The Malta Independent 21 November 2018, Wednesday

Floriana In discussions to sign a Russian striker next month

Malta Independent Saturday, 19 December 2009, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

This weekend Floriana FC were delighted to host Sergei Kuzmin, the Vice-President of FC Volga Ulyanovsk of Russia, to celebrate the first anniversary of their international partnership.

Sergei Kuzmin took time out from his campaign to become the next President of the Russian Football Federation in order to finalise plans in this agreement.

At present, Volga play in the Russian Second Division, finishing fourth last year, and are one of the leading clubs in the Volga region.

Just a few years ago, they were a league above Russian Premier Champions Rubin Kazan who have impressed in this year’s UEFA Champions League.

The club intends to continue developing their top class academy and facilities and at a meeting with Floriana’s committee earlier this week, the next steps in the partnership were outlined.

Along with members of Floriana’s Executive and Committee, Kuzmin was at the Hibs Ground on Sunday to witness the dramatic 2-1 win over Msida and was impressed with the fighting spirit of the Floriana team.

Kuzmin announced that in June and July 2010, FC Volga will take a number of Floriana players to Ulyanovsk for full professional training at their state of the art facilities.

The city’s impressive sports complex which contains a swimming pool, tennis courts, two gyms, recovery rooms, medical clinic, hotel and 8,000 all-seater astro turf ground complete with warm up pitches, lies at Volga’s “Start” Stadium.

On the other bank of the 7km wide Volga River next to the historical home of local boy Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin lies the Trud Stadium, a 22,000 capacity ground with full gym facilities and medical centre.

Floriana players will train twice daily with professional players and be offered full assistance by the 20-strong coaching and medical staff employed by the club.

In advance of this, Kuzmin offered to send to Malta FC Volga players for training during the club’s off-season period. The first is due to arrive before the New Year. Additionally Volga have offered to host Floriana FC for a training camp next summer while, at the same time, beginning plans to bring the Volga side to Malta in February for a pre-season camp.

Floriana FC officials thanked Sergei for his continued friendship and stated that the international partnership is an excellent way to help both clubs develop. At the joint meeting of committee and executive it was further agreed that should Kuzmin win the February third election, the partnership would be stronger still.

Following the meeting at Vilhena Club, the Supporters Club held a reception for the special guests and welcomed the increased co-operation between Floriana FC and FC Volga.

Kuzmin spoke to the supporters and thanked them for their warmth and hospitality, reminding them that though his club was younger than theirs, the passion and belief of his own fans was matched by those he found in Floriana.

On Tuesday Kuzmin, accompanied by Floriana FC Secretary Dione Borg and the local club’s International Development Officer Alan Moore, attended a meeting with Clyde Puli, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, and Maltese Sports Council officials Bernard Vassallo and Joe Cassar, to discuss the purpose of his visit to Malta and to explore opportunities for wider cooperation between Ulyanovsk and Malta.

Kuzmin also visited the National Stadium at the Ta’ Qali where, during a tour of the facilities, he stated that what he saw would be the envy of many Premier clubs in Russia and that the MFA had an excellent base at which to host visiting clubs.

He promised that should he become President of the Russian Football Federation his first official function would be to immediately organise a training camp and match in Malta as this could be the beginning of a strong international partnership between at national level.

Kuzmin returned for meetings in Moscow with regard to the forthcoming youth winter festival to be held in the Ulyanovsk Region. Tomorrow, Alan Moore and Sergei Kuzmin will meet in Ulyanovsk to begin the final selection of players to train at Floriana.

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