The return of 60-year-old Valeriy Yaremchenko from the coaching wilderness may be the cue for a turnaround of fortunes at Ukrainian side FC Karpaty Lviv.
Along with FC Naftovyk-Ukrnafta Okhtyrka, Karpaty have been one of only two Premier League sides to have changed coaches in the first eight rounds of the season, letting go of former Under-21 national team coach Oleksandr Ishchenko after a 7-3 thumping at FC Dynamo Kyiv on 19 October. They have now pulled off something of a coup by persuading the experienced Yaremchenko to replace him.
The former FC Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Kremen Kremenchuzh, FC Kolos Krasnodar, FC Rotor Volgograd and FC Metalurh Zaporizhya coach was appointed last Friday after extended negotiations with president Petr Dyminskiy. "Our first meeting was after the 7-3 defeat against Dynamo," said Dyminskiy. "The team needed new a new impetus - we were looking for a coach who could make it solid, united family."
Winners of the Soviet Cup in 1969, Karpaty are eager to become serious competitors in Ukrainian football, and Yaremchenko has the pedigree to make that dream real. A star of the Shakhtar teams of the 1960s and 1970s, he led the club for three spells as a coach and helped Viktor Onopko, Andrei Kanchelskis, Serhiy Rebrov and Andriy Vorobey among others, become major stars.
'Strength and stability'
During his time as coach of Shakhtar, he won five league runners-up medals and the 1997 Ukrainian Cup but has not worked since Zaporizhya in 2005. Nonetheless, he is eager to ring the changes at Karpaty. "Karpaty's game needs more strength and stability," said Yaremchenko. "It is easier to bring in young players and fresh blood when the team is on the move then they will ooze confidence."
Yaremchenko has a reputation for nurturing young talent with his teams noted for their pace, fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. Dyminskiy has set him the target of "becoming UEFA competition regulars in three to five years". The coach added: "Fans in Lviv understand football well. They can forgive anything except indifference."
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