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Magnificent seven for Shakhtar

Published: Friday 9 September 2005, 8.05CET
Monthly review: With FC Dynamo Kyiv on the lookout for a new coach, FC Shakhtar Donetsk picked up the pace in the Ukrainian championship.
by Igor Linnyk
from Kiev

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Published: Friday 9 September 2005, 8.05CET

Magnificent seven for Shakhtar

Monthly review: With FC Dynamo Kyiv on the lookout for a new coach, FC Shakhtar Donetsk picked up the pace in the Ukrainian championship.
With FC Dynamo Kyiv looking for a new coach, FC Shakhtar Donetsk picked up the pace in the Ukrainian championship.

Great record
Seven games into the season, Mircea Lucescu's side are yet to drop a point, boasting the best goalscoring record, the meanest defence and, as a result, the outstanding goal difference (+14) in the Premier League.

Not missed
The absence of key forwards Julius Aghahowa and Andriy Vorobey has done little to dampen Shakhtar's ardour, with reserves filling the gaps admirably. Brandão has top-scored with six goals, with Olexiy Bielik not far behind on four.

New regulations
A change in the rules governing the number of foreign players in each side has resulted in departures from Shakhtar in recent weeks. Goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa joined HNK Hajduk Split on loan, Cosmin Barcauan went to FC Krylya Sovetov Samara while Zvonimir Vukic will spend the season with Portsmouth FC.

Shakhtar shuffle
While Shakhtar have been offloading players, their rivals have been signing them. Dynamo drafted in veteran defender Vladyslav Vaschuk and Genoa 1893 defender Marjan Markovic while FC Tavriya Simferopol acquired Dynamo's Yuriy Dmytrulin and goalkeeper Vitaliy Reva on loan.

Coaching quandary
Dynamo's main concern is who will coach them for the remainder of the campaign following the departure of Leonid Buryak. Javier Clemente, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Paul Le Guen, Claudio Ranieri and Dick Advocaat have all been mentioned, as has national coach Oleg Blokhin.

Kushlyk signs
FC Zakarpattya Uzhgorod have finally filled the gap left by coach Victor Ryaschko's August dismissal, recruiting Petr Kushlyk who previously assisted Vitaly Kvarcjany at FC Volyn Lutsk. Elsewhere, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk coach Evgeniy Kucherevskiy and his Tavriya counterpart Oleg Fedorchuk are clinging to their jobs despite poor starts to the season.

Bright Metalurh
The same cannot be said of FC Metalurh Donetsk who have made a bright beginning. Olexandr Sevidov's side lie sixth in the table, but having signed one of Ukraine's best strikers last week, Olexandr Kossyrin of FC Chornomorets Odesa, could do even better, especially as last term's top scorer Sergiy Shyshchenko is still around.

Last updated: 09/09/05 17.45CET

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