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Club welcome two of Lokomotiv Tashkent's players to Highbury

21 September 2015

Pair will train with Barry Nicholson's development squad

In the next stage of the exciting development with Uzbek club partner, Lokomotiv Tashkent, the Cod Army recently welcomed Sergey Prokhorov and Rustam Nartadjiev to the Club.
Prokhorov and Nartadjiev are both members of Tashkent’s Under 21 side, and will spend three months at Highbury training with Barry Nicholson’s development squad.
Town agreed a partnership with the Uzbekistan outfit in April 2015, as they identified Fleetwood as an ideal role model for one of Central Asia’s biggest football markets.
Since then, Chief Executive Steve Curwood and Technical Director Gretar Steinsson have both visited the country to learn about their culture.
Tashkent have recently invested extensively in its football facilities, and turned to the Cod Army to assist with their long-term development.
Speaking ahead of their visit, Curwood said: “This is the next visible stage to the public of the relationship were forming with Lokomotiv Tashkent and our presence in Uzbekistan generally.
“A lot has been going on behind the scenes with regards the partnership, but this is the first visible sign that we can announce.
“Sergey Prokhorov and Rustam Nartadjiev, two of their Under 21 players, have come over here for a three month stay.
“Sergey is a centre half and Rustam is a goalkeeper, and they’re effectively coming over to experience England and British culture.
“They will be training with Barry Nicholson’s development squad for a few months to experience a different style coaching, and a whole new environment.
“It’ll be completely alien to anything they’ve been used to, and hopefully Barry and the lads who are working around them will too get some different influences from their schooling.”
The Uzbek youngsters will not be able to feature in any of Town’s competitive fixtures, but the plan is for them to experience practice matches.
“Due to FIFA regulations the players can’t physically take part in organised competitive fixtures, but the relationship is about far more than that.
“It’s about sharing ideas and principles, and understanding two different cultures of football as we work together to harness and share those ideas.
“The two players will stay at the chairman’s hotel accommodation in Blackpool, whilst we also enjoyed entertaining three senior figures from the club over the weekend.
“We have been talking with them about how we take things further from here, and there are some more exciting developments in the planning.
“As we take this relationship further it will benefit both clubs, and in the forthcoming months we will have more to announce.
"Both clubs do have a core strategy and a vision of what we’re trying to achieve from the partnership, which will come clear, however, sometimes the most exciting and fruitful part is about what you cannot see, and opportunities that arise while you are this sort of journey.
“In the meantime we’re looking forward to hosting two quality players who are currently playing at a competitive level in the Lokomotiv Tashkent Under 21 side."

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