On the occasion of the number of 6 Cypriot players who competed in yesterday's semi-final
Kakoullis, Loizou, Panagiotou, Koussoulos celebrate the Ukrainian's goal with Bezus
One of the events that were highlighted in relation to yesterday's magnificent – from a psychological point of view – qualification of Omonia over APOEL was that during the match 6 Cypriot footballers participated, namely, Nikolas Panagiotou, Yiannis Kousoulos, Loizos Loizou, Panagiotis Zachariou Andronikos Kakoullis, Charalambos Charalambous. We do not include the naturalized Fotis Papoulis.
Because, unfortunately, several times we sports editors are not consistent in what we write or are superficial and develop a topic depending on the result of a match, you can be almost sure that if Omonia did not qualify, no one would report on the topic. As if the result changes a given fact.
Stavros Papastavrou had stated that in the future he wanted to see the first team staffed in a large percentage by the academies
The presence of so many Cypriots in a crucial match is certainly to the credit of Sofronis Augustis who contributed the most to the qualification. But this image came to resemble a “project”. In recent years – since 2018 to be precise – Omonia has given great importance to its academies.
Berg the first violin
Stavros Papastavrou had stated that in the future he wanted to see the first team staffed in a large percentage by the academies. He didn't stop at words and gave the team the supplies to gradually put this into practice… Of course, no matter how much work was done by a group of people, the first violin in all this was Henning Berg.
In addition to the work itself, there was excellent cooperation between the first team coaches and the academy coaches. Hennig Berg attached great importance to the youngsters and through his partners in the first team asked the head coach of the Academy to send him players to first team for training. Some were not chosen to be in the preparation, Now you will tell me that only Omonia did this? Of course not. But Henning Berg did them because he really wanted to highlight footballers and not to do them, either for the sake of being seen or for the training to come out. Through this environment the young ones built their talent, improved, matured – as far as they could based on the time they worked – and at some point they were called upon to utilize their qualifications in a highly competitive environment. And they succeeded.
Omonia in the 2020-21 season won the championship with young children having a substantial contribution to the conquest. Because the coach trusted them and threw them into the match in difficult moments. Omonoia with this achievement became an example to follow for other teams who started to give importance to their academies
Who he promoted
We remind you that Hennig Berg during his tenure established Andronikos Kakoullis (3.5.2001), Loizos Loizou (18.7.2003) and Marino Tzioni (16.7.2001), who now plays in Kansas City while he showed (in Omonia, because previously he was in Anorthosis with minimal participation) and established Nikolas Panagiotou (12.5.2000)
He gave enough participation time to Charalambos Charalambous (4.4.2002), which continues with great success progressing to a significant degree and maturing at the same time . He has even competed in the men's national team.
He has also given participation time to Andreas Savvas (21.7.2004) Konstantinos Venizelos (5.7.2004) Andreas Asimenos (2.7.2004) Konstantinos Christou (19.4.2003.) Angelos Zeukis (15.4.2003) Andreas Evangelou (20.9.2004) Iakovos Laos (10.10. 2003), Kyriakos Chrysomilis (4. 1.2004).
Konstantinos Christou and Andreas Asimenos are in MEAP, Angelos Zeukis in Olympiakos, Andreas Evangelou in PAEK and Iakovos Laos in PO Onisilos Achyronas .
But the “project” is currently not working as before. It has faded. He seems to have bogged down in terms of his progress and development over the last year. Essentially since Henning Berg left there has not been a coach in Omonia who has shown interest in utilizing young players and continued the project in terms of player promotion The fact that since he left we have not seen a young player promoted to the first team possibly it should not be a coincidence
Neil Lennon was …elsewhere, and Yannick Ferrera has the excuse that he came at a very bad time for the team and justifiably had other priorities. We are waiting to see how Sofronis Augustis will act. In such a “project” the attitude of the coach of the first team determines a lot. If she is not positive and active, nothing happens. Talents, without support, will either be lost or end up in teams of lesser categories. Let's not forget that things have been made more difficult for the youngsters with the establishment of the number of 17 non-Cypriot players in the teams as decided by the bright know-it-alls in a show of ….renouncing their union interests.