KF Laçi

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Laçi
Laçi Club Logo.svg
Full name Klubi i Futbollit Laçi
Founded 1960; 57 years ago (1960)
Ground Laçi Stadium
Ground Capacity 2,300
Chairman Pashk Laska
Manager Marcello Troisi
League Albanian Superliga
2016–17 Albanian Superliga, 6th
Website Club home page
Current season

Klubi i Futbollit Laçi is an Albanian football club based in the city of Laç, which is in the northwest of Albania. The club was founded in 1960 and their biggest achievement to date has been winning the 2012–13 Albanian Cup as well as reaching the second qualifying round of the 2014–15 Europa League after defeating Slovenian side Rudar Velenje on aggregate, but ultimately losing to Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. The club's historical colours have been white and black and their shirts have typically been striped. They have competed in the Albanian Superliga since 2009 and they play their home games at the 2,300 seater Laçi Stadium.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The club was founded in 1960 under the name Industriali Laç, and they competed in the Albanian Second Division, the third tier, for the majority of their early years. They reached the championship final of the 1974–75 Second Division, but lost to Vetëtima Himarë and were subsequently not promoted to the First Division. The name was changed to KS Laçi in 1991 when the club first participated in the Albanian Superliga, the name was changed for the last time to KF Laçi in 1997. The first trophy won by the club was the 2008–09 Albanian First Division.

Altin Cuko is the KF Laçi player to have won the Albanian Superliga Golden Boot whilst still playing for the club.[1] This was achieved in the 1995–96 season where KF Laçi finished in 12th place, out of 18. Cuko had already scored 5 goals for Tomori Berat before moving to KF Laçi in January 1996, where he netted another 16 times to give him the Golden boot with a total of 21 goals throughout the entire season with both Tomori and Laçi.[2]

Superliga era[edit]

The club returned to the top tier, the Albanian Superliga, in 2009 for the first time since 2005 and they brought in new players such as Erjon Vucaj, Arlind Nora, Julian Brahja, Emiliano Çela, Emiliano Veliaj and Ervin Llani. They narrowly lost their first game of the campaign to Skënderbeu Korçë 4–3[3] and they only won one of their first seven games, which was win against Apolonia Fier. After spending the early stages of the season in the relegation zone, the club hit form and managed to finish in fourth place head of more established clubs such as Flamurtari Vlorë and Vllaznia Shkodër, which also meant they qualified for Europe for the first time in the club's history.

Ahead of the 2010–11 season the club brought in new players in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season as well attempt to go through to the next round of the UEFA Europa League. They were drawn against Belarusian side Dnepr Mogilev in the first qualifying round of the 2010–11 Europa League, and they played their first ever European game on 1 July 2010 at the Niko Dovana Stadium due to the Laçi Stadium not meeting the UEFA criteria to host European games. Bledar Marashi opened the scoring just before half time, scoring the club's first ever goal in a European competition, but his goal was cancelled out in added time as the game ended in a 1–1 draw.[4] However, the second leg proved to be a failure as the club was sent crashing out of the competition following a 7–1 loss, with Valdan Nimani scoring the only goal for the club.[5] Following their exit from Europe, the club brought in players such as Elton Doku, Vangjel Mile and Stipe Buljan ahead of the Albanian Superliga campaign in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season.

The club defeated FK Kukësi 2–1 in the 2015 Albanian Cup Final to win the Albanian Cup for a second time, meaning they qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League.[6]

Management[edit]

The club appointed current manager Stavri Nica on 7 July 2006, ahead of the 2006–07 season in the Albanian First Division. The owner of the club Pashk Laska revealed the new manager at the club's Stadiumi Laçi in front of a considerable number of fans.[7] Nica has guided the club to promotion to the top tier of Albanian football and managed to win the Albanian First Division title in the 2008–09 season. Laçi made their best finish in Superliga in the 2009–10 season; where they finished 4th and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

Stadium[edit]

The club plays its home games at the purpose built Laçi Stadium located in the centre of Laç, which has an official seated capacity of 2,300, but attendances have reached 4,000 in recent years. The stadium was renovated following the club's promotion to the Albanian Superliga and further work was carried out when in the summer of 2010 as they qualified for Europe for the first time in their history. Laçi had hoped that they would be able to host their home Europa League at their own stadium, but they were not able to complete the reconstruction in time, meaning their first home European tie against Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus was held at the Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës. During the reconstruction, the three stands surrounding the playing field were renovated and around 2,300 blue plastic seats were installed to turn the stadium into an all seater. The newly renovated stadium was inaugurated in a home league game against Shkumbini Peqin on 30 August 2010 in front of 1,500 spectators, where Laçi won 2–0.[8][9] During the summer of 2015 the stadium's turf was replaced for the first time since 2006, and minor cosmetic renovation was carried out throughout the rest of the stadium.[10]

In European football[edit]

Laçi have only ever competed in Europe just once in 2010 in the Europa League, they achieved this through their very good 2009–10 campaign in which they finished 4th and earned a place in Europe for the first time. The club's first ever European game was played on 1 July 2010 at the Stadiumi Niko Dovana in Durres. They played Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus in the Europa League 1st qualifying round and their first ever match finished 1–1. Although Laçi had the lesser of the chances and only had 2 goal attempts in the match, they still managed to lead for much of the second half through a goal by youngster Bledar Marashi in injury time in the first half. However Dnepro equalised in the 92nd minute through Dmitri Turlin which ruined a dream European debut for Laçi.[11]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 1Q Belarus Dnepr Mogilev 1–1 1–7 2–8
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 1Q Luxembourg Differdange 03 0–1 1–2 1–3
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1Q Slovenia Rudar Velenje 1–1 1–1 2–2 (pens.)
2Q Ukraine Zorya Luhansk 0–3 1–2 1–5
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1Q Azerbaijan Inter Baku 1–1 0–0 1–1
Notes
  • 1Q: First qualifying round
  • 2Q: Second qualifying round

Honours[edit]

Albanian Cup

Albanian Supercup

Albanian First Division

Albanian Second Division

  • Runners-up (1): 1974–75

Records[edit]

  • Biggest ever home league victory: KF Laçi 24–0 Albpetrol Patos – Sept 27, 1997
  • Biggest ever home league defeat: KF Laçi 1–31 Vllaznia Shkodër – Dec 18, 2004
  • Biggest ever away league victory: Shkumbini Peqin 2–5 KF Laçi – March 11, 2011
  • Biggest ever away league defeat: KF Skënderbeu Korçë 13–1 KF Laçi – March 4, 2016
  • Biggest ever European away defeat: Belarus Dnepr Mogilev 7–1 KF Laçi – July 8, 2010

Albanian records from September 1997

Players and staff[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 19 October 2016

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

No. Position Player
1 Albania GK Gentian Selmani
2 Albania DF Abdurraman Fangaj
3 Albania DF Arbër Shala
4 Albania DF Bruno Lulaj (on loan from Skënderbeu)
5 Albania DF Harallamb Qaqi
6 Albania DF Taulant Sefgjinaj
7 Albania MF Alked Çelhaka
9 Albania FW Fjoart Jonuzi
10 Albania MF Erjon Vucaj
11 Albania FW Alush Kanapari
12 Albania GK Agim Sherifi
14 Albania FW Kriss Hyseni
No. Position Player
16 Albania DF Eglentin Gjoni
17 Brazil FW Serginho
18 Albania MF Drilon Musaj
19 Albania MF Regi Lushkja
20 Ghana MF Emmanuel Mensah
22 Albania DF Denis Biba
28 Albania MF Bekim Dema
28 Montenegro DF Blazo Rajovic
28 Brazil MF Bruno Agnello
31 Albania GK Jurgen Mehidri
31 Albania GK Elton Vata
33 Nigeria DF Abraham Alechenwu

Staff[edit]

Role Name
President Albania Pashk Laska
Manager Albania Armando Cungu
Goalkeeping coach Albania Kastriot Rama

Records[edit]

Below is the list with top ten players with most appearances in all competitions for KF Laçi.

Most appearances
    Player Apps
1 Croatia Stipe Buljan 182
2 Albania Taulant Sefgjinaj 180
3 Albania Erjon Vuçaj 161
4 Albania Valdan Nimani 153
5 Albania Alfred Zefi 141
6 Albania Saimir Kastrati 139
7 Albania Emiljano Veliaj 114
8 Albania Elton Doku 110
9 Albania Emiliano Çela 108
10 Albania Edvan Bakaj 73

Managerial history[edit]

Name Nationality Years
Luigj Doda Albania 2003–2004
Edi Martini Albania 2008–2009
Stavri Nica Albania 2009–2010
Nevil Dede Albania 2011–2012
Përparim Daiu Albania 2012
Stavri Nica Albania 2012
Ylber Zani Albania 2012
Ramadan Shehu Albania 2012
Stavri Nica Albania 2013–2014
Armando Cungu Albania 2014–2015
Stavri Nica Albania 2016
Eugent Zeka Albania 2016
Ramadan Ndreu Albania 2016–

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kepucet Arta" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  2. ^ Giovanni Armillotta (2009-07-15). "Albanian Football Season 1995–1996". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  3. ^ Skënderbeu 4–3 Laçi
  4. ^ Laç 1–1 Dnepr
  5. ^ Dnepr 7–1 Laçi
  6. ^ Kukësi 1–2 Laçi
  7. ^ "Stavri Nica, pankina e re e Laçit" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. 2006-07-07. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  8. ^ Laçi 2–0 Shkumbini
  9. ^ Mario Nikolla (2010-05-20). "Stadiumi Lacit pajiset me stola plastik" (in Albanian). Albania Soccer. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  10. ^ Stadiumi i Lacit, së shpejti me tapet të ri
  11. ^ "Laci 1–1 Dnepro Match statistics". UEFA. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 

External links[edit]