FC Rostov midfielder Timofei Kalachev has been named Belarusian Player of the Year in leading sports newspaper Pressball's yearly poll.
"It's hard to find the words. This is totally unexpected and I'm touched," said the 32-year-old national team stalwart who plies his trade with Rostov in Russia's Premier-Liga. "This is the first time I've won this prize. At the start of the season, I wouldn't have believed you if you'd said this would happen. I would like to thank everyone, especially my parents and youth coaches. It was a hard year with both good and bad games, but the main thing is that I avoided injuries. I'm very happy."
Leonid Kuchuk, the Belarusian in charge of Russian side FC Lokomotiv Moskva, took the best coach award while the honour of best goalkeeper went to FC Neman Grodno's Sergei Chernik. It was a triple celebration for Belarusian champions FC BATE Borisov as Egor Filipenko, Aleksandr Pavlov and Vitali Rodionov were chosen as best defender, midfielder and forward respectively. Rodinov also claimed the domestic league's player of the year accolade.
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