FC Astana

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Astana
FC Astana's logo
Full name Football Club Astana
Nickname(s) The Blue and Yellows[1]
Founded 2009; 8 years ago (2009)[2]
Ground Astana Arena
Ground Capacity 30,000[3]
Owner Samruk-Kazyna
General Manager Sayan Khamitzhanov
Manager Stanimir Stoilov
League Kazakhstan Premier League
2016 Kazakhstan Premier League, 1st
Website Club home page
Current season

Football Club Astana (Kazakh: «Астана» футбол клубы), commonly referred to as FC Astana[1] or simply Astana,[4] is a professional football club based in Astana. They play in the Kazakhstan Premier League, the highest level of Kazakh football. The club's home ground is the 30,000-seat Astana Arena stadium, where they have played since 2009 mid-season. The club colours, reflected in their badge and kit, are sky blue and yellow. Founded as Lokomotiv Astana in 2009, the club changed its name to Astana in 2011.[5] They are members of the Astana Presidential Sports Club, an association of the main sports teams in Astana supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.[6]

The short history of the club already boasts three league titles, three Kazakhstan Cups and two Kazakhstan Super Cups. In 2015, Astana qualified to the UEFA Champions League group stage, becoming the first Kazakh team to do so.

History[edit]

Founding and first years (2009–2014)[edit]

On 27 December 2008, football clubs from Almaty Megasport and Alma-Ata announced they would merge to found a new club.[7] The club named "FC Lokomotiv Astana" inasmuch as the National Railway Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy became a general sponsor.[7] Kazakhstan Temir Zholy in cooperation with City Council of Astana decided to rebase the club to the new building stadium in the capital of Kazakhstan.[7] Vakhid Masudov became the first head coach in a club history.[8] The club has benefited from a high salary role which has enabled them to attract players of status to the club. Andrey Tikhonov and Yegor Titov first of all came from the Russian Football Premier League.[9] Several more followed such as Patrick Ovie and Baffour Gyan. Maksim Shatskikh later arrived from Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Premier League which is again a very high-profile capture for the club.[10] The majority of their other players have arrived from other clubs of the Kazakhstan Premier League, mostly on free transfers from the clubs which were absorbed to make the club and several which last year went into bankruptcy.

On 8 March 2009, Lokomotiv played in the league's inaugural match against the Kazakhmys in Satbayev. In March 2009, Vakhid Masudov was replaced by Vladimir Gulyamkhaidarov.[11] However, only two days after his appointment he was replaced by Russian specialist Sergei Yuran.[11] The club earned silver medals in their first season of play. On 14 November 2010, Holger Fach guided Astana to their first Kazakhstan Cup success.[12] However, they were ineligible for a UEFA license since they had not yet existed for at least three years.[13] So they were not able to start in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League. On 2 March 2011, Astana beat Tobol 2–1 and won the Kazakhstan Super Cup for the first time.[14] In 2012, Miroslav Beránek led Astana to win their second Kazakhstan Cup.[15] In July 2013, the club made a debut in Europe playing in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League against Botev Plovdiv. Astana lost both matches, 0–1 at home and 0–5 away.[16][17] On 4 July 2013, Astana officially joined to newly created Astana Presidential Sports Club, the organization supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna to combine the main sports teams in Astana.[6][18]

First title and Stoilov years (2014–)[edit]

Match against AIK in 2014

On 22 June 2014, the club announced that former Botev Plovdiv manager Stanimir Stoilov was appointed as a new head coach.[19] In 2014–15 European campaign, Astana played four ties in the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages. In the first round they beat Pyunik 6–1 on aggregate, then raised more than a few eyebrows in the second round, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 3–1 on aggregate thanks to a convincing home leg win.[20] The third qualifying round saw Astana cruise AIK, with a 4–1 aggregate score. In play-off round, Astana was defeated by Villarreal.[21] On 1 November 2014, Astana became Kazakhstan Premier League champions for the first time in its history, securing the championship with a 3–0 home win against Kaisar.[22]

On 1 March 2015, Astana won the 2015 Kazakhstan Super Cup, beating Kairat 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended with a score of 0–0. On 26 August 2015, the club became the first team from Kazakhstan to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, after beating APOEL 2–1 on aggregate in play-off round.[23][24] They were drawn into the Group C alongside Benfica, Atlético Madrid and Galatasaray,[25] where they managed to obtain four points in six games after a four draws and two losses.[26] On 8 November 2015, Astana clinched their second Kazakhstan Premier League title beating Aktobe 1–0 at home in the last tour game.[27] On 9 December 2015, the club extended contract with Stanimir Stoilov for the next two years.[28]

In 2016 season, Astana was eliminated from UEFA Champions League after two stages, being defeated by Celtic in the third qualifying round. However, the club qualified to UEFA Europa League group stage, beating BATE in the play-off round. On 26 October 2016, Astana won third straight championship under Stoilov rule. On 19 November 2016, the club won 2016 Kazakhstan Cup defeating Kairat 1–0.

Stadium[edit]

Astana Arena interior

Astana's stadium is the Astana Arena. The stadium has been Astana's home since the mid of the 2009 season, when the club moved from the Kazhymukan Munaitpasov Stadium.[29] The stadium holds 30,000 and has a retractable roof. The inaugural match at the new stadium was a 2–1 win over Kazakhstan national under-21 football team in a friendly match. Match judged famous Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, the symbolic first blow at the ball under his whistle struck the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. As part of each team, in addition to their regular players, were invited on two "stars": in the under-21 national team of Kazakhstan – Georgian defender Kakha Kaladze and Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko, and in the Lokomotiv – Turkish players Hasan Şaş and Hakan Şükür. The construction of the stadium costed $185 million.[30] The stadium designed on an elliptic form by leading sports architects Populous in association with Tabanlioglu Architects.[31] On 31 January 2011, it hosted the opening ceremony of the 7th Asian Winter Games.[32] It is also serves as the national stadium for the Kazakhstan national football team.

Colours and crest[edit]

Crest used as Lokomotiv Astana

The team's original crest was implemented in 2009 consisting of the team's name, Footbal Club Lokomotiv Astana, on a blue round frame and a blue coloured letter L in the center, meaning railway track. As the result of renaming in 2011, the club adopted a new crest. The crest consisted team's name with an uppercase letters on an image of the ball. This was accompanied by the words "football club" in Kazakh and Russian languages on the top and bottom of the crest. On 23 January 2013, the club presented a new crest, which was replicated the style and colours of the Lokomotiv Astana crest. The crest consisted an image of the ball in a shanyrak style and two Kazakh national patterns on each side.[33] The present club crest was introduced on 10 March 2014, and incorporating the Astana Presidential Sports Club crest's style and colours as well as the BC Astana, Astana Pro Team and Astana Dakar Team.[34] The crest consisting of the team's name, Astana Football Club, under a flying ball.

Blue and white were the club's primary colours, though the team's nickname was the "Blue-and-White". Blue was used to accent the home jersey while white was the main colour of the team's away kit. During the 2012 season, Astana wore yellow and blue striped shirts and blue shorts as home kit and wholly blue away kit. In 2013, they retrieved original colours used from 2009 to 2011. In 2013, the club joined to Astana Presidential Sports Club and adopted its colours. The present club colours are sky blue and yellow. The Astana's current shirt sponsor is Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.[35] The club's first kit sponsorship was from national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy who sponsored the club for a total of 4 years before ending the deal in 2013. The team's kit supplier is Adidas who supplying the club kits since their inception.[35]

Kit evolution[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2009–2014 Adidas Kazakhstan Temir Zholy
2014– Samruk-Kazyna
  • Home
2009–2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
  • Away
2009–2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
  • Third/Special
2012
2014
2015

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 2 March 2017.[36]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Kazakhstan GK Nenad Erić
4 Belarus DF Igor Shitov
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Marin Aničić
6 Serbia MF Nemanja Maksimović
7 Kazakhstan MF Serikzhan Muzhikov
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Srđan Grahovac (loan from Rapid Wien)
10 Albania FW Azdren Llullaku
15 Kazakhstan DF Abzal Beisebekov
18 Belarus MF Ivan Mayewski
22 Kazakhstan MF Gevorg Najaryan
23 Ghana FW Patrick Twumasi
No. Position Player
27 Kazakhstan DF Yuriy Logvinenko
30 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Junior Kabananga
31 Kazakhstan MF Abay Zhunusov
35 Kazakhstan GK Aleksandr Mokin
44 Russia DF Yevgeny Postnikov
45 Kazakhstan FW Roman Murtazayev
51 Kazakhstan GK Danil Podymksy
70 Kazakhstan MF Sultan Sagnayev
71 Kazakhstan MF Madi Zhakipbayev
73 Kazakhstan MF Didar Zhalmukan
77 Kazakhstan DF Dmitri Shomko
80 Kazakhstan FW Vladislav Prokopenko

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
10 Serbia FW Đorđe Despotović (at Tobol)
88 Colombia MF Roger Cañas (at APOEL until May 2017)
No. Position Player
Kazakhstan FW Aleksey Shchotkin (at Tobol)

For recent transfers, see 2017 FC Astana season.

Non-playing staff[edit]

Management[edit]

Position Staff
General Manager Kazakhstan Sayan Khamitzhanov
Acting Manager Kazakhstan Kaisar Bekenov
Sporting Director Kazakhstan Alexander Konochkin

Last updated: 16 July 2015
Source: FC Astana

Coaching staff[edit]

Stanimir Stoilov, the current manager of Astana
Position Staff
Manager Bulgaria Stanimir Stoilov
Assistant Manager KazakhstanArmenia Grigori Babayan
First Team Coach Bulgaria Tsanko Tsvetanov
First Team Coach Bulgaria Said Ibraimov
First Team Coach Kazakhstan Arkadi Bakulin
First Team Goalkeeping Coach Kazakhstan Nikolai Rodionov
First Team Rehabilitologist Moldova Stepan Tupik
First Team Doctor Belarus Tadeush Perekhod
First Team Methodist Kazakhstan Magomed Nozadze
First Massagist Kazakhstan Sergei Larin
First Team Administrator Kazakhstan Vyacheslav Begunov

Last updated: 16 July 2015
Source: FC Astana

Notable managers[edit]

The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of Astana:

Name Period Trophies
Germany Holger Fach 2010–2011 Kazakhstan Cup, Kazakhstan Super Cup
Czech Republic Miroslav Beránek 2012–2013 Kazakhstan Cup
Bulgaria Stanimir Stoilov 2014– 3 Kazakhstan Premier Leagues, Kazakhstan Cup, Kazakhstan Super Cup

Honours[edit]

Winners (3): 2014, 2015, 2016
Winners (3): 2010, 2012, 2016
Winners (2): 2011, 2015

League and cup[edit]

Season League Kazakhstan Cup Top goalscorer
Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Name League
2009 1st 2nd 26 20 0 6 54 24 60 2nd Round
2010 1st 4th 32 14 8 10 41 28 50 Winner Moldova Igor Bugaiov 11
2011 1st 4th 32 16 7 9 50 37 33 2nd Round Montenegro Dragan Bogavac 12
2012 1st 5th 26 13 7 6 34 24 46 Winner Kazakhstan Tanat Nusserbayev 10
2013 1st 2nd 32 19 5 8 56 28 38 Quarterfinals Kazakhstan Tanat Nusserbayev
Montenegro Damir Kojašević
Ghana Patrick Twumasi
6
2014 1st 1st 32 18 10 4 63 26 45 Semifinals Central African Republic Foxi Kéthévoama 16
2015 1st 1st 32 20 7 5 55 26 46 Runners-up Kazakhstan Tanat Nusserbayev 11
2016 1st 1st 32 23 4 5 47 21 73 Winners Serbia Đorđe Despotović 8

European[edit]