The Nominees -
PYLUP BUDKIVSKYI IS UKRAINE U21’S ALL TIME TOP SCORER AND MADE HIS SENIOR SIDE DEBUT IN 2014
Pylyp Budkivskyi is a youngster with a bright future and 2014 has been the season in which he is taking his game up a level. Budkivskyi is the Ukraine Under 21’s all time top goalscorer with an incredible 18 goals in 23 appearances. He was instrumental in the U21’s reaching the play-offs of Euro 2015 Qualifying, but ultimately couldn’t help Ukraine U21’s against Germany in the play-Offs as he earned himself a call-up for the senior national side. He made his debut against Belarus, coming on and being influential in forcing the error for the first goal which set Ukraine on their way. He has gone on to make four appearances for Zbirna and will be hoping that in 2015 he can get his first goal and become the main striker. He has also played his part in a fine season so far for Zorya. The front man has led the line well and scored three goals as Zorya are challenging for another Europa League place.
KONOPLYANKA CONTINUES TO ATTRACT INTEREST OF TOP CLUBS AROUND EUROPE
Our @DonetskWay2012 Ukrainian Footballer of the Year 2013 has not reached the same heights as he did last year but none the less Konoplyanka has still shown the quality he processes. Top European clubs are still clambering after the signature. Konoplyanka missed parts of the season through injury and his absence was noticeable. When he has played, Ukraine have been unbeaten. He also helped Dnipro to second place at the end of the 2013/14 UPL season and is involved in their title challenge this term.
ANDRIY PYATOV IS NUMBER ONE FOR UKRAINE AND SHAKHTAR
Andriy Pyatov has been ever present for Ukraine in competitive games in 2014, conceding only one goal (and nearly scoring in the same game) against Slovakia. He has played 7 out of 8 of Ukraine’s games in 2014 conceding only two. Pyatov was named Man of the Match in Ukraine’s games with Belarus and Macedonia and impressed throughout for his nation. For his club, Pyatov has maintained his number one position and helped Shakhtar win the 2013/14 UPL and has seen them qualify for the second round of the Champions League this term. Pyatov in the past has been an inconsistent figure, but has put some of these doubts behind him and will hope that he continues to improve.
SHOVKOVSKYI IS NOW DYNAMO KYIV’S ALL TIME APPEARANCE RECORD HOLDER
Shovkovskyi will simply not go away. Many times it has looked as if his career may be coming to an end, or a young pretender will take his crown, but Shovkovskyi non the else has come back to form and remains Dynamo’s main man, helping Dynamo to their 10th Ukrainian Cup title and their current position at the top of the UPL. Maxym Koval has been forced out on loan to Hoverlya while Oleksandr Rybka is playing second fiddle to Sasho. Shovkovskyi has become Dynamo Kyivs all time record appearance holder overtaking the legendary Oleh Blokhin and setting a record which in modern football may be impossible to beat. Only injuries hold Shovkovskyi back but when he is fit he is still as agile and capable as ever. Earlier in the season when Pyatov was struggling with fitness there was talk of a return to the national team for the 39 year old which ultimately didn’t happen. There is talk of Shovkovskyi hanging up his gloves at the end of the year, however if he continues this fine form, he may well continue. He is now in his 21st season in the UPL and may well go on to break more records.
SERHIY SYDORCHUK SCORED ON HIS DEBUT FOR UKRAINE IN 2014
Serhiy Sydorchuk has been on the periphery of the Dynamo starting line-up for 18 months but under Serhiy Rebrov has picked up his game and is now one of the first names on the team sheets. It may be that he is capitilising on the long term absence of Denys Garmash but he is definitely relishing first team exposure. He has forced his way into Ukraine’s starting XI, displacing Edmar and scored the crucial goals in Ukraine’s first two wins of the Euro 2016 Qualifying campaign, of which the Belarus game was his international debut. Sydorchuk has forced his way into the reckoning of Ukraine’s best players of the year and if he continues to improve he will be an important player for many years to come.
YARMOLENKO HAS BECOME UKRAINE’S 2ND TOP SCORER
Andriy Yarmolenko has gone from strength to strength in 2014 and has cemented himself as Dynamo Kyiv and Ukraine’s star man. Yarmolenko’s four goals for the national team this year have taken him clear of Serhiy Rebrov as Ukraine’s second top goal scorer of all time, with 18th goals, Andriy Shevchenko leads the way with 48 goals. Yarmolenko has also added at least three assists, meaning he has been involved in eight out of eleven goals in the calendar year for Zbirna. Alongside Artem Fedetskyy, he is the only man to have appeared in all of Ukraine’s games in 2014. Yarmolenko has also stepped up a level with Dynamo Kyiv, particularly since Rebrov has taken over as manager. He has taken over Viktor Leonenkos league goals record and is currently 6th, only one goal behind Artem Milvskyi in Dynamo Kyiv’s all time scorer list. Yarmolenko picked up his first trophy with the Ukrainian Cup in 2013/14 and is leading the charge for Dynamo as they seek to earn their first league title since 2008/09. If Yarmolenko continues his fine form into 2015, top European clubs will come calling.VoteView ResultsPolldaddy.com
If there is a player you think deserves to be on the list and is worth of a mention, please share your thoughts with us, comment below or via our twitter @DonetskWay2012
Article by Peter Chymera, Vice-President of the UK Ukrainian Sports Supporters Club and Co-founder of the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame. Follow Peter on twitter – @PMChymera89