Ex-captain Zinchenko to coach Zvezda

Zvezda-2005 have named retiring captain Nataliya Zinchenko as their new coach to replace Shek Borkowski with the 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup finalists trailing in their Russian title defence.

Nataliya Zinchenko is the new Zvezda coach
Nataliya Zinchenko is the new Zvezda coach ©Revierfoto

The 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup runners-up Zvezda-2005 have named retiring captain Nataliya Zinchenko as coach to succeed Shek Borkowski.

Polish technician Borkowski was appointed by the Russian club last October after a successful spell with American side FC Indiana, but he has been dismissed with Zvezda 12 points behind FC Rossiyanka in their bid for a fourth straight league title. Zinchenko, 30, takes over having just retired from playing due to injury. Signed by Zvezda in 2007, she was an important part of the club's success as well as of Ukraine's qualification for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009, their debut major tournament.

"It was decided to part company with Borkowski after the 3-1 home defeat by FC Rossiyanka [on 13 July]," said Zvezda-2005 president Gennadiy Shilov. "We also had some questions for him after the first half of the season. We cannot afford to go into the Champions League on the back of such performances. Our former captain Nataliya Zinchenko will take his place."

Zinchenko, whose side will discover their UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 opponents on 19 August, for a tie on 22/23 September and 13/14 October, said: "It is a surprise. I hung up my boots yesterday and now I have an offer to lead the club. Hopefully, I will be able to deal with it."

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