Wolfsberger AC

Wolfsberger AC, commonly referred to as Wolfsberg or simply WAC, is an Austrian association football club from Wolfsberg, Carinthia, who currently play in the Austrian Bundesliga. Between the 2007–08 and 2011–12 seasons, Wolfsberger AC entered a cooperation with SK St. Andrä, competing under the name WAC/St. Andrä during that period. The team is currently called RZ Pellets WAC for sponsorship reasons.

Wolfsberger AC
Club crest
Full nameRiegler & Zechmeister Pellets Wolfsberger Athletik Club [1]
Nickname(s)GAM FC
Founded1930; 92 years ago (1930)
GroundLavanttal-Arena, Wolfsberg
Capacity7,300
ChairmanDietmar Riegler
ManagerRobin Dutt
LeagueAustrian Bundesliga
2021–22Austrian Bundesliga, 4th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

After having played the majority of its existence in the lower leagues, Wolfsberger AC finished their 2011–12 season as champions of the 2011–12 Austrian Football First League (now known as the "Second League", or "2. Liga") and earned promotion to the Austrian Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history, in which they finished fifth at the end of the 2012–13 Austrian Football Bundesliga.

Wolfsberg finished third in the 2018–19 Austrian Football Bundesliga which qualified them for the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League group stage. They finished in fourth place in Group J of the UEFA Europa League in the 2019–20 season.

HistoryEdit

Wolfsberger AC was founded by Adolf Ptazcowsky, Karl Weber, Hermann Maierhofer, Franz Hafner and Michael Schlacher in 1931. After spending the first thirty-seven years of its existence on lower tiers of the Austrian league pyramid, the club eventually achieved promotion to the Austrian Regional League, which was on the second tier of the pyramid at that time, in 1968. WAC stayed at this level, with one exception during the 1977–78 season, for the next seventeen years, establishing themselves as a mid-table side.

At the end of the 1984–85 season, Wolfsberger AC eventually dropped back to the third level. The club returned for two further second-level appearances during the 1988–89 and 1990–91 seasons, but was immediately relegated each time. In 1994, the club was a founding member of the reactivated Regional League as the third tier of the pyramid. After being in the promotion race for the first few years in the new league, strength of the club gradually declined and eventually led to relegation at the end of the 2001–02 season.

 
Historical chart of Worfsberger AC league performance

In 2007, WAC and neighbours SK St. Andrä decided to enter a cooperation. While both clubs remained as separate entities, they closely worked together on almost all aspects: "Central areas of both clubs like administration, management, economy, marketing, gastronomy, as well as the athletic section as the core (both the senior and junior teams) will be centrally administered from the newly created offices of WAC/St. Andrä at Wolfsberg."[citation needed] Since SK St. Andrä were playing at the Regional League, the team began at this level, from which it was promoted to the First League in 2010. At the end of the 2011–12 season, the cooperation secured promotion to the Bundesliga with one round of matches to go. Soon afterwards, the cooperation was dissolved; Wolfsberger AC thus competed as an independent club on the highest level of Austrian football for the first time in their history.

After their first year in the highest class they came in 5th. After the season manager Nenad Bjelica left the club and became manager of FK Austria Wien, the champion of the 2012–13 season. Slobodan Grubor replaced him but after weak performances in the new season he was replaced by Dietmar Kühbauer.

The team became known as 'RZ Pellets WAC' from the 2014–15 season, due to sponsorship.[2]

Wolfsberger AC qualified to the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League group stage for first time in their history, after finishing third in the 2018–19 Austrian Football Bundesliga.[3]

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

LeagueEdit

European recordEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 2Q   Shakhtyor Soligorsk 2–0 1–0 3–0
3Q   Borussia Dortmund 0–1 0–5 0–6
2019–20 UEFA Europa League Group J   Roma 1–1 2–2 4th out of 4
  Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–1 4–0
  İstanbul Başakşehir 0–3 0–1
2020–21 UEFA Europa League Group K   CSKA Moscow 1–1 1–0 2nd out of 4
  Dinamo Zagreb 0–3 0–1
  Feyenoord 1–0 4–1
R32   Tottenham Hotspur 1–4 0–4 1–8
2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League 3Q  

Current squadEdit

As of 30 June 2022

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
4 DF   AUT David Gugganig
6 MF   AUT Nikolas Veratschnig
7 MF   ISR Eliel Peretz
9 FW   CRO Dario Vizinger
10 MF   AUT Michael Liendl
11 FW   ISR Tai Baribo
16 MF   AUT Mario Leitgeb
17 DF   AUT Jonathan Scherzer
18 FW   AUT Thorsten Röcher
19 MF   AUT Sven Sprangler
20 MF   GHA Augustine Boakye
21 GK   AUT David Skubl
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 DF   AUT Dominik Baumgartner
24 MF   AUT Christopher Wernitznig
27 DF   AUT Michael Novak
29 GK   AUT Manuel Kuttin
30 MF   AUT Matthäus Taferner
31 GK   AUT Alexander Kofler
33 MF   AUT Kai Stratznig
44 DF   GEO Luka Lochoshvili
77 DF   BIH Amar Dedić (on loan from Red Bull Salzburg)
97 MF   AUT Adis Jasic
FW   GRE Nikos Vergos

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   GEO Guram Giorbelidze (at Dynamo Dresden)
MF   AUT Lukas Schöfl (at FAC)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   AUT Joshua Steiger (at SV Lafnitz)

ManagersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Wolfsberger AC Squad 2021-22". Football Arroyo. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Getting to know: WAC RZ Pellets | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club". ChelseaFC.
  3. ^ "Nach historischem Erfolg: WAC sucht Coach und Stadion". SPOX (in German). 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ m.b.H., STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft. "WAC setzt Trainer Kühbauer vor die Tür". Retrieved 4 September 2016.

External linksEdit