Wolfsberger AC

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Wolfsberger AC
Club crest
Full nameRiegler & Zechmeister Pellets Wolfsberger Athletik Club
Nickname(s)GAM FC
Founded1931; 90 years ago (1931)
GroundLavanttal-Arena, Wolfsberg
Capacity7,300
ChairmanDietmar Riegler
ManagerFerdinand Feldhofer
LeagueAustrian Bundesliga
2019–20Austrian Bundesliga, 3rd
WebsiteClub website

Wolfsberger AC, commonly referred to as Wolfsberg or simply WAC, is an Austrian association football club from Wolfsberg, Carinthia. The club competed twenty seasons on the second level of the Austrian football pyramid. Between the 2007–08 and 2011–12 seasons, Wolfsberger AC entered a cooperation with SK St. Andrä, competing under the name WAC/St. Andrä during that period. The team is currently called RZ Pellets WAC for sponsorship reasons.

After having played the majority of its existence in the lower leagues, Wolfsberger AC finished their 2011–12 season as champions of the 2011–12 Austrian Football First League and earned promotion to the Austrian Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history, in which they finished fifth at the end of the 2012–13 Austrian Football Bundesliga.

Wolfsberger finished third in the 2018–19 Austrian Football Bundesliga which qualified them to the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League group stage. They finished in fourth place in Group J of the UEFA Europa League in the 2019–20 season.

History[edit]

Wolfsberger AC was founded by Adolf Ptazcowsky, Karl Weber, Hermann Maierhofer, Franz Hafner and Michael Schlacher in 1931. After spending the first thirty-seven years of its existence on lower tiers of the Austrian league pyramid, the club eventually achieved promotion to the Austrian Regional League, which was on the second tier of the pyramid at that time, in 1968. WAC stayed at this level, with one exception during the 1977–78 season, for the next seventeen years, establishing themselves as a middle table side.

At the end of the 1984–85 season, Wolfsberger AC eventually dropped back to the third level. The club returned for two further second-level appearances during the 1988–89 and 1990–91 seasons, but was immediately relegated each time. In 1994, the club was a founding member of the reactivated Regional League as the third tier of the pyramid. After being in the promotion race for the first few years in the new league, strength of the club gradually declined and eventually led to relegation at the end of the 2001–02 season.

Historical chart of Worfsberger AC league performance

In 2007, WAC and neighbours SK St. Andrä decided to enter a cooperation. While both clubs remained as separate entities, they closely worked together on almost all aspects: "Central areas of both clubs like administration, management, economy, marketing, gastronomy, as well as the athletic section as the core (both the senior and junior teams) will be centrally administered from the newly created offices of WAC/St. Andrä at Wolfsberg."[citation needed] Since SK St. Andrä were playing at the Regional League, the corporation began at this level, from which it was promoted to the First League in 2010. At the end of the 2011–12 season, the cooperation secured promotion to the Bundesliga with one round of matches to go. Soon afterwards, the cooperation was dissolved; Wolfsberger AC thus competed as an independent club on the highest level of Austrian football for the first time in their history.

After their first year in the highest class they came in 5th. After the season manager Nenad Bjelica left the club and became manager of FK Austria Wien, the champion of the 2012–13 season. Slobodan Grubor replaced him but after weak performances in the new season he was replaced by Dietmar Kühbauer.

The team became known as 'RZ Pellets WAC' from the 2014–15 season, due to sponsorship.[1]

Wolfsberger AC qualified to the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League for first time in their history, after finishing third in the 2018–19 Austrian Football Bundesliga.[2]

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

League[edit]

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 2Q Belarus Shakhtyor Soligorsk 2–0 1–0 3–0
3Q Germany Borussia Dortmund 0–1 0–5 0–6
2019–20 UEFA Europa League Group J Italy Roma 1–1 2–2 4th out of 4
Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–1 4–0
Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir 0–3 0–1
2020–21 UEFA Europa League Group K Russia CSKA Moscow 1–1 1–0 2nd out of 4
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb 0–3 0–1
Netherlands Feyenoord 1–0 4–1
RO32 England Tottenham Hotspur

Current squad[edit]

As of 26 August 2020

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF Georgia (country) GEO Guram Giorbelidze
4 DF Austria AUT Jonathan Scherzer
5 DF Austria AUT Stefan Perić
6 MF Austria AUT Mario Pavelić
7 MF Israel ISR Eliel Peretz
8 FW Senegal SEN Cheikhou Dieng
9 FW Serbia SRB Dejan Joveljić (on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt)
10 MF Austria AUT Michael Liendl
11 FW Croatia CRO Dario Vizinger
15 DF Serbia SRB Nemanja Rnić
16 MF Austria AUT Mario Leitgeb
17 MF Austria AUT Kai Stratznig
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF Austria AUT Sven Sprangler
22 DF Austria AUT Dominik Baumgartner
23 MF Austria AUT Lukas Schöfl
24 MF Austria AUT Christopher Wernitznig
25 DF Austria AUT Fabian Tauchhammer
27 DF Austria AUT Michael Novak
29 GK Austria AUT Manuel Kuttin
30 MF Austria AUT Matthäus Taferner
31 GK Austria AUT Alexander Kofler
32 GK Austria AUT Marko Soldo
37 FW Austria AUT Amar Hodzić
44 DF Georgia (country) GEO Luka Lochoshvili

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. Pos. Nation Player
MF Austria AUT Joshua Steiger (at SV Lafnitz)

Managers[edit]

  • Austria Helmut Kirisits (7 April 1989 – 4 Nov 1990, 7 June 1991 – 30 June 1991, 13 Oct 1992 – 17 Oct 1995)
  • Austria Hans-Peter Buchleitner (1 July 1995 – 30 June 1997)
  • Austria Peter Hrstic (1 July 2007 – 26 Oct 2008)
  • Austria Hans-Peter Buchleitner (27 Oct 2008 – 9 May 2010)
  • Croatia Nenad Bjelica (10 May 2010 – 17 June 2013)
  • Austria Slobodan Grubor (17 June 2013 – 1 Sept 2013)
  • Austria Dietmar Kühbauer (2 Sept 2013 – 25 Nov 2015)
  • Austria Heimo Pfeifenberger (25 Nov 2015 – 17 March 2018)[3]
  • Austria Robert Ibertsberger (caretaker) (18 March 2018 – 31 May 2018)
  • Austria Christian Ilzer (1 June 2018 – 30 June 2019)
  • Austria Gerhard Struber (1 July 2019 – 19 Nov 2019)
  • Tunisia Mohamed Sahli (caretaker) (20 Nov 2019 – 31 December 2019)
  • Austria Ferdinand Feldhofer (1 January 2020 – present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Getting to know: WAC RZ Pellets | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club". ChelseaFC.
  2. ^ "Nach historischem Erfolg: WAC sucht Coach und Stadion". SPOX (in German). 27 May 2019.
  3. ^ m.b.H., STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft. "WAC setzt Trainer Kühbauer vor die Tür". Retrieved 4 September 2016.

External links[edit]