Jurijs Popkovs

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Jurijs Popkovs
Personal information
Full name Jurijs Popkovs
Date of birth (1962-07-06) 6 July 1962 (age 54)
Place of birth Kiev, Soviet Union
(now Ukraine)
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1983 Dynamo Minsk 1 (0)
1984–1991 FK Daugava Rīga 309 (35)
1993–1994 Visby IF Gute 43 (14)
1995–1996 Amstrig/Daugava Rīga 23 (5)
National team
1992–1994 Latvia 18 (1)
Teams managed
1995–1997 Amstrig Rīga
1998–2000 Liepājas Metalurgs
2001–2002 PFK Daugava
2003–2006 FK Jūrmala
2008 FK Blāzma Rēzekne
2009–2010 FK Tauras Tauragė
2011–2012 FK Jūrmala-VV
2012 FK Daugava Riga
2013 FK Spartaks Jūrmala
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 February 2015.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 February 2015

Jurijs Popkovs (born 6 July 1962) is a Latvian football manager and a former footballer. He last managed the Latvian Higher League club FK Spartaks Jūrmala.

Playing career[edit]

Jurijs Popkovs was born in Kiev, Ukraine. His first professional club was Dynamo Minsk which he joined in 1980. In four years which he stayed with Dynamo he made only one appearance in the Soviet Top League. In 1984 Popkovs joined FK Daugava Rīga which under the management of Jānis Skredelis was then on the up-rise. With Daugava Popkovs made 309 appearances until 1991 scoring 33 goals. He rarely missed a game for Daugava and together with Aleksandr Kanischev and Genādijs Šitiks he formed the strong midfield on the Daugava squad.[1]

In 1993 transferred to Sweden where he joined Visby IF Gute where he played for 2 seasons, scoring 14 goals in 43 matches.[2] During the 1995 Virslīga season for which Popkovs had started with Amstrig Rīga as a player he was offered to replace club's coach Georgijs Gusarenko.

Popkovs also played for Latvia national football team in early 1990s, making in total 18 appearances for Latvia.

Coaching career[edit]

Popkovs' first club as a manager was the one where he finished playing - Amstrig Riga (renamed to Daugava in 1996). In 1996 and 1997 Daugava finished second in the Latvian league behind Skonto FC, proving Popkovs as one of the best club managers in Latvia. In 1998 when Daugava was on the road to bankruptcy, Popkovs became head coach of Liepājas Metalurgs which he brought to second place in Virslīga in 1998 and 1999. In 2000 Popkovs was fired from Metalurgs as the club still couldn't stop the hegemony of Skonto in the Latvian league. In 2001, he took up PFK Daugava, a team with no big ambitions and little finance. Both the 2001 and 2002 seasons PFK Daugava finished fifth in the Latvian league, but after the 2002 the team dissolved.

In 2003 Popkovs took up the new and ambitious team FK Jūrmala with which he won the 1st Latvian league and earned a promotion for 2004 Virslīga. In 2004 Jūrmala proved itself as a tough team by finishing 5th in its debut year, just two points behind one of the league heavyweights - Dinaburg FC. However the team owners ambitions for the team to climb higher failed to materialize - in 2005 it finished 6th and in the middle of the 2006 season when Jūrmala was again struggling Popkovs was fired.

Popkovs sat without a club the entire 2007 season, but after the end of the season he was appointed head coach of FK Blāzma Rēzekne, Virslīga newcomers.[3]

On July 2009 he moved to FK Tauras Tauragė in neighbouring Lithuania mid-way through A lyga season,[4] but left the team just after a season.

In September 2011 he joined Jūrmala-VV in the Latvian Higher League. In March 2012 the team was renamed to Daugava Riga and he stayed in the manager's position. He left the club in December 2012, being replaced by Virginijus Liubšys.[5]

In September 2013 Popkovs was appointed by the Latvian Higher League club FK Spartaks Jūrmala, as he replaced Aleksandrs Stradiņš, who had worked with the team since July 2013.[6] Popkovs was replaced by Fabio Micarelli in December 2013.

Popkovs has also worked with Latvia national under-21 football team.