"Siberian express" to be reckoned with as top contender for CL crown
News from the clubs
Novosibirsk, Russia, October 11, 2012. The annual presentation of the team was called for this past Thursday in Novosibirsk. The head coach Andrey Voronkov, General Director Roman Stanislavov, CL Organizing Director Stanislav Puskov and two rookies included in the roster of the Siberian team, Swedish diagonal player Marcus Nilsson and experienced outside hitter Igor Shulepov, were all in attendance.
The team, sponsored by the Russian Railways, will start a wonderful journey in the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League this coming October 24 by playing Montenegro’s Budvanska Rivijera BUDVA. Pool B also includes Germany’s national champions, BERLIN Recycling Volleys, and Czech Jihostroj CESKE BUDEJOVICE.
“The team has undergone some changes by contracting some good players before the start of the season” said head coach Andrey Voronkov. “We definitely improved the potential and quality of our middle blockers. Our young and tall – he stands at 212 cm – guy Artem Volvich has played for the complete past season in the starting six thereby gaining some valuable experience. In addition to that we have signed Alexander Gutsalyuk who spent the past season in Kazan and claimed the 2012 edition of the Champions League playing for Zenit. Clayton Stanley was also contracted for this season but the American opposite player could not join us for the start of the season due to injury. So we finally opted for Marcus Nilsson who has got a great potential and background” said the Russian mentor.
The General Director of the club Roman Stanislavov was asked about the possibilities of hosting the final four this year. “It is too early to speak about this, because the decision will be taken after completion of the League Round. The only thing I am able to tell you for the time being is that, if our club is given the opportunity to host the final four, we will do our best to deliver a high-class event”.
40-year old wing spiker Igor Shulepov said: “I am really happy that I have moved to Novosibirsk. Lokomotiv is one of the strongest teams in the Russian Superleague. I love the place and the atmosphere. The most important factor is that the club is pursuing very ambitious goals for this season. I will bring my long experience to the team, hoping to be able to help my teammates”.
Swedish star Marcus Nilsson concluded: “Lokomotiv is a very nice club with a very rich history. I am happy that I am enjoying the opportunity to play for such a great team that includes also Alexander Butko, a gold medalist from the 2012 Olympics in London. This is a great opportunity for me to show that I can play Volleyball at the highest level. It is very important that the club is going to participate in the Champions League. I have started to practice just a few weeks ago with the group, so I am still trying to find the best chemistry with the other players”.