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Ukraine turn to Fomenko

Wednesday 26 December 2012 18.28 CET
Mykhailo Fomenko has a big job ahead of him if Ukraine are to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

Mykhailo Fomenko has been appointed as Ukraine's new national team coach, while Serhiy Kovalets has been put in charge of the Under-21s.

The 64-year-old Fomenko replaces Oleh Blokhin, who left the role in the autumn to take up the reins at FC Dynamo Kyiv. He has signed a one-year deal with the possibility for a further two once FIFA World Cup qualifying has concluded.

A former defender, Fomenko played in Valeriy Lobanovskiy's famous Dynamo side which won the European Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 1975. He also coached the Kyiv club during a managerial career that also took in stints at FC Metalist Kharkiv and SC Tavriya Simferopol.

Fomenko was made the head of Ukraine's national teams committee in September, but moves up to take charge with his country – who co-hosted UEFA EURO 2012 – struggling in World Cup qualifying, having taken just two points from their first three games in Group H.

Meanwhile, Kovalets takes over the U21s from his former Dynamo team-mate Pavlo Yakovenko, who could not repeat his 2011 achievement of reaching the finals, which are being held in Israel in the summer. Kovalets has worked as Myron Markevich's assistant at Metalist, while also leading the likes of FC Lviv, FC Obolon Kyiv and FC Metalurh Zaporizhya.

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