With an interview appeared on York City FC website, Estonian international Sander Puri (included in Magnus Pehrsson call-ups list for clash on the 5th against Gibraltar) has talked about the expectations regarding the UEFA Euro 2016 draw and the campaign that will start in September. As any other Estonian, he has a dream to arrive to the final stage thanks to the enlarged number of participants.
"The top two teams qualify for the tournament straight away and the third placed team goes into the play-offs. That’s the main target now as there’s a better chance to get into the European Championships."
A chance Estonia almost grabbed in 2011 when their hopes and dreams were crashed by Ireland and Hungarian referee Kassai: "We made history in the last qualifying stages as we finished second in the group behind Italy to make the play-offs before Ireland beat us.’’
The World Cup 2014 qualifies did not gifted the Estonian fans the same emotions though: "the World Cup qualifying stage that has just gone we didn’t do as good as we played well but we didn’t manage to get in second or third position. This qualification we’ll try again and hopefully we can do better than last time."
The Estonian national team will gather in Tallinn’s popular pub ‘Biergarten’, the same venue used to award ‘Eesti Koondis’ most popular player, Konstantin ‘Kostja’ Vassilijev, with the Estonian International Best Goal of the Year 2013 prize.
Sander will watch it on tv from York: "All the time the draw is very interesting as you can see who you’ll be playing against in your group, so it will be good viewing. We have played against big teams before in qualifying and now we are in a better pot which is good for us.’’
Despite being called up for the first 2014 game against UEFA new member, Gibraltar, Sander has had little playing time at YCFC: "I’m looking to get some playing time but it’s the manager’s decision. If he picks me then I will be ready when called upon.
We’re doing well at the moment and we’re unbeaten in the past few games and the players who have played have done well. When the team are winning you tend to not change the side but I’ll be ready when my chance comes."
More about Sander Puri in 'Rumori di Spogliatoio'
Meeting Sander Puri, new York City FC defender
Sander Puri, me and the game (courtesy of York City FC)