Vladimir Krikunov’s contract as Neftekhimik head coach has been terminated by mutual consent and Dmitry Balmin has taken temporary charge of the team. Krikunov worked at the Nizhnekamsk club from 2001-2004 and from 2008-2011 before returning in the summer for a third spell following a year in charge of Barys Astana.
A short while earlier, Ugra announced the departure from the club of head coach Sergei Shepelev and two of his assistants, Nikolai Solovyov and Sergei Kotov. Shepelev had been working at the Khanty-Mansiysk club since 2008. Another of Shepelev’s assistants, Oleg Davydov, has been named as acting head coach, a mere three days after joining the senior coaching staff. Davydov had previously been assistant coach of the Ugra Mammoths youth team.