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Zenit-2: Four stars of the future

The future of the blue-white-sky blues are soon to head off for their warm-weather training and so we've tasked Kai Connell with picking out four Zenit-2 players for us to keep an eye on.
Zenit-2: Four stars of the future


Goalkeeper - Daniil Odoevsky

At an impressive early age Daniil has shot through the Gazprom Academy’s tiers during the past year, landing himself his Zenit-2 debut aged 16. Odoevsky quickly found himself competing as part of the Russian U17s national team setup, going on to participate in the UEFA Euro U17 Qualifiers and keeping a clean sheet during his three stints in goal, which he completed the full 90’ each time. His efforts internationally earnt Daniil more chances to compete with Zenit’s U20 Premier Liga side, where he kept three successive clean sheets before the initiation of the winter break. His brief Zenit-2 stint against Znamya Truda was his first with the team, replacing fellow shot-stopper Nikita Goilo with 11 minutes to go. Starts soon followed against table-toppers Veles Moscow and foot of the table Zvezda St. Petersburg, where he showed his capable skills straight-away for the blue-white-sky-blues second side. As the season returns in April, keep an eye out for the teenager who is sending shockwaves through the goalkeeping scene at the Gazprom Academy.

Defender - Ilya Skrobotov

The start of the 2019/20 PFL West season was not a kind one for Ilya Skrobotov, picking up a cruciate ligament rupture after only the second matchday. His rise to fame initially came in 2018, when he famously nodded home a 90th minute winner against Dynamo Moscow at home to secure all 3 points for the first team. Since that goal, Ilya has enjoyed several Gazprom Training Camps with Sergei Semak's side and has continuously gained matchday squad experience alongside his Zenit-2 commitments. However, after sustaining the cruel injury early on, Ilya Skrobotov will be incredibly eager to break back into the Zenit-2 side and regain that impressive form which saw him branded as one of the future talents of the Zenit defensive backline.

Midfielder - Daniil Shamkin

Another St. Petersburg born prodigy, Daniil Shamkin, has shot through the Gazprom Academy and established himself as a key performer for the club in the PFL West. Shamkin made his U19 Premier Liga debut aged only 15 after running riot in academy fixtures for his age group. During the 2018/19 FNL season, Daniil set a record as the youngest ever goalscorer in the division aged 16 after he netted against league champions FC Tambov. A record which he stole from current club winger Oleg Shatov!

The 2019/20 season has seen the teenager comfortably find his feet in the division scoring three goals and assisting one. The exciting attacking midfielder has also made waves in the UEFA Youth League, bagging at home against Olympique Lyon in the final group game for the team. With Zenit-2 looking for an immediate bounceback to the FNL, Daniil Shamkin’s contributions towards that could prove the difference come the end of the season. 

Attacker - Ilya Vorobyev

Ilya Vorobyev, aged 20, is now thriving in his current role with Zenit-2 after what was a tough introduction to senior level football. Breaking through via the U19s Premier Liga side in 2017, Vorobyev bagged 5 goals across 20 appearances and rightfully earned himself a starting spot at FNL level with Zenit-2. During the 2018/19 season, Ilya showed his versatility by playing across the front three where he bagged 4 goals in a struggling team. However in the PFL West, Ilya has made the right wing position his own. His impressive work rate and ability in front of the goal has yielded six goals and three assists in his 16 appearances for the blue-white-sky-blues. Clearly highlighting the clinical ability which Voroboyev possesses when going forward.. His keen eye to pick out a pass or to exploit a defensive vulnerability has proved dividends as Zenit-2 aim to achieve promotion back to the FNL. Expect to see Ilya Vorobyev feature heavily throughout the Gazprom Training Camp as Sergei Semak looks to give the youngster more senior experience.

To keep track of all the goings-on over at Zenit-2 go and follow their active Twitter account right here!