Belogorie Belgorod has announced in its official website that is has traded its opposite hitter Maxim Zhigalov to Lokomotiv Novosibirsk in exchange for German national Gyorgy Grozer. On a funny note, the team thanked Zhigalov for all his hard work with the team, wished him luck with his new club, and also said that it wishes him to come back after this season is over.
This trade seems to work for both teams, as Zhigalov, an European Champion with Russia’s NT in 2017, was getting close to no playing time in Belgorod, thus hindering his further development, as he is still only 27 years old, while Grozer will contribute right away for Belgorod’s championship run. Belgorod currently sits in 2d place of Superleague’s standings with a 20-4 record, while Novosibirsk sits in 6th place with a 14-10 record, so it’s safe to say both teams have different ambitions for the end of their 2017-18 season.
Grozer is currently Superleague’s 6th highest scorer, at 4.74 points per set, while also being one of the top servers and blockers of the competition. Since he is a foreign signing, Belgorod will have to relegate Bulgarian Nikolai Nikilov to playing only in the CEV Cup from now on.
This will be Grozer’s second stint in Belgorod, as in his first passage with the team he won a national title (2013), two Russian Cups (2012, 2013), two Russian Super Cups (2013, 2014), a CEV Champions League (2014), and a FIVB Club WCH (2014). He was warmly received by fans when arriving in Belogorie: