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Darida revert to Kurnev

Vladimir Kurnev is back coaching FC Darida Zhdanovichi a month after being fired by the Belarussian club.

Dramatic about-face
The new boys in Belarus had appointed Viktor Sokol following Kurnev's dismissal in February, but after a disappointing display in a pre-season tournament Darida have made a dramatic about-face.

Pre-season disappointment
Darida finished third out of four teams in the competition, which also featured FC Dinamo Minsk, FC Zvezda-VA-BGU Minsk and FC Molodechno 2000. Club officials made it clear they were unhappy with Sokol and he was sacked today.

Unfit players
"I did not expect to return so quickly," said Kurnev of his surprise comeback. "I was watching the team closely, and my main concern was the players' fitness. It was terrible to watch them in pre-season - they are basically walking on the pitch instead of running."

Race against time
Kurnev has worked for Darida, who won promotion in 2002, since the club was founded five years ago. The 2003 campaign begins on 12 April, with Darida taking on FC Belshina Bobruisk at home.