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While you finish eating Olivier, Gazprom-Yugra plays in Belgorod

Our club celebrated the New Year modestly - and immediately flew to the next match of the Russian championship in Belgorod. Already 3 January Gazprom-Yugra will enter the site of the new 10,000-seat arena, incomprehensibly "flown" by the World Cup 2022, against the legend of Russian volleyball called "Belogorye".

The legend is currently in the recovery stage and does not look like a team at all, last place in the Super League in the last championship. Then the young reservists played out, now we are dealing with strong professionals and, I'm not afraid of this word, stars, including potential.

Here and now, the main striking power of "Belogorie" is the Moroccan diagonal Mohamed Al Khachdadi, Super League top scorer, who feels like a fish in water in power Russian volleyball. The club is so happy with the rookie, that his contract was renewed for two seasons at once, to 2024 of the year. Seems to be, happy with Belgorod and Al Khachdadi, who used to rarely stay anywhere for more than one season.

After a protracted leapfrog of binders in "Belogorye" they staked on Dmitry Kovalev. A talented player in recent years had to "reveal himself", but, it seems, just now got carte blanche for a corporate fast game. The line of the central blockers has been half changed - now the sky, along with Alexei Samoilenko, is closed by Andrey Ananiev and Dmitry Filippov, from whom more and more playing time is squeezed out by the young talent Georgy Zabolotnikov.

A couple of Pavel Tetyukhin in the game, whose place on the site does not raise questions, most often Serb Nemanja Petrich, already played for "Belogorie". But the second arrival of an experienced player was not so successful., perhaps, it is in this position that the team is experiencing the greatest problems. The matter is aggravated by, that none of the partners is ready to fully replace the Serb - local pupil Stanislav Masliev, who came from Samotlor, does this only sporadically, and Ivan Kuznetsov and Kirill Motorygin have not yet gained the necessary experience.

To replace the libero Nikita Eremin, transferred to Gazprom-Yugra, Roman Bragin returned to "Belogorye" from "Ural", Ilya Kirillov moved from Ugra-Samotlor. It remains to note that the second diagonal Egor Sidenko and the stand-in for Kovalev, 17-year-old Evgeny Zhogov, who often go out to strengthen the serve, who recently played his debut match in the Super League.

"Belogorye", coaching reins in which the venerable Boris Kolchin once again took over, looks tenacious and powerful team, who hasn't said his word yet. While Belgorodians and Gazprom-Yugra are head to head in the championship, having won four wins in ten matches, and the owners clearly want to get hold of the glasses at the expense of the Surgutyans. But we, in turn, remember, that "Belogorie" was not invincible for us in its best years. Opponent level, certainly, high and is an important factor, but it is much more important for Gazprom-Yugra to concentrate on its own game. If you manage to keep the level, shown at the beginning of the match in Sosnovy Bor, we can do more than just impose a fight, but also achieve a positive result.