So I have just completed the first pre-season of my time at Belarusian side Shakhter Soligorsk and I have to say, it’s been quite productive. We didn’t play many friendlies but in terms of transfers, we’ve been very active. I think this is because I was given a £4.5m budget with £30k in wages to spend, however I did most of my transfers before the budgets message came in, hence why the figures are different on the image below.
I still have plenty of money left for further signings which is definitely a positive come the Summer window. (The Belarusian season goes from March to November hence why pre-season is winter and the mid-season is the summer).
Let’s look at who left the club:
A total of 5 players left, none of which being particularly important to the club. Now for the more important part… who came in.
So I signed 8 players in total, and I spent £1.4m. I think I overpaid on a couple of players but I balanced it out with some good buys. I will go through each one which may take some time, but I think they’re all good.
Peter Benard: ST (Free Contract)
I signed Benard on a free contract as I saw his ability and potential for this level, and knew he’d be a decent signing. At 3.5 stars ability and 5 stars potential, he is one for the future. His pace is his strongest aspect to his game and hopefully he can outrun a few sluggish defenders.
Ringo: ML/MC (Pre-Contract Deal)
I am pleased we were able to sign Ringo on a pre-contract deal as he is a fine player and even though he’s 31, he should do well in this division. He will play in the MC role but can act as backup to the ML position if it’s needed.
Andrey Zaleskiy: DR (Pre-Contract Deal)
I signed Zaleskiy more as cover for the DR position. Not only can he play at DR, he can also play in the midfield roles as well. This flexibility could prove vital if injuries occur.
Dmitriy Mozolevskiy: ST (£250k Fee — From Legia)
Another player who is breaching the 30+ barrier however I feel his move is justified. He seems to be in a decent form currently and scored 21 goals in 38 games last season for Legia. I hope he can find the net as much for us.
Juan Abarca: DC/DR/DL (£525k Fee — From Universidad de Chile)
I signed Abarca due to his good ability in all his positions. Considering he can play all across the defence with 3.5 stars ability, he should be fine player for us. Also, at 27, he is coming into his prime and perhaps he can be the rock we need in defence.
Almamy Camara: GK (£60k Fee — From Horoya AC)
I decided we needed a new keeper as our best one was 1.5 stars ability and declining. Camara came in for a bargain fee of £60k. With good all round attributes and a very low eccentricity, hopefully he wont make any costly mistakes.
Arthur Yedgaryan: DM/MC (£550k Fee — From Goverla)
I signed the Armenian international for rotation in the DM role. His defensive attributes are good and I hope he will break down play and get stuck in.
Pavel Plaskonny: DC (Free Contract)
Due to the foreign player rule, I needed a defender who was home-grown. Luckily I found Pavel here. The Belerusian international may be 31, but has some key attributes and hopefully he can play as many games as possible to a high standard.
There will probably be even more players signed come the summer, but for now that’s all of them. If I can, I’d like to bring in a good home-grown MR but there aren’t many of those around.
Finally, here are the pre-season friendlies we played:
So one of each results here. I wasn’t too pleased as we lost 0-4 to BATE and only managed a draw against Gomel.
Wish me luck for the season ahead and please comment/vote!