Posts by powsoff

    What are the rumours?

    Those are rather declarations than rumours. The local volleyball tzar Shipulin is once again quitting. This still can be very much undone, however may affect the budget for next season, which is going to be cut anyway. Atm, Belgorod has lost two opps and the main setter. Poroshin is not bad and potentially can develop further. Afaic, all the decent opps from the domestic market have been taken. Wouldn't be surprised to see Danilov+Zhigalov playing on this position yet again. Read the goss they're talking to Zemchonok too. All three are weaker than Bakun or Grozer.


    My guess is that they'll focus on bringing OHs for the next season, either from the youth team or from elsewhere. In a way, it is good that Tetyukhin has retired as he was poor at the net last several seasons. On the bad side, guess what - Shipulin suggested that Tetyukhin should become the head coach. In simple English, the coach show must go on in Belgorod. Of note, I would think twice if I were asked to coach them, given the weirdose we observed this season.

    Reading some intense blah-blah that Georg Grozer will play in St Peterburg next season. They needed an opp of a bigger calibre than Luburic (who, to be fair, was unable to show his best with Pankov's setting). Big changes will be coming to Belgorod - that team truly deserved a good kick in their gluteus.

    The worst Belgorod I've seen in years. A spark of hope showed in 1st set @19:24 but it's unbelieveable how they missed to convert 5 mp's in a row due to poor reception. But what I really dont understand is lack of vision in terms of coaching in Belgorod. Kosarev, Bogomolov, Cretu, Kuzyutkin and again Kosarev couldnt fid to use potential of this team. Ok, they lacked width on OH position but still this is huge failure for Belgorod.


    Kuzbass was brilliant in both matches, I was stunned with calmness in 1st set, fighting spirit and tactics in general. Sammelvuo is doing great job and I'm sure they'll win CEV or Challenge cup next year


    I wouldn't say Belgorod was that bad but clearly after the first set (that they lost from 23:16!) things looked a bit surreal for all of them. I wouldn't say they had a bad season either. Rather that they got worn off towards the play-offs. They beat Kazan at home in a very spectacular way and - note it - spent several days at the top of the Superleague table, after dismissing Kazan. Something that hasn't happened for four years in Rus. The team had their "demons" throughout the season that obviously finished them off in the (premature) ending, Kuzbass being one of the demons. It is tempting to blame it all to the declining mental health of their demiurge Shipulin who keeps shuffling the executives with his invisible hand. Likewise, one can dig into their financial particulars and blame it all on the short-sighted boss of Metalloinvest who wants it all and now.


    My take is usual: the first problem is the local Boris Yeltsin-styled thinking whereby a well-funded team appoints a loyal clown or a group of such at a managerial post. And then tries to remedy the situation by hiring random adventurers to help up during the season. Note that there were four managers with a strong track-record available on the Rus market (Shlyapnikov. Cherednik, Voronkov and, briefly, Marichev) but somehow none of them showed up in Belgorod. Noone wants to be kicked out like a teenager bcz of a single loss and lack of local links.


    Secondly, the roster is definitely not assessed adequately. Tetyukhin is still regarded as a top OH in Belgorod - the guy is in many ways phenomenal but Poletaev scored 30 points by hitting over his block in two play-off games. By far the most prolific goal-scorer of the amateur Night Hockey league in Rus is someone called VV Putin: this phenomenal athlete scores seven goals in every game he plays, despite starting his hockey career at the age of 50+. This prodigy hockey player somehow fails to make it to the NT roster - Tetyukhin is still very much untouchable nevertheless.


    Belgorod had a mixed success on the OH market in the summer. Retiring the disabled Taras Khtei-Shipulin was an obvious achievement that brought them several wins. But then letting Podlesnykh go (who suddenly became a decent player over the summer) and dropping Biryukov (who was able to recover by the play-offs) was hard to understand. Nevertheless they had enough funds to keep three opposites and then, after hiring Grozer, move Bakun to the bench. They had two "young" OHs, Semenov and Spodobets, who looked OK early season and... where are they now? I would sell them to Kuzbass :). Even bigger bizarre was with MBs. The two local guys, Safonov and Khanipov are professional bench-players, one can block, the other can serve. How on Earth do these guys start a set in a play-off game? Yes, Muserskiy and Nikolov have problems with their shoulders but, again, would have been logical to rest the two throughout the season and focus on play-offs.


    Lastly, from what I've heard, their performance until the end on Jan has won Belgorod the budget for the next season. I guess, their home game vs Kazan was in this sense a final :).


    In the meantime, Novosibirsk is close to focusing on CL games - down two sets to Moscow, at home. The game does look very close though - having Grozer wouldn't harm here. Zhigalov and Pavlov do not score.

    Deserved win by Maaseik, but a very poor challenge decision by the refs on 28-28 in the 3rd. After the decision the 1st ref gave a red card to Novosibirsk.
    End of the game...


    The challenge was not a poor but rather a very puzzling one as it is impossible to miss things like that on a replay. There should be a CEV delegate available for cases like that. The game was ugly overall and I can't agree that Noliko deserved the win: first two sets were won on a balance and set 3 was given to them by their de facto compatriot referee - from -1 to +2. Could have gone either way, was very close.


    Novosibirsk has lost the first (away) leg of domestic QF to Moscow and therefore decided to rest some players hoping to carry on on both fronts. I assume the task for the away leg in Belgium was to grab a point and then win it all back at home. I don't know whether they'll succeed in killing two birds with the same stone. Naturally, their geographical location is also a big advantage for home games.

    Belogorie is in big trouble. Kemerovo is definitely not the 7th seeded team with this kind of performance. Their form was heavily damaged after the russian cup final but they are stronger than the top 4-6 team when they are in good condition to play.


    Squad-wise, Kuzbass is within top 4. On the bench, they have people like Makarov, Apalikov, Ilinykh, Nikitin. Vasilyev (the bench opp) was among the top scorers last season. But the Podlesnykh business is still my favourite. I would say, this is an excellent reflection of the sport/scouting challenges in the locally minded community.

    Belgorod have spent their training time very wisely. A clear improvement in the cheerleaders' performance.
    The team trails 0-2 to Kuzbass but who cares? It's now or never for them in set 3.



    Upd:
    0-3 it is, just like 3 month ago at the Cup. Belgorod is badly in need of OHs, Yereshenko and Tetyukhin do not always deliver. Wait a sec, this chap who starts for Kuzbass, Podlesnykh, the one who scored so much today - where did Kuzbass get him from? :)


    I wonder what they'll be able to do within one week. Things do not look good as they are and unless smth bad happens to Poletaev Belgorod would struggle in Kemerovo.


    To finish you off, the head coach of Belogorie is Vladimir Kuzyutkin now. :)


    The details are that apparently Grozer fell out with Konstantinov. Belgorod is in constant search for an OH now and it looks like they were given a cash injection from their sponsor to spend on that. There were no decent OH available, they say, but then there was Grozer so they bought him instead. Bakun is somehow not having a good time in Belgorod at the moment, so Grozer was an immediate help for them. I wouldn't say Grozer is stronger in every aspect. Bakun is taller and more athletic, works better vs organised block. Groser is certainly better coordinated and serves more consistently. It is a bit of a luxury to have both in one team though, would be good if Bakun moved back to Fakel who are in need of an opp.


    Lokomotiv has lost to Yenisey in their first post-Grozer game but there's a goss that they have arranged to give the game away. I have to say, the presence or absence of Grozer is not the main issue for Novosibirsk this season as they struggle to get best of their OHs. Their liberos do make mistakes but overall are not bad (both played for the NT last autumn). The miracle is that they seem to be weaker in this component than a year ago whereas on the paper they didn't get weaker at all.

    powsoff what do you mean by double salary? 2 million euros


    Big company supporting an ice hockey team and a football team. The budget of the volleyball club is 10% of the football club. Why would headhunting a top flight star be a big problem?



    It seems Kazan is looking for Ngapeth as first option and Leal as second.
    Imho after his past experience in Russia it won't be that easy to convince Ngapeth, if the Paris-project will start as rumored.


    I hope you're joking. Noone wants Ngapeth in Russia after Russia's past experience with him :)
    There are strange people of course like those on the board of Dinamo Moscow or possibly Zenit SPb but the doubts that Ngapeth would fit into Rus league are pretty substantial. He was not outstanding in Kuzbass.

    About Leon, he said that economically they can offer a little bit less than Russia and Japan (or similar countries), but that he is hoping he will chose them for all the other things Perugia can offer.


    I would definitely think less of Leon if you would pick a not-top Championship...


    On the other hand no rumors about him in Poland, which could appear as an acceptable solution between level of volleyball and 'being home'. I guess he is too expensive?



    The two big pros of Perugia are ease of traveling and (potentially) longer contract. Kazan can offer a lot but they have the budget guaranteed only for one season. The downside is the drop in level between Rus and Ita leagues, this year is very competitive in Rus Superleague. Very unclear what SPetersburg can offer. There are statements from ppl like Alekno that SPb is unlikely but I wouldn't be surprised if they just offer to double Leon's wages.



    What must have impressed you were the block-defense from Ural (credit to Bagnoli!) and Kovalev's setting, which indeed makes a very good impression. The problem is that on the personal level Ural is a no-star team; I would rank the roster as something in between Ugra and Yenisey. Kovalev and Feoktistov (who scored tons of transition balls vs 2- or 3-men blocks) could carry them for some time but there are no "big guns" there. I agree, they screwed up their service in set 1, which essentially gave the set to Zenit Spb. But then in set 4 it was reception that let Ural down. Sivozhelez did have a good game but to me it was Camejo and Pankov's serving that were critical for Spb.


    Interesting game in Novosibirsk. I have to say, this could have gone to Fakel, had this been played anywhere outside Novosibirsk. The refs gave the hosts several funny points to save the a**e of their head coach. Feels like the chair is slightly rocking under Konstantinov at the moment, he's being publicly criticised by several people with an access to the insider info. The ChL gains do win some credit and so does the fact that Loko doesn't look like a complete disaster on the pitch but... Had they lost today to Fakel, Novosibirsk would have gone below the play-off zone and there would have been some reaction.


    Kazan gave away a set to Kuzbass at home but then destroyed the opponent in set 4 so badly that Alekno dared replacing Leon with Verbov on a permanent basis. Verbov managed to score against two blocks from the front court sparking some laughter from the audience. Another interesting point is that Podlesnykh (ex-setter turned an OH) who struggled for a place in the roster in Belgorod last year, has slowly drifted into the starting six in Kemerovo. That was predictable, as Yaroslav clearly has excellent coordination and looks very strong physically. Belgorod may regret, to some extent.

    Still a nice game for Chaumont. Boyer was really their best option from out of system so I could see him making those mistakes.


    Seems like a phenomenal game for Kurkaev. The middle blockers of Chaumont are just really average compared to him so we see these kind of battles usually are won like that when you have middle blockers that are blessed with the stature and the talent.


    Kurkaev's average is 2.95 points per set in the Superliga, i.e. 14.7 points for a five-setter. 18 is above the average, true, but not phenomenal. 7 service errors is way too much for his float.
    I must say though that Kurkaev was supposedly the weakest link in the game vs Belgorod - so in that sense, yes, things are going better. Especially in terms of confidence.

    I'd no idea Ngapeth played in Russia as well!!


    BTW, according to Zaytsev tells, he would fit well with the habits :P May be less well with the Siberian winter, though.

    Back in 2013/14 season. His dad was a coach at the team. Nothing special.
    Another issue is that the overall nature of the league favours more physical players, which doesn't apply to Ngapeth. Let me put it like that, it's like hiring Bartosz Kurek, after his season in Dinamo Moscow.

    There was a rumour on volleymob about Bruno and Earvin moving to Novosibirsk before the reparation between Ngapeth and Stoytchev. I wonder if it's really true or if it's still true after the return of Ngapeth bros to Modena.


    One needs to be seriously insane to hire Ngapeth to play in Rus league after his Kuzbass adventure. To remind you, the prodigy ran away from the club upon the onset of Siberian winter. Novosibirsk is next door from Kemerovo, the winter is equally cold in there and the two clubs closely interact with each other - I can easily imagine what they think about Ngapeth. One may argue that Rus volleyball Superleague is not short of seriously insane people, at the level of the club management. True. But these exotic individuals seemed to inhabit warmer areas (Krasnodar) or settle in Moscow where noone seems to care about volleyball.

    Great win for Moscow of course, but Berezhko had to go off the court in the second set because of an injury. I dont know about the seriousness though. Grozer did not play for Novosibirsk against Yaroslavl, anybody knows if he is injured again or just a security measure due to some exhaustion/fatigue or so?


    Berezhko was able to walk after the game although the condition is not absolutely clear. Grozer (and Eksi) practiced together with the rest of the team although had personalised physio session. Grozer was holding his shoulder, Eksi has issues with his knee. I think Loko kept Grozer off the pitch in view of the Belgorod and ChL games.

    Belogorie showing class tonight.


    I still feel they are lacking something to compete against a Zenit team at their best but the serve is fantastic. That campfire in the third set was very funny. Just too many mistakes for Zenit. :lol:


    Butko-Mikhailov connection is not looking great. I don't think Alekno trusts his son to do the job either so he's stuck with Butko.



    Belgorod were clearly practicing the serves instead of celebrating, which sounds a bit cruel :). I also like the moment when Panteleymonenko and Alexeev emerge onto the pitch - together with Verbov's shaved head looks like a new episode of Prison Break. Alexeev is a peculiar character, looks absolutely organic in his Lonsdale Errea trackies.


    The tie-breaker is hot... Alekno's moderately angry. I like how Belgorod plays against Leon. Bogomolov-coach growing on me. But this is not over yet.

    Ps apparently Kazan made a huge offer, so if Leon won't stay in his team, it would probably be for not-economical reasons (rumors said his wife doesn't won't to live in Russia anymore).
    It seems Perugia can't offer more than 900.000 at the moment, but it's not official. Anyway Sirci openly said they're trying to make a deal with him (since the last CL Final4, btw), but that it's normal that with a player like him it's difficult to have an immediate ok. He also said he doesn't know if it's true he refused Kazan offer.



    The goss is that Kazan' was granted a 10% increase in budget early December - this is for the next year though, unclear whether this would span over 2019. Thus, the big offer to Leon is believable but if the offer is more than a one year extension is unclear. Given Leon leaves, there's going to be a massive recruitment campaign and the losing side in the end might be Fakel Novy Urengoy.


    One more point is that Rus has a flat 13% tax rate whereas Italy has a progressive ladder. Which means that the transition from Kazan (with rumoured 1.2M) to 0.9M in Perugia would almost halve the income. Unless obviously there are special clauses.


    Kemerovo could probably still win but that's a bit unfair for other teams.


    I have to say financial difficulties like this are very horrible in Russia because of the geographical and logistical factors involved in the league. Teams from away must buy airline tickets unlike in Italy,Turkey or Poland. You probably just need a club-owned bus vehicle while the bigger teams can always afford to travel through airports. Maybe there's something that can be done to fix it. Playing in Russia is like playing in a european tournament. That's not cheap when it's gameday every week and I believe the league should atleast try helping Yugra for the sake of fairness and humanity.


    Kemerovo has roster in top 5 of the league - yes, they could have won indeed. Driving from Nizhnevartovsk to Kemerovo is equivalent to a commute from Vienna to Lisbon - but this is at -20C, in the middle of nowhere. Trust me, no matter how big your team is, you have to fly, in Russia. A way out is to move all teams to Moscow and play in there :).


    Re help from the league: the trouble is that volleyball life is overall much more short-sighted than in any other sport. You get quite a bit of support from local bosses that can be withdrawn at will, and this is the state of the situation in every club. Now, would e.g. Belgorod authorities be OK with Belogorie paying for Nizhnevartovsk plane tickets? What perhaps matters here is that Nizhnevartovsk as a city is doing very well economically, this is where the oil comes from.