Ivan Zaytsev (right) celebrates qualification for Tokyo 2020 with Italian teammate Gabriele Nelli, who will be his opponent in the Russian Superliga next season
Kemerovo, Russia, June 2, 2020 – 2020 Superliga bronze medallists Kuzbass Kemerovo have announced two big international names as new incoming transfers. Italian star Ivan Zaytsev and a reigning European champion with Serbia's Petar Krsmanovic highlight recently confirmed news from the Russian market.
Hugely popular Ivan Zaytsev is a 31-year-old Italian opposite of Russian origin. The 2.02m-tall striker is the second player of Leo Shoes Modena (after Poland’s Bartosz Bednorz), who is moving from the Italian to the Russian league after the end of the 2019-2020 season. Zaytsev’s impressive career boasts two Olympic medals (2016 silver and 2012 bronze), a 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup silver and Best Opposite individual award, a 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup bronze, two FIVB Volleyball World League bronze medals with a Best Outside Spiker prize in 2013, and three European Championship podiums with the national team of Italy. This is the second time he will play for a club from his parents’ native country, after spending two seasons with Dinamo Moscow from 2014 to 2016 and winning the 2015 CEV Cup.
Newly-appointed Kuzbass coach Alexey Verbov, a distinguished former libero of the Russian national team, who led Zenit Kazan to 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship bronze and 2020 Superliga silver before replacing Romanian specialist Gheorghe Cretu at the helm of Kemerovo’s team, will also rely on the services of 2.05m-tall middle blocker Petar Krsmanovic (30), who was part of the Serbian squad crowned champion of the 2019 CEV European Championship. Between 2016 and 2019, Krsmanovic played for Gazprom-Ugra Surgut and, after a season with Italy’s Gas Sales Piacenza, will return to the Russian Superliga.
Kuzbass have also announced the departure of 1.98m-tall Russian international outside Yaroslav Podlesnykh (25). Next season, the gold medallist of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League will compete for Dinamo Moscow.
Other recent market news from the men’s Russian Superliga:
•New outgoing transfers from Dinamo Moscow are 2.01m-tall Canadian international outside spiker Stephen Maar (25), a bronze medallist of the 2017 World League, and 2.01m-tall former Russian international opposite Maxim Zhigalov (30), a 2017 EuroVolley champion. The latter will play for Fakel Novy Urengoy.
•Fakel attracted another former Russian international, 2.05m-tall middle blocker Aleksei Safonov (30), coming in from Zenit Saint Petersburg. 1.92m-tall setter Tsimafei Zhukouski, captain of the Croatian national team, also joins the club from Novy Urengoy, arriving from Italy’s Sir Safety Conad Perugia. 2.08m-tall middle blocker Vitalii Dikarev (20), a 2017 FIVB Volleyball U19 World Championship silver medallist with Russia, will return to Fakel after spending one season with Yaroslavich Yaroslavl.
•Fakel announced three recent key player departures as well - those of 2018 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship bronze medal squad middle blockers Andrey Ananiev (2.05m, 27) and Dmitrii Kolenkovskii (2.06m, 25) and of 1.97m-tall Hungarian international opposite Krisztian Padar (23), who is transferring to Japan’s Toray Arrows Mishima.
•The club from Novy Urengoy will retain seven of their athletes for the next season, five of whom are from the Club World Championship bronze medal line-up: 2.01m-tall outside Dmitry Volkov (25), a two-time VNL gold medallist and Dream Teamer, 1.84m-tall Erik Shoji (30), a multiple medallist and Best Libero award nominee from major FIVB competitions with the US national team, 1.85m-tall libero Ilya Petrushov (25), a two-time winner of age-category FIVB Volleyball World Championships with Russia, 2.15m-tall opposite Alexander Kimerov (23), also a two-time gold medallist of age-category FIVB Volleyball World Championships with Russia, and 2.00m-tall outside Denis Bogdan (23). The other two are 2.04m-tall middle Alexander Gutsalyuk (32), a four-time Club World Championship medallist with Zenit Kazan and a former Russian international, and 2.05m-tall middle Nikita Stulenkov (28), a 2010 U20 European champion with Russia.
•Dinamo-LO Leningrad Oblast signed two new 2.07m-tall middle blockers. Alexander Abrosimov (36), a former Russian international with bronze medals from the 2006 World League, the 2009 Club World Championship (with Zenit Kazan) and the 2001 FIVB U19 World Championship (Best Blocker), is moving from Ural Ufa, while Belarusian national team player Siarhei Busel (31) is coming in from Nova Novokuybyshevsk.
•Dinamo-LO also announced the departure of 2.04m-tall opposite Dmitry Yakovlev (21), a bronze medallist of the 2017 FIVB U21 World Championship with Russia and the Best Opposite of the 2015 FIVB U19 World Championship.