Despite the low temperature inside the gym, the atmosphere of the celebration was more than warm. Young Zenit players with 1993-2000 birthdays and their parents were invited to the event, along with Academy staff. The guests also included Anatoly Davydov, head coach of Zenit-Y, and famous graduates of Zenit`s Academy, including Vladislav Radimov, Vyacheslav Malafeev, and Vladimir Bystrov.
Henk van Stee, Director of Zenit`s Academy, noted that the school took a huge step forward this year. “After many years of hopes and expectations, we see how our school is turning into one of the most modern football centers in Russia,” explained van Stee. – We`ve increased the number of practices, focused more on preparing footballers rather than teams, and we continue to develop our coaching staff, giving teams the possibility to meet with other high-level European teams in order to get invaluable experience.
After the official speech by van Stee the teams were then given awards for the end of the season. The prizes were given to the young Zenit players by the former Academy graduates Vladislav Radimov, Vyacheslav Malafeev, and Vladimir Bystrov, as well by two current coaches at the Academy: Dmitry Radchenko and Dmitry Vasilyev.
None of the players were left without presents, just like in all previous end-of-season awards ceremonies.