Express presentation of debutants of the Second League 2022/23 from Sport Arena
The Second League from year to year loses more than it gains – so in the 2022/23 season it will be held in the format of 11 teams, this is almost a repetition of the smallest number of participants (the previous one happened in 2014 – just when hostilities began in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, what went down in history as the ATO).
It is all the more important that in such difficult conditions, the Second League nevertheless received reinforcement, and more than half of the participants in the new season will be newcomers to the division. Sport Arena quickly tells the most important things about the new names of the PFL.
FC VAST (Nikolaev)
- Founded: year 2014
- Colors: red-black-white
- Stadium: “Central” (Nikolaev)
- The president: Stas Teplyak
- Main coach: Dmitry Nazarenko
The factory club represents the machine-building company VAST. Football players are led by a tandem of former players of MFK Nikolaev and FC Alexandria – Artem Chorniy and Dmitry Nazarenko. The roster includes a number of former players of the “shipbuilders”, most of the guys went through the First and Second Leagues.
At the time of the suspension of the 2021/22 season, VAST was fourth in the third, southeastern group of the Amateur Championship of Ukraine. Among the leading players are the former football player of Tavria and the Portuguese Estoril, centerhal Dmitry Yarchuk (set-piece performer and owner of a powerful long-range strike), red-haired midfielder Alexander Tolgarenko (former leader of the MFK Mykolaiv-2) and scoring defender Nikolai Stetsenko, who once showed promise in Ingulets.
This summer, VAST held a thorough Carpathian training camp and is ready to pleasantly surprise with a few more nostalgic names of Mykolaiv football. One nuance: it cannot be ruled out that the first half of the year will have to be completely spent in the Kyiv region, since the city of Nikolaev is under constant shelling.
FC Niva (Buzova)
- Founded: 1980
- Colors: red-black-white
- Stadium: “Buzova Arena” (Buzova)
- The president: Oktay Efendiev
- Main coach: Sergey Karpenko
The Grand Football of the Kyiv region, who won everything in his region, was the leader of the central group 2 of the Ukrainian championship among amateurs in the unfinished last season. Now Niva is also considered one of the main favorites of the Second League, which is facilitated by a powerful equipment.
Back in winter, several guys from prominent clubs from the First and Second Leagues arrived in Buzova, and now Bohdan Semenets, the former top scorer of Agribusiness, is the same guy who knocked Shakhtar out of the Ukrainian Cup with his winning goal for Volochysk.
Niva’s militant squad includes several former UPL players. In autumn, for example, goalkeeper Sitalo (Tavriya, Stal Alchevsk, Arsenal), defender Pilyavsky (Zorya, Niva Vinnitsa, Maccabi, Ukrainian national team) and winger Zakharevich (Arsenal, Cherkasy Dnipro) played in AAFU. There is no doubt that there will be more big names to come as Niva’s strategy includes a gradual promotion to the Premier League. By the way, the stadium at the club is excellent, cozy – and Niva continues to work on the development of infrastructure.
Businessman Efendiyev, who maintains the club, supports Ukraine and helps the inhabitants of the battle-wracked Kiev region a lot.
FC Zvyagel (Novograd-Volynsky)
- Founded: 1993
- Colors: red-blue
- Stadium: Avangard (Novograd-Volynsky)
- The president: Dmitry Kostyuk
- Main coach: Ruslan Skidan
Zvyagel is the sixth team of Group 2 of the amateur championship, where the Buzovskaya Niva was in the lead. A well-knit team, created on the basis of purely football players from the Zhytomyr region, even more – in recent years with a predominant number of their own pupils.
For many years, Zvyagel football has been supported by a local forestry manager, philanthropist Stepan Nusbaum. It is interesting that people’s deputy Dmitry Kostyuk, an investigative journalist who entered the Verkhovna Rada with the Servant of the People, has now been declared president of the club.
Skidan’s head coach is a local legend. The line-up includes a number of experienced local football players. In general, Novograd-Volynsky gave the national football brothers Bliznichenko, Kashchuk, Zhovtyuk, Nosarev, Perin, Skidan Jr. and many other players.
The leader of the Zvyagel sample of the fall of 2021 is 22-year-old midfielder Nikolai Berezin. In 8 matches of the amateur championship before the season stopped, he managed to score 3 goals and was the best in the team with this modest indicator.
FC Khust City (Khust)
- Founded: 1934
- Colors: red-black-byle
- Stadium: “Carpathians” (Khust)
- The president: Mikhail Madyarchik
- Main coach: Vladimir Tsytkin
In the history of football, the town of Khust, almost on the border with Romania, is a significant period. In 2021, for the first time since 1987, this team became the champion of the Transcarpathian region. Although she did not participate in the championship of Ukraine among amateurs, she was allowed to qualify for the Second League by participating in another AAFU tournament – the Cup of Ukraine among amateur teams. There, FC Khust lost to the Blago-Yunost team from the village of Verkhnya, Ivano-Frankivsk region, already in the first round (0:1, 0:1).
Now the team is headed by the former goalkeeper and head coach of the Vinnitsa Niva Tsytkin, who previously worked in the youth team of Ukraine. There will be newbies. Khust was dragged to success by several well-known local veterans, led by 39-year-old Kornutyak, who had previously successfully played for Hoverla and Minay.
Of particular note is the cozy and well-repaired Karpaty stadium. During the war months, many famous football players and even the university team, which recently took second place in the European Championship among teams of higher educational institutions, kept in shape on it.
Also, the Second League will be replenished with a couple of “twos” – the reserve teams of the First League clubs, but more on that later.
Igor Dashkov, Sport Arena