Rovers boosted by russian arrivals

Russian duo presented polo shirts

Russian duo presented polo shirts

SHARLSTON ROVERS head into the second half of the season with several trophies in their sights – and with two Russian internationals on board to help them in their bid.

Andrey Zdobnikov and Sasha Lysokon, who both play for Moscow Vereya, have joined the Wakefield outfit until the end of the campaign.

The pair are in England as a result of invitations initiated by Sharlston’s main sponsors Unison, whose Charlie Robinson and Linda Bratley have been instrumental, together with Rugby League European Federation officer Julia Bennison, in bringing the venture to fruition.

Dave Evans, Unison’s International Officer said: “This gives Unison the opportunity to help develop international links through the medium of sport, which is an international language which everybody understands.
“Hopefully the lads will go back to Russia with an understanding how the game operates at grass roots level in the north of England. Whilst here, they will be visiting Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Wildcats who we hope will give them a warm Yorkshire welcome.”

Rovers Secretary Jamie Hobbs said: “It’s a tremendous boost for us and we think we are the first club in the country to welcome Russian players.
“They are smashing blokes and are already settling in well.”

He added: “The offer stemmed from the visit of Lokomotiv Moscow to the city a couple of years ago, when they played the Wakefield ARL at Belle Vue in a match sponsored by Unison in the build up to a Carnegie Challenge Cup tie at Leigh.
“The Russian side’s coach said, at the time, that it would be tremendous if a couple of players could guest with an English club side and, a season or two down the line, here we are.”

The Balkan Grill, on Doncaster Road, Belle Vue, Wakefield, is sponsoring a meal a week for the two players throughout their five-months stay. Owner Tony Gaunt is pictured with the duo.