FC Sioni Bolnisi

FC Sioni is a Georgian football club based in Bolnisi. Following the 2021 season they won Liga 2 and gained promotion to the first tier of Georgian league system.

Sioni Bolnisi
FC Sioni Bolnisi.jpg
Full nameFootball Club Sioni Bolnisi
Founded1936; 85 years ago (1936)
GroundTamaz Stepania Stadium, Bolnisi
Capacity3,000
ChairmanZviad Kirkitadze
ManagerGiorgi Daraselia
LeagueErovnuli Liga
20211st, Liga 2

The team has once claimed the national league champion's title.

Sioni plays their home games at the local stadium named after Tamaz Stepania.

HistoryEdit

The football club in Bolnisi was founded in 1936. For years they took part in Georgian domestic competitions under the name Madneuli. While being in the second division in early 1990s, the team emerged among the candidates challenging for the top league.

For the first time Sioni participated in Umaglesi Liga in the 1995/96 season and after the initial several years made a significant progress towards joining ambitious clubs vying for titles.

In 2002 they reached the Cup final, although failed to prevail over Dinamo Tbilisi.[1]

In the 2003/04 season, Sioni and FC WIT Georgia shared the first position in the league, and the title was decided in a championship play-off. WIT won the game 2–0, but the crowd violence during the match led UEFA to ban Sioni from the UEFA Cup participation.[2]

The third attempt two years later turned out successful. The club set a remarkable unbeaten home record by winning 14 games out of 15 and ended the season five points clear of a main rival.[3] Kakha Tskhadadze became Manager of the Year, while striker Koka Mikuchadze, who scored 19 goals, was named in the symbolic team of the season. Sioni represented Georgia in the UEFA Champions League 2006-07, where they defeated FK Baku from Azerbaijan in the first qualifying round,[4] but were eliminated by Bulgarian champions Levski Sofia in the second stage, losing 2–0 both home and away.[5]

 
Old Logo

As champions, in January 2007 Sioni participated in CIS Cup in Moscow where they defeated two opponents out of three, although failed to qualify for play-offs due to disadvantage in goal difference.[6]

Sioni achieved another league success in 2013/14. Under Vladimir Burduli the club, strengthened by some experienced players, including former national team members Valeri Abramidze and Revaz Kemoklidze, won the bronze medals. However, Sioni's subsequent performance was poor, which saw the team in 2016 relegated to Liga 2 for the first time in the last two decades.

As of 2020, in all-time table based on performance in Erovnuli Liga Sioni are on the 7th place.[7]

M W D L GD P
746 263 159 324 853-1041 948

Following a two-year tenure in the second division Sioni gained another promotion in 2021. The team topped the league from the very beginning and, although slipped up in midseason which resulted in the sacking of the manager, eventually they defeated Gagra in the championship contest.[8]

SeasonsEdit

Season Div. Position Notes Top scorers
1995/96 1st 9th of 16
1996/97 1st 9th of 16
1997/98 1st 13th of 16
1998/99 1st 13th of 16
1999/2000 1st 6th of 16 Championship Group
2000/01 1st 8th of 12 Relegation Group
2001/02 1st 8th of 12 Relegation Group
2002/03 1st 5th of 12 Championship Group
2003/04 1st 2nd of 12 Championship Group
2004/05 1st 7th of 10
2005/06 1st 1st of 16
2006/07 1st 6th of 14
2007/08 1st 8th of 14
2008/09 1st 5th of 11
2009/10 1st 6th of 10 Aleksandre Gogoberishvili - 6
2010/11 1st 8th of 10 Revaz Gotsiridze - 7
2011/12 1st 12th of 12 Relegation round Giorgi Kutsurua - 4
2012/13 1st 10th of 12 Relegation round Giorgi Kakhelishvili, Valeri

Abramidze, Lado Akhalaia - 4

2013/14 1st 3rd of 12 Championship Group Rezo Jikia - 6
2014/15 1st 13th of 16 Data Sitchinava - 11
2015/16 1st 5th of 16 Dimitri Tatanashvili - 11
2016 1st 6th of 14 Red Group; Relegation play-off, lost Davit Volkovi - 6
2017 2nd 3rd of 10 Promotion play-off, won Jaba Dvali - 21
2018 1st 8th of 10 Relegation play-off, won Davit Kirkitadze - 6
2019 1st 9th of 10 Relegation play-off, lost Jaba Ugulava - 9
2020 2nd 7th of 10 Zviad Sikharulia - 4
2021 2nd 1st of 10 Winner, promoted Data Sitchinava - 20

HonoursEdit

Winners (1): 2005–06
Bronze medals (1): 2013–14
Winners (1): 2021
Runners-up (1): 2001-02


European cupEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away
2003–04 UEFA Cup QR   FK Púchov 0–3 0–3
2006–07 UEFA Champions League 1Q   Baku FC 2–0 0–1
2Q   PFC Levski Sofia 0–2 0–2
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Flamurtari 2–3 2–1

ManagersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 7 August 2021[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   GEO Zurab Japiashvili
3 DF   GEO Guram Adamadze
4 DF   GEO Lasha Ugrekhelidze
5 DF   GEO Archil Tvildiani
8 MF   GEO Nika Khorkheli
9 MF   AZE Orkhan Aliyev
10 FW   GEO Jaba Ugulava
11 FW   GEO Data Sitchinava
12 GK   GEO Levan Isiani
14 MF   GEO Giorgi Koripadze
15 MF   RUS Georgy Berezov
18 MF   GEO Nika Ghambarashvili
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF   GEO Beka Gabiskiria
20 MF   GEO Tornike Gorgiashvili
22 MF   GEO Luka Khorkheli
23 MF   GEO Lasha Kochladze
24 MF   GEO Beka Nikolashvili
26 DF   GEO Varlam Kilasonia
28 DF   RUS Giorgi Chelebadze
30 GK   GEO Konstantine Sepiashvili
31 GK   GEO Giorgi Ugrekhelidze
32 GK   GEO Guram Kharaishvili
34 FW   GEO Toma Tabatadze (on loan)
38 MF   GEO Giorgi Kakhelishvili

SponsorsEdit

Rich Metals Group, engaged in mining activities near Bolnisi, signed a first sponsorship contract with Sioni in 2016.[10]

NameEdit

While Sioni is a Georgian equivalent of Zion, the football club is named after Bolnisi Sioni, the fifth century cathedral located near the current municipal centre.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Cup final of 2001/02 (in Georgian)". msy.gov.ge.
  2. ^ Reuters (2004-06-01). "UEFA Cup ban for Georgian club Sioni". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  3. ^ "Umaglesi Liga 2005/06". rsssf.com.
  4. ^ "UEFA Champions League History, Season 2006–2007, First qualifying round". uefa.com. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  5. ^ "UEFA Champions League History, Season 2006–2007, Second qualifying round". uefa.com. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  6. ^ "CIS tournament 2007". Wildstat.
  7. ^ "Overall table of Umaglesi Liga". Wildstat.
  8. ^ "სიონი ეროვნულ ლიგაში დაბრუნდა". leadersport.ge (in Georgian). 27 November 2021. Retrieved 3 Dec 2021.
  9. ^ "Sioni squad for 2021". gff.ge.
  10. ^ "RMG becomes sponsor of Sioni". richemetalgroup.com.

External linksEdit