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Ventspils end Grigorchuk era

Latvian titleholders FK Ventspils have appointed Nunzio Zavettieri in place of Roman Grigorchuk less than a week after the Ukrainian coach set up a UEFA Champions League play-off tie with FC Zürich.

Roman Grigorchuk has left Ventspils
Roman Grigorchuk has left Ventspils ©fkventspils.lv

Latvian titleholders FK Ventspils have parted company with Roman Grigorchuk and appointed Nunzio Zavettieri less than a week after the Ukrainian coach set up a play-off encounter with FC Zürich for a place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

'Good luck'
Ventspils edged past FC BATE Borisov on away goals following a 2-1 defeat in the second leg of their third qualifying tie last Wednesday, but that achievement proved to the final step in Grigorchuk's European campaign as he makes way for Italian technician Zavettieri. "I wish the new coach good luck," Grigorchuk told uefa.com. "This development is not a surprise to me, as both parties took this decision long ago. My work in Ventspils will stay in my memory forever. We have won a lot and I hope we have made the fans happy."

Grigorchuk joined Ventspils in 2005 and led them to a hat-trick of titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as the Latvian Cup in 2005 and 2007. Grigorchuk has also taken them into the group stage of a European competition for the first time this season, the first time a Latvian side has got that far. Even if Ventspils lose their UEFA Champions League play-off against Zurich, they are guaranteed a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Fresh challenge
Zavettieri, who joins Ventspils on a two-year contract, has coached youth teams at AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano as well as working as an assistant for the senior side at Udinese Calcio. The 42-year-old will get his first taste of Latvian football on the Ventspils bench on 15 August, when the joint Virsliga leaders take on FK Jūrmala. Ventspils welcome Zürich for their home first leg four days after that.