Thursday, May 29, 2008

Club Focus - Chernihiv Desna

Obolon's opponents today are Chernihiv Desna, unfortunately unlike most of the other teams I have written a focus on they have quite an unremarkable history. In fact one of the most important facts is that when they were formed in 1960 they had a young goalkeeper known as Viktor Bannikov between the posts. He later became one of the best goalkeepers in the USSR and was a visionary when he was a director of the Football Federation of Ukraine. His influence was so great that now the training pitches for the underage Internationals (and sometime venues) are named after him at the House of Football. There is also a tournament named after him. for more details see some previous posts:

Anyway, as I was saying Desna have not had the most glorious of histories. They spent most of their history in the 2nd division of the Soviet League. On formation of the Ukrainian League they played for the first 5 seasons in the first division, where they struggled before being relegated to the second division, where despite the odd trip to the first league they have been since.

The last couple of seasons, though they have been in the first division and this season has been their most successful to date. For the most part of the season they have occupied an automatic promotion spot along with Obolon, however at the moment Obolon are 3rd and Desna are 4th. It is clear that Illichevets Mariupol will take first place, but 2nd is still up for grabs and Obolon, FK Lviv, and Desna all have a shout (if they want it). All of these clubs seem to fear the Vishe Liha and the cost it entails. It also looks like the new Premier League will be going ahead in July, so Desna might be denied (saved from) a trip to the highest levels of Ukrainian football.

One interesting fact about Desna is that they play at the Yuri Gagarin stadium, as the famous cosmonaut did his initial training in Chernihiv

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