Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Club Focus - Zorya Luhansk

You have to feel a bit sorry for Zorya, at the time of writing they are 3rd from bottom in the Vishe Liha and will play Shakhtar at home in a rearranged game on Wednesday before coming to Kyiv and taking on Dynamo on Saturday.

Recent history has not been kind to Zorya at all, although this is a club with a once proud history. They were formed in 1923 as Zorya Vorisholograd, as Luhansk was know in those days and had close links with the railway unions. Their finest moment came in 1972 when they won the USSR Championship. The Ukrainian Championship has not been so lucky for them, however.

They debuted in the Vishe Liha at its inception in 1992 and hung around the bottom of the league until finally being relegated in 1996. The rot had definitely set in by then, as they went on to be relegated the following year to the second division. They finally made their way back to the First Division in 2003-2004 and made a reappearence in the Vishe Liha last season where they finished a respectable 11th.

Only time will tell if they will stay up this time, as it is really tight at the bottom.
The top image is Zorya's current badge, the second is that of Zorya's when they were known as Zorya Vorishograd

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