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Arabuli excited by Georgia's golden generation

Published: Monday 22 July 2013, 16.16CET
Excited by the current generation of players emerging within Georgia, forward Bachana Arabuli believes the nation's footballing prospects are beginning to look bright.
by Dmitri Mamykin
from Kaunas
Arabuli excited by Georgia's golden generation
Georgia captain Bachana Arabuli ©Sportsfile
Published: Monday 22 July 2013, 16.16CET

Arabuli excited by Georgia's golden generation

Excited by the current generation of players emerging within Georgia, forward Bachana Arabuli believes the nation's footballing prospects are beginning to look bright.

Captain Bachana Arabuli told UEFA.com that Georgia will be looking to improve against Group B leaders Serbia despite an admirable scoreless draw on their tournament debut against 2010 winners France.

Giorgi Tsetsadze's team reached their first finals having emerged from an elite round section ahead of England, Scotland and Belgium and Georgia's No10 said that the battling instincts honed in that tough section have served them well at the finals in Lithuania. 

"I really enjoyed the fighting spirit our team showed in the first match," the FC Dila Gori attacker explained. "We battled hard in all areas of the pitch, although we need to improve our transitional play from defence to attack."

With a squad including several of the side who reached the 2012 European U17 Championship semi-finals, Arabuli believes the fact that Georgia have now added qualification for the older tournament bodes well for the future of the game in his country. "I really think this group of players can achieve a lot," he said.

"A lot of players from this squad also represented Georgia at U17 level. What is more, the players from that team who didn't make the U19s this time around are very good as well. So I really believe that a lot of these players can play at the highest level and one day become a valuable part of the Georgian senior team."

Explaining the "pride" he feels on wearing the captain's armband in Lithuania, Arabuli added that doing so in front of a noisy visiting support in Alytus last Saturday enhanced the experience even further.

"It's an incredible feeling [being captain]," he said. "During the first match we heard a lot of noise created by Georgian fans at the stands. They were shouting in Georgian and we saw a Georgian flag. This was a real morale booster. I'd like to thank our fans. I really felt like we are playing in Georgia. Hopefully it's going to be the same in our next match against Serbia."

For that encounter Arabuli insists that his side have more than enough knowledge to know what to expect against Ljubinko Drulović's charges, who opened their campaign with a victory against Turkey, Georgia's final opponents in the section.

"We didn't watch the DVD of the Serbia versus Turkey match. We don't really need to as because we played against Serbia twice recently and know them very well. We will try to control the game and to enjoy the majority of possession."

Last updated: 22/07/13 22.48CET

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