SFC Slutsk (Belarusian: ФК Слуцк; Russian: СФК Слуцк) is a Belarusian association football club based in Slutsk, Minsk Oblast.

SFC Slutsk
Full nameAthletic Football Club Slutsk[1]
Founded1998; 26 years ago (1998)
GroundCity Stadium, Slutsk
ChairmanVitaliy Bunos[2]
Head CoachAleksandr Gurinovich
LeagueBelarusian Premier League
2023Belarusian Premier League, 8th of 15
WebsiteClub website

History edit

Origins and predecessor clubs edit

There was competitive football in Slutsk as early as 1913,[3] with a Slutsk team entering the third season of the republican competition in 1926, but it did not enter a BSSR competition again until 1936. From the 1940s, the city of Slutsk was represented at a very low level by a team called Slutsk Spartak.[4]

During World War 2, the city's football pitch was the site of "fierce battles" and extensive trench construction. In 1948, the city's executive committee decided to promote and fund football. The same year, the city stadium, originally built in 1935, was rebuilt. In addition to government funding, the city team was funded by the "trade union voluntary sports society and individual enterprises." Despite this, by 1974, the Slutsk team faced financial difficulties and dropped out of the BSSR republican championship. There were short-lived revivals in 1980 and the late 1980s before the city registered a self-supporting club in 1990. The name of the Slutsk team changed frequently in the 1990s, based on sponsorship.[3]

In 1997, there was a new sports center in Slutsk funded by Nikolai Prudnik, of the local sugar refinery. The sports complex created a football team funded by Oleg Karanevsky, a physical educator. It was initially effectively a company team for the sugar plant,[5] with all the players working for the plant, but later players from previous Slutsk representative teams joined. The coach was Alexander Dubitsky.[3]

Current team edit

The current team was founded in 1998 as Slutsksakhar Slutsk after success in local futsal and financial guarantees from the sugar refinery.[3] Between 1998 and 2007, they played in the Minsk Oblast championship. In 2008, they joined the Belarusian Second League. In 2010, they finished in second place and were granted a promotion to the First League in 2011. In early 2011, the team changed its name to Slutsk. After becoming a "city club", initially all home matches were played at a stadium in Salihorsk.[6] Starting in 2012, after the expansion of the Slutsk city stadium, with a new administrative building, new stands, and a pitch extension, the team began playing at their proper home ground. The pitch had initially been too small, as a running track around the field had been only 360 meters instead of the standard 400.[3] In 2013, Slutsk became the league leader in home attendance.[4] The town stadium would be further renovated in the 2014 season.

In 2014, the club signed Japanese player Yōsuke Saitō, who would score 7 goals in 17 games in his debut season.

In the 2015 off-season, Slutsk was one of the few Belarusian teams to play friendlies abroad, facing Danish and Russian clubs in Turkey.

In the following seasons, the club went through a series of management changes. In 2015, long-time head coach Yuriy Krot was fired, and replaced by Vyachaslaw Hryharaw, who was also a player. In 2017, Vitaliy Pavlov was appointed head coach.

The same year, Oleg Karanevsky, club chairman, was detained for allegedly taking a bribe.[7]

In 2018, forward Yevgeniy Shikavka was the first FC Slutsk player to represent Belarus at the national level.

2020 season edit

In 2020, the club suffered a financial setback when the major sponsor, a local sugar refinery, withdrew after suffering losses.[4] The decision was made by new management, since the former head was imprisoned.[8][9]

FC Slutsk gained global media attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Belarusian league was one of the few in the world still playing (along with Nicaragua and Tajikistan - and as of April 2020, Taiwan), an online following began around FC Slutsk, started by Australians who found the name funny.[10][11][12][13][2][14][15] This led to coverage of the club by international media outlets including the BBC, The New York Times , NBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Russia Today, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The new fandom also had financial benefits: when the club's financial problems came to light, online fans raised "over $3,000 in less than two weeks" to help the club, and led to new sponsorship from Parimatch, a Ukrainian betting company.[16][17][5] The movement also led to the adoption of a club song, "We love our Slutsk", composed by Andy Bajana and performed by Yury Trubila,[18][19] which was played at home games starting in April 2020.[20][8]

As of 2020, despite the reduction in financial support from the sugar factory, a majority of players continued to live "on the second floor of the sugar factory dormitory allocated for them".[21]

On 30 June 2020, Slutsk manager Vitaly Pavlov was fired after an extended period of poor performances in the league. His replacement was Alexander Konchits.[22] In October 2020, Konchits was replaced by Alexander Brazevich after the club slipped into the relegation zone.[23]

On November 27, 2020, before the last game of the season against FC Smolevichi, Slutsk announced that most of the team had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Since the result would not affect the league standings, both teams agreed to cancel the game.[24]

Current squad edit

As of March 2024 [25]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   BLR Daniil Perov
2 DF   BLR Vladislav Karpenya
5 MF   BLR Ivan Mikhnyuk
6 MF   BLR Mikhail Sachkovskiy
7 MF   BLR Sergey Pushnyakov
8 MF   BLR Sergey Rusak
9 MF   BLR Vladislav Sychev
10 DF   BLR Andrey Alshanik
11 FW   RUS Nikita Melnikov
12 DF   BLR Nikita Bylinkin
13 MF   BLR Ivan Butenas
14 FW   BLR Andrey Salawyow
15 DF   BLR Andrey Rum
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 DF   BLR Alyaksey Syamyonaw
17 MF   BLR Ilya Tishurov
18 MF   BLR Maksim Omelyanchuk
19 FW   KAZ Oralkhan Omirtayev
23 DF   BLR Yaroslav Yarotsky
27 MF   BLR Vadim Kurlovich
29 MF   BLR Ilya Dubinets
30 GK   BLR Ilya Branovets
31 FW   BLR Arseniy Achapovskiy
44 GK   BLR Denis Sadovsky
71 MF   BLR Andrey Kren
77 DF   BLR Ivan Yurin
78 MF   BLR Vladislav Kovalevich

League and Cup history edit

Season Level Pos Pld W D L Goals Points Domestic Cup Notes
2008 3 5th 30 15 6 9 53–37 51
2009 3 4th 26 14 3 9 48–37 45 Round of 64
2010 3 2nd 34 25 6 3 79–30 81 Round of 32 Promoted
2011 2 5th 30 13 10 7 44–33 49 Round of 32
2012 2 5th 28 15 7 6 59–27 52 Round of 32
2013 2 1st 30 19 9 2 54–19 66 Round of 32 Promoted
2014 1 9th 32 11 7 14 26–34 40 Round of 16
2015 1 11th 26 6 7 13 26-30 25 Round of 16
2016 1 12th 30 6 12 12 22-34 30 Quarter-finals
2017 1 7th 30 12 8 10 30-34 44 Quarter-finals
2018 1 8th 30 11 3 16 26-36 36 Quarter-finals
2019 1 11th 30 9 7 14 29-46 34 Quarter-finals
2020 1 14th 29 8 3 18 31-55 27 Round of 16
2021 1 9th 30 9 8 13 36-44 35 Round of 16
2022 1 11th 30 7 11 12 26-41 32 Quarter-finals
2023 1 8th 28 9 8 11 38-40 35 Round of 16

Honours edit

Managers edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Общественное объединение "Спортивный футбольный клуб "Слуцк"". Sfc-slutsk.by. СФК "Слуцк". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "In Belarus, unlike most places, soccer plays on despite virus". NBC News. April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e "История слуцкого футбола". Наследие Слуцкого края (in Russian). Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Centennial Timeline of Slutsk Football • Слуцк • Газета "Інфа-Кур'ер"". Слуцк • Газета «Інфа-Кур’ер». April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Parimatch Press, "We Love Our Slutsk | Parimatch Press about FC Slutsk (ФК Слуцк)", April 28, 2020.
  6. ^ "Горки :: Портал города". Regiony.BY (in Russian). Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "Председателя СФК "Слуцк" задержали. Предположительно, за получение взятки • Слуцк • Газета "Інфа-Кур'ер"". Слуцк • Газета «Інфа-Кур’ер» (in Kyrgyz). September 7, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Lusted, Peter, "Saving Slustk", ABC News Australia, aired April 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Kalinovskaia, Tatiana; Marchand, Thibaut (April 27, 2020). "Belarusian Football Wins Fans Abroad as Locals Boycott Matches". The Moscow Times. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "FC Slutsk finds unexpected fame with 1,500 fans worldwide". «Белсат ТВ» онлайн. March 22, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  11. ^ "Belarus football's new global following as Belarusian Premier League continues unabated". BBC Sport. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Dunne, Jessica (April 5, 2020). "What Sports Are Still Being Played Around The World?". 10 daily. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Belarus' Global League: Sport during the coronavirus era", SBS Dateline, April 24, 2020.
  14. ^ Post, South China Morning (April 7, 2020). "Coronavirus: football stands firm in Belarus, Tajikistan, Burundi, Nicaragua". LINE TODAY. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "How a Band of Australians Made Belarus Soccer an Internet Smash". The New York Times. May 12, 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  16. ^ Lusted, Peter (April 24, 2020). "How Australians in shutdown suddenly became a Belarusian soccer club's number one fans". ABC News. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  17. ^ Fundraiser by Shane Robinson : FK Slutsk Worldwide Official Donation Fund, Apr 24, 2020.
  18. ^ Trubila, Yury, "FK SLUTSK WORLDWIDE ANTHEM - WE LOVE OUR SLUTSK (Гимн ФК Слуцк)", YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o91axfV3yiY.
  19. ^ Young Climate Activists vs. Clive Palmer, Hack, Triple J, Wednesday 13 May 2020.
  20. ^ Reich, Stephan (April 24, 2020). "Fleisch pökeln, Tampons verzieren". SZ Magazin (in German). Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  21. ^ ""Slutsk" is a like a warm-hearted Soviet movie. Some words about "Slutsk" from within". Sports.ru (in Russian). Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  22. ^ Announcement by SFC Slutsk, June 30, 2020.
  23. ^ Announcement by SFC Slutsk, October 6, 2020.
  24. ^ NEXT MATCH CANCELED!, SFC Slutsk, November 27, 2020.
  25. ^ FC Slutsk squad

External links edit