In the footsteps of past season

The football season is over, with all matches concluded and players resting all over the globe. However, the key heroes remain in Minsk and gathered recently at the National Library to receive awards: Timofey Kalachev was named Belarus’ top footballer of 2013 while Leonid Kuchuk was named best coach.
By Yegor Glebov

This season, Kalachev, 32, a pupil of Mogilev school, performed as part of the Belarusian team, scoring a goal against France. Across 61 matches with the national team, he has scored eight goals. Moreover, Timofey is a leading player for Rostov, scoring three times across 18 matches in this year’s Russian Championship. His prize (named after Alexander Prokopenko) is given for ‘Football Talent and Devotion to Play for Belarus’.

Meanwhile, Borisov BATE forward Vitaly Rodionov was nominated for the most awards: four! He has been named ‘Best Striker’ of the 23rd National Championship (scoring 14 goals) and the most useful player in the championship. Two other BATE players — back Yegor Filipenko and halfback Alexander Pavlov — were also acknowledged among the best.
Grodno Neman’s Sergey Chernik was named ‘Best Goalkeeper’ while Minsk Dinamo’s Nikita Korzun won the ‘Football Hope’ prize.

Belarus’ champion — BATE — received the ‘Audience Choice Award’ (as the most visited team) while Shakhtyor (which won silver this year) was awarded the ‘Fair Play’ prize (as the most consistent team). Bronze holder Minsk Dinamo won the ‘Thunderstorm of Authorities’ prize for its play against the championship prize-winners.

Sergey Tsinkevich was named ‘Best Referee’ while Mogilev’s Vitaly Malyutin and Minsk’s Dmitry Zhuk topped the list of referee assistants. Among Belarusian coaches, Leonid Kuchuk — who trains Moscow Lokomotiv — was named best. In addition, Alexander Chernik (Viten, Vitebsk) was awarded as best Belarusian mini-footballer and Oleg Slautin (BATE) was acknowledged best beach footballer.

Among the female players, Yekaterina Avkhimovich (who plays for Russia’s VDV, Ryazan) was named best.

Speaking of the results of the 2013 football season, Sergey Rumas — the Chairman of the Belarusian Football Federation — notes that this year has not been the most successful in the history of Belarusian football. In his view, this was mostly an experimental season, with the Premier League National Championship organised for the first time in line with a new — two-stage –— system. Time will show whether this experiment is worth pursuing but Mr. Rumas believes that our accumulated experience may be used to the benefit of our national.
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