February 25, 2009

2008-’09 Ukrainian Premier League, attendance map at the winter break.

Filed under: Ukraine — admin @ 6:12 pm


The Ukrainian Premier League is back from it’s long winter break,  with fixtures for the 18th week to be played between 27th February and 4th March.   The most noteworthy fixture is the match next Wednesday that sees league leaders Dynamo Kyiv visit Metalist Kharkiv,  who are in second place.

Meanwhile, three Ukrainian clubs are still alive in the 2008-’09 UEFA Cup…the Big 2 (Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk) and Metalist Kharkiv.

Ukrainian Premier League table {click here (Soccerway site)}.


On the map I have shown the 18 clubs in the 08/09 Ukrainian Premier League,  with their logos sized to reflect their current average attendance.  On the right are the 18 clubs, with their founding dates;  their major titles (including USSR titles won before the fall of the Soviet Union,  in 1991);  and their total seasons spent in the Ukrainian Premier League [this is the league's 18th season]. 

Dynamo Kyiv seem to have put behind them the disorganization of their last season,  and have a 6 point lead on Metalist Kharkiv,  and more importantly for them,  a 12 point lead on their nemesis,  Shakhtar Donetsk.  Dynamo Kyiv’s top scorer is Ismaël Bangoura,  from the West African Republic of Guinea,  who leads the league with 12 goals.  Ukrainian international Artem Milevsky (who was born in Mazyr, Belarus) has 8 goals.  Here is an article on Dynamo Kyiv’s resurgence under former Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Moscow manager Yuri Semin  {see this,  by Jonathan Wilson at the Guradian UK}.

Metalist Kharkiv have flown under the radar for years,  building a respectable academy and a loyal and somewhat sizeable fan base (they currently draw 14,150 per game).  But Metalist have won only one title,  the 1988 USSR Cup.   Their leading scorer is the Brazilian Jackson Coelho,  with 10 goals.   Here is their club profile on the Ukrainian site {click here}.  Their manager is Myron Markevych,  who left his hometown club Karpaty Lviv to take over at Metalist in 2005.  

Metalist Kharkiv are owned by industrialist Oleksandr Yaroslavsky,  who is bucking the current league trend of belt-tightening in the wake of the global financial crisis,  by vowing to spend to improve the squad.  This after Metalist defeated Benfica,  Galatasaray,  and Olympiacos in the UEFA Cup group stage.  Currently,  in the final phase of the UEFA Cup,  Metalist Kharkiv lead Sampdoria 1-0 (with the return leg Thursday the 26th at home in Ukraine).  The goal in Genoa was scored on a header by midfielder Denys Oliynyk {see this match report, from the site}.  Oliynik was picked up from Dynamo Kyiv during the winter break,  so the owner’s promise to bring in talent has already reaped dividends.  Here is an interview with Oliynyk from…{click here},  from 24th February.

Defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk are recovering from a poor league start,  as well as a nightmare scenario in the Champions League last September {see this, by David Hytner at the Guardian UK}.  Shakhtar are in real jeopardy of losing their accustomed place in the Champions League next fall,  as they sit 6 points off the coveted second-place-in-league/ Champions League 3rd round qualifier spot.  In the UEFA Cup,  Shakhtar have a 2-0 lead on Tottenham, with the second leg on Thursday in London.

With the aggregate at 1-1 (and the away goals rule in effect),  Dynamo Kyiv must get a winning result (or a draw result higher than 1-1) on Thursday,  to advance in the UEFA Cup,  when they go to Spain to play their second leg,  versus Valencia.

UEFA site {click here (set at UEFA Cup fixtures and results)}.

Below,  the current leading scorers in the Ukrainian Premier League.


Thanks to World Soccer magazine for the article ‘Ukraine credit crunch bites deep’, by Oleg Zadernovsky,  from the February 2009 issue.    Thanks to the great site called UkrSoccerHistory.Com  {click here (set at Dynamo Kyiv page)}.  Thanks to ,  a good site for Ukrainian football news and results.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages on Ukrainian football clubs at Wikipedia {click here, for the page on the Ukrainian Premier League’s 2008-’09 season}.

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