Nicole Greuli: "The contract with Dynamo is a big event for me"

# Nikole Greuli
WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

Interview with the midfielder of the Dynamo youth team.

Nicole Greuli has been playing for the Dynamo reserve team for the second season. In 2024, she became one of the captains of the Dynamo youth team and in the final match of the preliminary stage of the Youth League with Strogino she led the team with the captain’s armband. In Nicole’s life there was not only football - she could easily have gone to another sport, but her love for playing with the ball and the perseverance of her first coach won out.

In a long interview, the 73rd number of the blue and white talks about the move to Dynamo and the trust of the coaches, recalls the time spent in Lightning and CSKA, and also sums up the results of the first round of the championship.

Nicole Greuli

Date of birth: 03/04/2003 (21 years old).

Place of birth: Moscow.

Position: midfielder (No. 73).

At Dynamo: from 2023.

Previous clubs: SSHOR №70 Molniya, WFC CSKA (all - Moscow).

In 2021, she became the champion of the Youth League as part of the CSKA Sports Club.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

“A smooth regular season, when everyone plays with everyone, is much more interesting”

— The first stage of the Youth League is completed. How did it turn out for the team and for you personally? What preliminary results can be drawn?

— We can say that the first stage turned out to be good for us - after all, we reached the top ten, where we can compete with other teams. The main thing is not to lose points. If I evaluate myself, then I probably could have played better, but in some places I didn’t succeed. The first matches were the most difficult - after rest and long preparation, but this always happens.

— The most difficult matches were against Zenit. At the second stage there will be such games with almost all teams. What needs to be done to provide a decent level of resistance to your opponents?

— Before the start of the season, we played a friendly match away against CSKA (3:0), also a good team. Possession of the ball was probably 80% to 20% against us, but we survived the first half and scored three goals in the second half. I think it’s possible to fight against all teams, you just need to prepare yourself for the fact that you’ll have to run a lot and fight until the end.

Of course, there was also a game with Lokomotiv (0:3), where we lost heavily, but it’s always more pleasant to remember the good things. They were probably not mentally prepared. Some young girls have caught up, some are just now starting to get playing practice, although they didn’t get it last year. I know from myself how difficult it is, since I didn’t play for two years, I sat on the bench at CSKA - it’s morally very difficult to get involved in the game when you are released for a short time in the second half, or even when you go on the field for the first time this season.

— You came out to the home match with Strogino with the captain’s armband - for the first time in your Dynamo career. What did this mean to you?

— It is clear that being a captain in a club like Dynamo is a big responsibility. This means encouraging the team, I have no problem with that. I really like to support the girls, set them up, and I think in this regard, the coaching staff is pleased with me.

— This season there are three equal captains in the youth team. How did you find out that you would be serving as captain from time to time?

— Before the start of the championship, the coaching staff decided to make three captains and chose Ulyana Ryzhikh, Arina Volobueva and me.

— The Youth League format has changed again. Do you like such innovations?

— To be honest, I liked the format two years ago without division into groups more. After all, a smooth regular season, when everyone plays with everyone, is much more interesting.

Now groups have appeared, strong teams like “Chertanovo” or “Ryazan-VDV” almost made it and ended up in the second ten. Some people, on the contrary, were very lucky - there was one strong team and three average opponents. Plus, it is not entirely clear why points are counted based on the results of the first round - this initially puts the participants in unequal conditions: someone will start the second stage with 6 points, and someone with zero.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

“The atmosphere in the team is much better. I guess we just grew up"

— This is your second season at Dynamo. Tell us how you moved to the club.

— Before moving to Dynamo, I played for CSKA for two years, but did not receive match practice. I understood that age was already approaching me and something needed to be done about it. I was very worried and worried about moving to another team, since we had a good team in CSKA. Unfortunately, there were problems that were not entirely of a sporting nature, so I decided to leave CSKA.

Then I received an offer from Dynamo. When I came to the club, I initially realized that I was, as they say, out of my element, as if this was not my thing. I came to the first training session in Novogorsk, when the team was just at pre-season training camp, and four days later they informed me that they were taking me. Two weeks later we flew to Turkey for the second training camp, where in the first match I was in the starting lineup.

— What was wrong with the adaptation? Why didn't everything go very smoothly?

— It was as if communication in the new team was not working out, it seemed that I would not be able to find a common language with both the coaching staff and the girls, but time, as they say, heals. Its OK now.

— The coaching staff in the youth team has changed, now the team is headed by Mikhail Kobyakov, who is assisted by Lyubov Komarova. How do you like working with them?

— Mikhail Yuryevich is a very good and experienced coach, I’m glad that he stayed. Lyubov Sergeevna, an equally experienced specialist, also came to us. I like her work and approach to the girls - she is a very sensitive person and a great coach.

— How are the training sessions going?

— Quite intense. We work a lot on speed with the ball, on quick decision-making, and work on interactions in attack. I like everything.

— What about the atmosphere in the team?

— Much better than last year. Everyone communicates with each other, and does not go in small groups, as was the case before. I guess we've just grown up. And we decided that if we want to really fight for something serious, we need to be a united team.

— Why, in your opinion, did this happen?

— I think because the youth team of 2022 rose to the Super League, and our team was created, in fact, from new and very different girls. Some communicated with someone, some did not. Now we understand that we cannot become a team alone, when everyone is for themselves, so we need to unite.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

“In total, I practiced fencing for about a year and a half”

— Let's rewind a little. Where did you play before moving to CSKA?

— I started playing in the Moscow SSHOR No. 70 “Molniya”, now girls from the Southern Football League play their matches there. This field is located just opposite my house, and that’s where I came for the first time.

— Why football, since you initially played a completely different sport?

— At school they told me that a women’s football section was opening. When I came there, the coach was a grandfather with a stick, there were a lot of mats in the hall that we ran on, as well as a wooden floor, although they showed something completely different on TV, and I imagined football differently. Then I decided to go into fencing.

— Not the most typical sport, to be honest.

— It turned out, one might say, by accident - a coincidence of circumstances. My classmates, a boy and a girl, were members of the Russian fencing team, and their grandmother was the coach of the team, the champion of Russia, a very honored person, that is, they achieved heights as a whole family. And I absolutely loved it. They trained at the VDNH fencing school, the guys were among the best for their age, and I was very inspired by this.

I started traveling with them, but not everyone got along well. Plus, my parents paid money for travel and food, so I decided to finish fencing. In total, I practiced fencing for about a year and a half. During this time, I probably took part in only one big competition - it was some kind of city tournament.

Then Margarita Georgievna Eremina, now the coach of Spartak, and then the head of Molniya, took me to her team. I consider her my first coach. At Molniya, not everything was going smoothly for me: I was studying, finishing, but one day she literally grabbed me by the scruff of the neck on the street and said: “You’re doing very well, you’re a sporty girl and we need you, so come.” In fact, she brought me into football, although I used to play with my brother, but I didn’t get much pleasure - after all, children’s football, it’s more hit-and-run.

— How long did you stay at Molniya?

— About four years. Then Margarita Georgievna said that there is an academy in CSKA where you can try your hand.

Although at first I went to play for Lokomotiv, that is, the entire Molniya squad was sent to play for Lokomotiv - it was, essentially, a trial, we went to the First League, where we took either the penultimate or last place. As a result, we were told that there would be a new set of girls at Loko. I thought that I would have to wait too long, and Eremina advised me to go to CSKA, where Elena Nikolaevna Nuikina was ready to take me.

— So you ended up in Krasnoarmeysk, where the legendary “Rossiyanka” was once based.

— Yes, and I went there every day - it was quite an adventure.

— However, in your first season for CSKA you became the champion of the Youth League - a very serious achievement.

— Sitting mostly on the bench – yes, that’s still an achievement (smiles). I spent 15 minutes during the entire championship. At the same time, we had a very good coach - Roman Viktorovich Ezopov, although he seemed to underestimate me. At the same time, I do not deny the fact that I myself played poorly. In fact, I only started getting in shape at Dynamo. When you get practice, your brain starts working like a football player.

For comparison, in “Lightning” we had practically nothing: no match analysis, no theory. The team gathered ten minutes before training and games, the girls said to each other: “Come on, go ahead,” and went to play football. I still have ankle problems that go back to when I sprained my ankle. There is no one to play, you get injured - there is no freezing, you just apply ice and go out onto the field again.

I came to CSKA with a raw head, I didn’t really understand where to run and what to do. At first I thought that I needed to run all over the field, but CSKA explained that I needed to act according to my position, and each player had his own function. Only there I encountered professionalism.

— Did you have any thoughts of leaving CSKA after the first year? After all, you understood that you weren’t playing and you probably wanted more.

— Of course, there were such thoughts, but it didn’t come to specifics. I wanted to move to another Moscow team, but I was afraid. At first there were even concerns after moving to Dynamo; it was as if I was looking back and thinking: “Maybe it’s better to come back.” But then I realized: I need to work on myself, many didn’t succeed right away, but now they are playing. I thought that I would continue to train and everything would work out, but in 2022 nothing worked out either, even though the head coach at CSKA changed.

— What did the new coach tell you?

— Georgy Vladimirovich Shebarshin became the CSKA youth coach in 2022. He told me that I was a good player and that I wrestled well. It’s just that we had more experienced and older girls who got more match practice, plus we regularly sent out Super League football players.

In 2022, I have already played 90 minutes, although this is also very, very little. I went out onto the field and didn’t understand what was happening at all - it was like everyone was running around me, I couldn’t figure out where to run or where the ball was. There was real fear. Now I understand when girls go out on the field for the first time and worry in the same way. All this is very difficult psychologically. If you don’t overcome it yourself, you can get stuck in cycles and nothing will work out.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

“At Dynamo, everything is increasingly focused on player development”

— Maybe it’s also a matter of coach’s trust? Have you felt this yourself?

— I wouldn't say that. I think CSKA simply didn’t count on me as a main player. I compare it with Dynamo - there is nowhere near the same psychological pressure, everything is more focused on the development of players. At Dynamo, the contact between coach and player is much closer, I can say this with full responsibility.

— In April of this year you signed a contract with Dynamo. How significant is this event for you?

— This is a really big event for me. First of all, this is responsibility for the team. I want to continue playing for Dynamo, fighting for the club, showing myself and renewing my contract. This is a serious and professional step in my career. I would like to say a big thank you to the club management for giving me a chance to prove myself.

— Both last season and this year, you volunteered for first team training from time to time. How do you interact with the base?

— When I was called up to the main team, they tried me in different positions, including defender. It's an interesting experience. It is also always useful to see how the Superleague teams train.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.

“I will make every effort to gain a foothold in Dynamo”

— There is a match with CSKA ahead. Is this some kind of special and personal story for you or an ordinary game?

— Of course, the match will be special. I want to win against a strong team and prove that we are not whipping girls, as our coach Lyubov Sergeevna Komarova says. Plus it's a sister derby. The match is very important, the first in the second stage of the Youth League, I want to start the final round with a victory.

— What are your personal goals for the season?

— I would like to do more useful actions - be it assists or goals scored, to help the team achieve victories and fight for something significant. A career in football is very short, so you want to make the most of this time. I don’t know what lies ahead for me, so, as they say, I need to seize the moment and enjoy the game.

— Let's talk about your non-football life. How is it structured?

— I study at MGUSiT - Moscow State University of Sports and Tourism, at the Faculty of Sports Management. After graduating, and now I’m in my third year, I can become either a trainer in the gym or a physical education teacher. There is one more year left to study.

— And more generally, what are your plans for life? Are they related to football?

— It all depends on this season and how I show myself. If I manage to show myself well, I would like to continue my career at Dynamo. The club believed in me, offered me a contract and I want to reciprocate. At least I will make every effort to gain a foothold in Dynamo.

WFC "Dynamo" Moscow News | Nicole Greuli: "Signing with Dynamo is a big event for me." Official Dynamo Club Website.