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Klubi i Futbollit Laçi is an Albanian football club based in the city of Laç, which is in the northwest of Albania. The club was founded in 1960 and their biggest achievement to date has been winning the 2012–13 Albanian Cup as well as reaching the second qualifying round of the 2014–15 Europa League after defeating Slovenian side Rudar Velenje on aggregate, but ultimately losing to Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. The club's historical colours have been white and black and their shirts have typically been striped. They have competed in the Albanian Superliga since 2009 and they play their home games at the 2,300 seater Laçi Stadium.

Laçi
Laçi Club Logo.svg
Full nameKlubi i Futbollit Laçi
Founded1960; 59 years ago (1960)
GroundLaçi Stadium
Capacity2,300
ChairmanPashk Laska
ManagerSulejman Starova
LeagueAlbanian Superliga
2018–19Albanian Superliga, 6th
WebsiteClub website

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early HistoryEdit

The club was founded in 1960 under the name Industriali Laç, and they competed in the Albanian Second Division, the third tier, for the majority of their early years. They reached the championship final of the 1974–75 Second Division, but lost to Vetëtima Himarë and were subsequently not promoted to the First Division. The name was changed to KS Laçi in 1991 when the club first participated in the Albanian Superliga, the name was changed for the last time to KF Laçi in 1997. The first trophy won by the club was the 2008–09 Albanian First Division.

Altin Cuko is the KF Laçi player to have won the Albanian Superliga Golden Boot whilst still playing for the club.[1] This was achieved in the 1995–96 season where KF Laçi finished in 12th place, out of 18. Cuko had already scored 5 goals for Tomori Berat before moving to KF Laçi in January 1996, where he netted another 16 times to give him the Golden boot with a total of 21 goals throughout the entire season with both Tomori and Laçi.[2]

Superliga EraEdit

The club played their first season at the top tier, the Albanian Superliga, in the 2004-05 season. They relegated back to the First Division after just one season, setting many records along the way. They returned to Superliga in 2009 and brought in new players such as Erjon Vucaj, Arlind Nora, Julian Brahja, Emiliano Çela, Emiliano Veliaj and Ervin Llani. They narrowly lost their first game of the campaign to Skënderbeu Korçë 4–3[3] and they only won one of their first seven games, which was win against Apolonia Fier. After spending the early stages of the season in the relegation zone, the club hit form and finished in fourth place head of more established clubs such as Flamurtari Vlorë and Vllaznia Shkodër, which also meant they qualified for Europe for the first time in the club's history.

Ahead of the 2010–11 season the club brought in new players in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season as well attempt to go through to the next round of the UEFA Europa League. They were drawn against Belarusian side Dnepr Mogilev in the first qualifying round of the 2010–11 Europa League, and they played their first ever European game on 1 July 2010 at the Niko Dovana Stadium due to the Laçi Stadium not meeting the UEFA criteria to host European games. Bledar Marashi opened the scoring just before half time, scoring the club's first ever goal in a European competition, but his goal was cancelled out in added time as the game ended in a 1–1 draw.[4] However, the second leg proved to be a failure as the club was sent crashing out of the competition following a 7–1 loss, with Valdan Nimani scoring the only goal for the club.[5] Following their exit from Europe, the club brought in players such as Elton Doku, Vangjel Mile and Stipe Buljan ahead of the Albanian Superliga campaign in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season.

The club defeated FK Kukësi 2–1 in the 2015 Albanian Cup Final to win the Albanian Cup for a second time, meaning they qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League.[6]

ManagementEdit

The club appointed current manager Stavri Nica on 7 July 2006, ahead of the 2006–07 season in the Albanian First Division. The owner of the club Pashk Laska revealed the new manager at the club's Stadiumi Laçi in front of a considerable number of fans.[7] Nica has guided the club to promotion to the top tier of Albanian football and won the Albanian First Division title in the 2008–09 season. Laçi made their best finish in Superliga in the 2009–10 season; where they finished 4th and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

StadiumEdit

The club plays its home games at the purpose built Laçi Stadium located in the centre of Laç, which has an official seated capacity of 2,300, but attendances have reached 4,000 in recent years. The stadium was renovated following the club's promotion to the Albanian Superliga and further work was carried out when in the summer of 2010 as they qualified for Europe for the first time in their history. Laçi had hoped that they would be able to host their home Europa League at their own stadium, but they were not able to complete the reconstruction in time, meaning their first home European tie against Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus was held at the Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës. During the reconstruction, the three stands surrounding the playing field were renovated and around 2,300 blue plastic seats were installed to turn the stadium into an all seater. The newly renovated stadium was inaugurated in a home league game against Shkumbini Peqin on 30 August 2010 in front of 1,500 spectators, where Laçi won 2–0.[8][9] During the summer of 2015 the stadium's turf was replaced for the first time since 2006, and minor cosmetic renovation was carried out throughout the rest of the stadium.[10]

European competitions recordEdit

Laçi first qualified for European play after a very good 2009–10 domestic campaign in which they finished 4th to earn a place in the Europa League. The club's first ever European game was played on 1 July 2010 at the Stadiumi Niko Dovana in Durres. They played Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus in the Europa League 1st qualifying round and their first ever match finished 1–1. Although Laçi had the lesser of the chances and only had 2 goal attempts in the match, they still led for much of the second half through a goal by youngster Bledar Marashi in injury time in the first half. However Dnepro equalised in the 92nd minute through Dmitri Turlin which ruined a dream European debut for Laçi.[11]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Dnepr Mogilev 1–1 1–7 2–8  
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Differdange 03 0–1 1–2 1–3  
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Rudar Velenje 1–1 1–1 2–2 (p 3:2)  
2Q   Zorya Luhansk 0–3 1–2 1–5  
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Inter Baku 1–1 0–0 1–1 (a)  
2018–19 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Anorthosis Famagusta 1−0 1−2 2−2 (a)  
2Q   Molde 0−2 0−3 0−5  
2019–20 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1–1 0−1 1−2  
Notes
  • 1Q: First qualifying round
  • 2Q: Second qualifying round

HonoursEdit

Albanian Cup

Albanian Supercup

Albanian First Division

Albanian Second Division

  • Runners-up (1): 1974–75

RecordsEdit

  • Biggest ever home league victory: KF Laçi 7–0 Albpetrol Patos – Sept 27, 1997
  • Biggest ever home league defeat: KF Laçi 1–7 Vllaznia Shkodër – Dec 18, 2004
  • Biggest ever away league victory: Shkumbini Peqin 2–5 KF Laçi – March 11, 2011
  • Biggest ever away league defeat: KF Skënderbeu Korçë 6–1 KF Laçi – March 4, 2016
  • Biggest ever European away defeat:   Dnepr Mogilev 7–1 KF Laçi – July 8, 2010

Albanian records from September 1997

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 11 July 2019

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

No. Position Player
3   DF Taulant Sefgjinaj
4   DF Abdurraman Fangaj
6   MF Julian Shehu
7   MF Elvi Berisha
8   MF Fjoart Jonuzi
9   FW Kyrian Nwabueze
10   MF Regi Lushkja
11   DF Rudolf Turkaj
12   GK Edmir Sali
14   FW Renato Spahiu
16   DF Eglentin Gjoni
17   MF Fatmir Prengaj
18   MF Ndriçim Shtubina
No. Position Player
19   FW Redon Xhixha
20   DF Irlian Ceka
21   MF Ardit Deliu
23   DF Nikola Eller
55   DF Aleksandar Ignjatović
66   DF David Domgjoni
77   GK Erald Cuni
95   MF Teldiano Guimarães Franca Junior
  GK Arlis Shala
  GK Klevis Hoxhaj
  DF Adolf Selmani
  MF Aleksandro Zaimaj
  MF Erisildo Smaçi

RecordsEdit

Below is the list with top ten players with most appearances in all competitions for KF Laçi.

Most appearances
    Player Apps
1   Stipe Buljan 182
2   Taulant Sefgjinaj 180
3   Erjon Vuçaj 161
4   Valdan Nimani 153
5   Alfred Zefi 141
6   Saimir Kastrati 139
7   Emiljano Veliaj 114
8   Elton Doku 110
9   Emiliano Çela 108
10   Edvan Bakaj 73

Historical list of coachesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kepucet Arta" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  2. ^ Giovanni Armillotta (15 July 2009). "Albanian Football Season 1995–1996". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  3. ^ Skënderbeu 4–3 Laçi
  4. ^ Laç 1–1 Dnepr
  5. ^ Dnepr 7–1 Laçi
  6. ^ Kukësi 1–2 Laçi
  7. ^ "Stavri Nica, pankina e re e Laçit" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  8. ^ Laçi 2–0 Shkumbini
  9. ^ Mario Nikolla (20 May 2010). "Stadiumi Lacit pajiset me stola plastik" (in Albanian). Albania Soccer. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  10. ^ Stadiumi i Lacit, së shpejti me tapet të ri Archived 10 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Laci 1–1 Dnepro Match statistics". UEFA. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  12. ^ Mërgjyshi largohet nga Laçi, e zëvendëson Memelli - Top Channel (in Albanian)
  13. ^ Lëvizja e radhës në stolin e Laçit, kthehet Besnik Prenga - Gazeta Si (in Albanian)
  14. ^ Ndryshime te Laçi, ikën Prenga dhe vjen Starova - Gazeta Si (in Albanian)

External linksEdit