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FK Ventpils

FK Ventpils is a football (soccer) club from Latvia.

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About FK Ventpils

FK Ventspils is a Latvian football (soccer) club, based at Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadions in Ventspils city and is one of the most popular football clubs in the country. FK Ventspils plays in the Latvian Higher League. They are the current champions of the tournament.

In total, the club has won four league titles and four Latvian Cups. At the end of the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 seasons, they became Virsliga champions.
In 2009, they became the first Latvian club to participate in the group stages of UEFA competitions after beating BATE football club from Belarus.

Sergei Podpaly has been the Coach (sport) of the club since 17 January 2011, replacing Nunzio Zavettieri , who had been FK Ventspils manager since 2009.

History

FK Ventspils was founded in 1997 with the merger of two former Ventspils clubs – FK Venta and FK Nafta. Its predecessor Venta was one of the leading clubs in the Latvian league in 1960s.

FK Venta

The next notable success for “Venta” was in 1967, when they won the Latvian Cup. By that time they had quite a fighting fit line-up, and 1969 already was their golden year when Venta became champions. During the tournament they gained 43 points; 20 matches won, 3 matches ended with a draw and only 3 matches lost. Additionally, they lost only in the away matches. They scored 45 goals and 16 conceded. At that time Venta's leader was a player manager, who is well known not only to the admirers of Ventspils, but the whole of Latvian football, Vladimir Chikinov.

This was the golden line-up: Leonid Virko, Konstantin Zhurkevich, Aleksandr Busarov, Valery Yashenko, Aleksandr Tronev, Ariy Shmerling, Vladimir Samohvalov, Aleksandr Novash, Nikolay Chaevky, Nikolay Pozdnyakov, Vladimir Chikinov, Viktor Yurinov, Viktor Litvinenko, Aleksandr Rakicky, Valentin Ipolitov, Vladimir Kutuzov, Valentin Vetrenko, Genady Hrustalov.

Of course, the victories did not come easy. There was a huge effort put into both – the matches and training. However, at that time they had quite a modest material and technical basis. They trained in the sport hall of Ventspils port, had training camps in Piltene and went to Moldova several times. They had close contacts with a children’s sport school from which talented youth players often came into the team. Whereas these days there are limits on foreign born players, at that time it was an obligation for the team to have two players younger than 18 years of age in the line-up. Thus, V.Kutuzov, V.Ivankovich, N.Dishlov and later Y.Romanenko, V.Fedotov and others appeared in the team.

In 1963 Ventspils gained a place and the rights to play in the Latvian championship (Virsliga). The next major achievement for "Venta" came in 1967, when it won the Latvian Cup. In 1969 "Venta" were champions of Latvia, in that season "Venta" got 43 points, 20 matches won, 3 drawn and 3 lost. In the 1970s the team lost its position, in the 1980s it lost its financial support and became defunct for some years. In 1994 Venta returned to 1. liga but after that season many players left the club as FK Nafta was formed. Until the merger Venta played in 1. liga.

FK Nafta

FK Nafta was formed in 1995, in the first season the club won its 2nd league division and earned a promotion to the 1st league. In its only season there the club finished higher than FK Venta. After the season the teams merged to form FK Ventspils.

FK Ventspils

New, modern history of football club “Ventspils” began in 1997, the year of team’s foundation. In February 2007, the club that represents the town on the bank of the river Venta with the population of 45 thousand people, celebrated its 10th anniversary. In such a short period of time FK “Ventspils” has become one of the strongest clubs in Latvia. FK “Ventspils” has rapidly developed and gained the reputation of a serious Latvian club, and won various trophies. FK Ventspils has won Virslīga in both – LMT Virslīga 2006 and LMT Virslīga 2007 seasons.

In 2003 FK "Ventspils” won the Latvian Cup for the first time in the team's history. The team won this honorary trophy the next two years in a row. And only the main height – golden medals of the Latvian championship – hadn't been achieved by FK “Ventspils” for a long time. The team won silver and bronze medals of the Latvian championship many times, but everybody in the club dreamed of the gold. And finally, in 2006 FK "Ventspils" became the champions in Latvia by winning the golden medals of the Latvian championship!

The Ukrainian specialist Roman Hryhorchuk led FK Ventspils to the main trophy.
Before that, in 2003, FK Ventspils won the Latvian Cup for the first time . Also in 2004 and in 2005 FK Ventspils won the trophy, but only managed to finish second or third in the Latvian first division championship Virsliga. Finally in 2006 Roman Hryhorchuk, the head coach from Ukraine, took the team to the league championship. Before him, the team was managed by Russian coach Boris Sinicin, an English coach Paul Anthony Ashworth, a Lithuanian coach Saulius Širmslis and a local Latvian coach, Sergejs Semjonovs.

Despite being a relatively new club, FK Ventspils has a quite rich and interesting Eurocups history. In 1999 FK Ventspils had its debut in the Intertoto Cup and managed to beat Norwegian team Vålerenga Fotball on aggregate. Later the club took part in the UEFA Cup, thus allowing fans to see matches against major European clubs as VfB Stuttgart, Rosenborg BK, Brøndby IF, Newcastle United F.C. The draw (0:0) in the away match against Newcastle United F.C may be called the greatest achievement of FK Ventspils until 2009. However, even more memorable are the matches against Brøndby IF in 2004 when FK Ventspils managed to eliminate the Danish club from the UEFA Cup.

On 17 July 2007 FK Ventspils made its debut in the UEFA UEFA Champions League. The yellow-and-blue started their historical trip of the most prestigious club tournament of Europe in Wales, where they played against The New Saints F.C.. The author of the first FK Ventspils goal in the UEFA Champions League was the forward Vits Rimkus.
One week later, on 25 July, FK Ventspils won their first victory in the UEFA Champions League, beating TNS 2:1 in the home match. Goals were scored by defenders Jean-Paul Ndeki and Deniss Kačanovs. In the second qualifying round the team of Roman Hryhorchuk played against FC Red Bull Salzburg, led by the legendary Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni and lost.
In 2008 FK Ventspils participated in the UEFA UEFA Champions League for the second time. And the first opponent of the team was again the champions of Wales – Llanelli A.F.C.
In the 2009–2010 season, FK Ventspils became the first Latvian club to participate in the group stages of UEFA club competitions after beating FC BATE of Belarus. FK Ventspils played in the UEFA Europa League's group stage against Sporting Lisbon, Hertha Berlin and SC Heerenveen but didn't manage to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament.
In 2010 FK Ventspils grabbed the second place in the national championship, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League first qualification stage. They were knocked out of the tournament in the second qualification stage by Red Star Belgrade. In 2011 the club won the national championship, securing its fourth Virsliga title.

Honours

- Virsliga winners
- - 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011
- Virsliga runners-up
- - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
- Latvian Cup winners
- - 2003, 2004, 2005, 2011
- Baltic League winners
- - 2009-10 Baltic League

Participation in Latvian Championships



Participation in Baltic League



European record



Sponsors



Players and staff

As of 31 August 2011, according to

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Reserve team members-

For recent squad changes see: List of Latvian football transfers summer 2011 and List of Latvian football transfers winter 2011-2012.

Staff



Notable former players

- Past (and present) players who are the subjects of articles can be found :Category:FK Ventspils players.

- 198 ŠK Slovan Bratislava
- 200 FK Ventspils
- 201 Omonia Nicosia
- 205 Legia Warsaw

IFFHS World Club Ranking

Current World Club Ranking
- 123 Boca Juniors
- 124 Club Nacional
- 125 FK Ventspils
- 126 KAA Gent
- 129 Manchester City FC
- FC Zürich
- Hertha BSC Berlin




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