Posted: 29.03.2023 12:53:00

Focus on teamwork

New challenge for Nikolai Sherstnev

Nikolai Sherstnev was elected President of the Belarusian Football Federation. There was no intrigue in the election of the new leadership of the organisation: during the reporting and election conference in the House of Football, it became known that the former Head of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee is the only candidate for the position of head of the ABFF, since Vladimir Bazanov decided to withdraw from voting the day  before the meeting. Sherstnev was elected unanimously.

Photo by Darya Titova
“Thank you for the trust, but I do not feel joy. There is no time for buildup and preparation. Everyone is already tired of waiting for results — we need changes for the better,” the new President of the ABFF said.
Nikolai Sherstnev is an experienced manager and, by and large, needs no introduction. Nevertheless, Deputy Chairman — Executive Director of the Vitebsk Regional Football Federation Dmitry Petrov recalled that Sherstnev is not a newcomer to sports either — he is an international class master of sports in kettlebell lifting, a participant in many world and European tournaments. Over the seven years of his work as Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, a lot of work has been done to build and modernise the sports infrastructure of the region: an air-supported football arena was erected in Vitebsk, a football field and running tracks were built at the stadium of the Vitebsk State Technological University, 21 mini-football fields with artificial covering, a specialised centre for trampoline jumping, a sports and recreation complex was opened in Ushachi, an ice palace, a swimming pool and more were modernised in Novopolotsk. 
Now Nikolai Sherstnev has accepted a new challenge. Speaking about what will be the first steps as President of the ABFF, he noted: first you need to dive deep, understand the problems. It is necessary to conduct an analysis, work out each issue with professionals and begin to solve them, “We will work out all the problematic issues, create such rules of the game so that they do not interfere with the athletes, coaching staff and organisers, but only help. This is probably my mission: to unite not only athletes, coaching staff, but also football fans.”
Nikolai Sherstnev promised to make every effort to form a team of professionals and implement the plans announced at the conference and in pre-election interviews as soon as possible. The new head of the ABFF paid tribute to his predecessor Vladimir Bazanov, who presented a large-scale report on the work done over the past four years. It reflected the successes in the development of youth and grassroots football, the strengthening of the material and technical base, the development and popularisation of women’s football and the national championship. Sherstnev concluded: a lot of work has been done. A concept for the development of football until 2028 has been created, goals and objectives have been defined. Now a mechanism is needed to implement all these plans.
A team of professionals has already begun to form. Vladimir Bazanov remained in the federation. Like Mikhail Botnikov, in the position of Deputy Chairman of the ABFF. Much more interesting is that 36-year-old Andrei Vasilevich, who headed the Minsk football club, was elected the right hand — the first deputy head of the federation. Nikolai Sherstnev is convinced that it is also important to hear the voice of the young. The composition of the executive committee of the federation has also been updated. In addition to the President and his deputies, it included 17 people, including Alexander Hleb, FC Dinamo Minsk Director General Andrei Tolmach, Neman Sports School for Football Director Sergey Solodovnikov, Energetik-BGU team coach Anatoli Yurevich, Chairman of the Football Federation of Minsk Yury Vergeichik, FC Naftan head coach Yuri Puntus and others.

By Tatiana Pastushenko