandemic situation, he said, “Fans are like emotions to players. Every player gets 90 minutes in front of fans where they can prove themselves. The presence of fans always has a positive impact on players. I really hope when we allow fans in the stadium, there will be no empty seats. Speaking about the pandemic, we are trying our best to make pre-season as good as possible. Normally a team needs at least six weeks to prepare, but here we are only getting two weeks where all Indians and foreign players can participate in training before the competition starts. It will be a bit hard to build Chemistry in such a short span. But players should also be smart as they should be injury-free because it has been 7 months since they haven’t been on the field. This increases the risk of injury.”

“Mental condition is the most important factor here in these circumstances. Mental conditioning starts with well-maintained things, where players don’t have reasons to be angry. Six months is a long period to live at the hotel and just play matches, so we have already planned to make some days more interesting with different types of activities excluding football. I have to specially mention our medical team who are doing a great job helping us to follow all medical protocols in this COVID-19 period.” he answered, after being asked about handling the mental health of the team.

Discussing foreign signings, he said, “We have chosen them looking up at their experience. Quality is the most important as I think. Also it strange rule about choosing one Asian player. This makes the market more unusual as these players expect to get overpaid. But in another aspect, when a team goes for AFC competitions you should have one Asian player. I will be happy to discuss with people who made this one mandatory Asian player rule to make some changes.”

The live session concluded as Karolis left his message to fans saying, “We all are bonded to move forward step by step. Unfortunately, fans are not with us but we will give our best to entertain you all.”

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2020 Lap 14 18:28

Kerala Blasters' Karolis Skinkys wary of injuries in pre-season
https://www.goal.com/en/news/kerala-bla ... rqhcq8esl3

Kerala Blasters sporting director wants his team to stop thinking about trophies and work hard...

After what was an injury-hit 2019-20 season for Kerala Blasters, the club's sporting director Karolis Skinkys is cautious about the shortcomings of a pre-season amid the Coronavorus pandemic.

The Kochi-based club, who are in Goa for pre-season ahead of the kick-off to the seventh season of Indian Super League (ISL) on November 20, will have only around two weeks with the whole squad training together. While the foreign players will all have arrived by Monday, they all need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in accordance with the guidelines due to the pandemic.

During an Instagram live conversation with Manjappada, the Blasters sporting director said, "Our Indian players are working hard. Some foreigners are in quarantine, three of them are travelling to India. That is the situation all around the world, it is not ideal. There are risks (of injuries due to short pre-season) but we need to deal with that and move on.

"Normally you prepare teams in 6-8 weeks. It is not a standard situation, it is difficult. It is a big challenge for the coaching staff. We need very good communication and understand that this is not a typical situation. Nobody knows how (it will turn out). You can have a short pre-season but we cannot have any football for seven months, like our Indian players here. This is not a life of professional footballers. This is (a reason also) for so many injuries."

"We still have time, we will play three more friendly games," Skinkys added. Blasters defeated Hyderabad 2-0 in their first friendly of the pre-season on Sunday. Rahul KP scored both the goals.

Skinkys has had to oversee a lot of changes at the club after taking charge earlier this year. One of the first moves was to decide on a new head coach to succeed Eelco Schattorie who led the team to seventh on the table last season.

"Of all the decisions I have taken, this (appointing Kibu Vicuna) was the one I was most sure about. I know the feedback from his previous clubs, he has already adapted to India. I am very happy we finally reached an agreement and now we're working together.

"The most important thing to address (this season) was COVID-19 and it was a crucial point in many of the decisions. We did not know when the season will happen. Not every player who left di so for sporting reasons, they also leave due to circumstances. We are professionals, we try to create the best team possible."

He has also advised his team to stop thinking too much about trophies and focus on working hard every day.

"The first thing to do is to not speak about the trophy, let others speak about it. We need to work hard every day. It is a different team and staff. I trust Kibu's qualities in this case.

"This season, we must play 11 vs 11 and not 12 vs 11. So we lose that (crowd) advantage."

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