by Khachik Chakhoyan
Jan 7 2009

After becoming the first Armenian coach to receive a UEFA PRO Licence,
Armen Gyulbudaghyants is determined to put theory into practice and
lead FC Banants to the title for the first time in 2009.

Dream come true "I've attended every UEFA coaching seminar over the
course of the year and now I'm happy as my dream has been achieved,"
Gyulbudaghyants told "If I want to make the most of what
I have learnt I have to work very hard and I'm ready for that." The
42-year-old will have his work cut out as he looks to loosen FC
Pyunik's eight-year grip on the Armenian title. Gyulbudaghyants
left Pyunik by mutual consent eleven games into last season to join
Banants, but his replacment Vardan Minasyan still acknowledges the
role he played in the champions' success. "I didn't change anything
in the way the team played," he said. "I used the same tactics as

Faith in youth As a player Gyulbudaghyants helped Banants win the
inaugural Armenian Cup in 1992 and returned as coach for a first
stint in charge at the end of his playing career after first taking
charge of the Armenian Under-21 side. He has worked at various youth
levels with the Football Federation of Armenia and is best known in
the country for his work with young players. That faith in youth was
key to Pyunik's title success last season.

Forward thinking Gyulbudaghyants has since set about instilling
the same policy at Banants, though it was too late to salvage a
disappointing campaign last season that ended with Banants fifth
in the eight-team league. Club president Sargis Israelyan, however,
believes Banants are now on the right track. "We made several mistakes
last year," he told "I'm talking about the signings of
some players and coaches. To be honest, I wanted Gyulbudaghyants
to join us earlier but he was busy in Pyunik. As soon as I got the
opportunity to appoint him I did. In 2002 he helped the team finish
third but this time I believe he will do even more."

New team Gyulbudaghyants concurs. "We have to believe in ourselves,"
he said. "There are a lot of talented players in our academy and we
will definitely use them." So good, in fact, that Gyulbudaghyants
hopes they might soon be helping the national side as well. "When
the club is winning only our fans are happy," he said. "However,
when the national team wins three points the whole nation is happy."