FK Renova are celebrating their maiden title in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with coach Vlatko Kostov telling UEFA.com that his side are targeting a double next time.
A 3-1 win against FK Pelister on Sunday ensured that the side from the village of Dzepciste, near Tetovo, could not be caught, with Kostov telling UEFA.com: "Taking the title is very satisfying for all of us at the club; the players, coaches, club administration, our fans and our owners. It is the result of hard and systematic work."
Eight years ago, Renova started life in the very bottom rung of the FYROM league system. They quickly scrambled up to the top flight and – after a couple of years of acclimatising – earned a UEFA club competition debut in the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup, surprisingly overcoming Croatia's HNK Rijeka in their first contest.
"Two years ago, we got a place in the Intertoto Cup," recalled Kostov. "We got through one round and it was a great experience for all of us. Last season we were in UEFA Europa League qualifying; a step forward for the club. Now we are the champions and will play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying. This is great chance for us."
The 44-year-old Kostov said he is hoping to get through "at least one round" of UEFA Champions League qualifiers in the summer. The coach also thanked the club's owners, Kenan and Sefki Idrizi – proprietors of a local building supplies company – for creating "great working conditions", adding: "We made a winning team and we deserve the title."
With FYROM's traditional powerhouses FK Vardar and FK Rabotnicki underperforming this season, Renova know they may not have such an easy ride next time round, and the combination of that and a new European challenge will bring new signings in the summer. "I won't say who; we will wait until it is official," said Kostov.
However, the club's targets for next season are no secret. "The people who have stood behind the club will try to invest in the team to improve our results," said Kostov. "Our goal is to win the double next time around. We really want to win the Macedonian Cup; it is the only trophy that is missing from our collection."
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