Sokolov and Dijkema moves highlight transfer market in Russia


Tsvetan Sokolov with the Bulgarian national team jersey during January’s continental Olympic qualification tournament in Berlin

Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2020 – Tsvetan Sokolov moving to Dinamo Moscow and Laura Dijkema transferring to Lokomotiv Kaliningrad are among the major highlights of the transfer market news from Russia over the past several days.

Having signed with Dinamo Moscow, 30-year-old Bulgarian opposite Tsvetan Sokolov is heading towards his second season in the Russian Superliga after spending a season with Zenit Kazan and earning his career’s seventh medal from the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championships, winning the Russia Cup and silver in the Superliga. The 2.06m-tall star of the Bulgarian national team, 2012 Olympian, was named Best Opposite of the Club World Championships three times and Best Opposite of the FIVB Volleyball World League once.

In related news, one of the tallest players in the world, Russian middle blocker Vadim Likhosherstov towering at 2.16 m, also a bronze medallist of the latest Club World Championship, has also transferred from Zenit to Dinamo.

Another 30-year-old international star, Dutch setter Laura Dijkema, will spend the next season in the women’s Superliga of Russia after signing with 2020 silver medalists Lokomotiv Kaliningrad. The playmaker of the national team of the Netherlands, a 2016 Olympian, bronze medallist of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix and a two-time runner-up in the European Championships, is moving to Lokomotiv from Il Bisonte Firenze after spending four seasons in the Italian league.

The club from Kaliningrad has also announced contract extensions with two Russian internationals - libero Alla Galkina, bronze medallist of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup and the best digger of the intercontinental Olympic qualification tournament in Kaliningrad last August, and middle blocker Valeriya Zaytseva from Russia’s 2019 VNL roster, as well as with former Cuban international Ana Cleger. Lokomotiv also announced that team captain and middle blocker Ekaterina Orlova and Serbian national team setter Bojana Drca are leaving the club.

Other recent market news from Russia:

Bozidar Vucicevic, 21-year-old opposite of the men’s national team of Serbia, has signed with Gazprom-Ugra Surgut for two years, moving from Slovenia’s ACH Volley Ljubljana.
30-year-old outside spiker Ian Iereshchenko of the Ukrainian men’s national team and 22-year-old opposite Kirill Klets of the Russian men’s national team have extended their contracts with Yenisei Krasnoyarsk.
34-year-old Russian middle blocker Alexey Samoylenko, 2017 club world champion, is leaving Zenit Kazan.
29-year-old outside spiker Alexander Markin, who was on Russia’s roster at the 2019 VNL, has moved from ASK Nizhny Novgorod to 2020 Superliga bronze medallists Kuzbass Kemerovo.
Spiker Anna Kotikova, 20-year-old hopeful of the women’s national team of Russia and Best Opposite of the 2017 FIVB U20 World Championship, is staying with champions Dinamo Kazan for one more season.
25-year-old middle blocker of the Russian women’s national team Ekaterina Evdokimova is leaving Superliga bronze medallists Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg after 12 seasons with the club.

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