Georgi Kondratyev has been unveiled as the new coach of Belarus after leading his country to the semi-finals of the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The 51-year-old has agreed a four-year contract to step up to the senior role as replacement for Bernd Stange, who left the post after a disappointing UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign in which Belarus slipped to fourth in Group D despite an opening away victory against France.
"I had an idea I could get this offer after the successful U21 championship, where we finished third and sealed a place at the Olympics," said Kondratyev, whose side came through a play-off against Italy to reach those finals in Denmark. "We have a strong group in World Cup qualifying with Spain, France, Finland and Georgia. The positive thing is that I know most of the players very well, I know their abilities. I believe Belarus's key players have not reached their potential yet.
"Our team could have secured a berth in the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs," added the former USSR striker, who scored four goals in 14 internationals. "I will try to give them the energy and inspiration to claim one of the two qualifying spots, if not in World Cup qualifying then in the next EURO. I think I have the full confidence of the players."
Kondratyev's best years as a player came with FC Dinamo Minsk, whom he helped to win the Soviet title in 1982 before moving into coaching in 1998 as assistant at FC Slavia Mozyr and later Dinamo Minsk. The former FC Lokomotiv Vitebsk trainer had his most notable club management spell at FC Smorgon, steering them to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League in 2008 before taking over the Belarus U21 team.
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