Volgograd “Rotor” gathered more than 23 thousand spectators in the first home game of the season
Volgograd club in Russia’s third strongest football division has gathered more fans than Lokomotiv and CSKA combined. How is this possible?
Volgograd overtakes Moscow
Everyone got used to the fact that not more than 500-1000 fans attend the matches of the Second Division of the Russian Championship, among them there are many acquaintances and friends of the players themselves. Of course, there are nice exceptions, but globally, not all is well with inclusion. Volgograd “Rotor” broke all the molds and 23,150 spectators gathered in the stands of its stadium during the starting round.
That’s more than what has come to the stands of CSKA and Lokomotiv combined, and these are the two best RPL clubs. In general, the “Rotor” clearly made all the teams from Moscow in terms of participation. A little less than 14,000 attended the Moscow derby between Dynamo and Torpedo. Recall that “Torpedo” has just returned to the elite division, and the idea of u200bu200binteresting the team should be great. Dynamo had a great performance last season and is putting on a great game this year.
The participation of RPL teams is clearly affected by the situation on the fan card, but even in these conditions it is impressive that they will not be able to gather an audience that arrives at the Volgograd Arena on July 24. Moreover, the rain that fell in Hero City that day scared away some fans. In sunny weather, probably 30 thousand would gather in the stands. What can I say if more than a thousand fans came to an open practice before the game. Everything looks pretty surreal. How can such an audience come to the Second Division?
Over 30,000 went to Rotor on FNL
Those who have followed Rotor in recent years should not be surprised. Three or four years ago, the team easily gathered more than 20 thousand fans in the FNL, and in the matches against Shinnik and Torpedo in the championship season, the audience exceeded 30 thousand. Of course, the legacy of the World Cup helped the team. An elegant stadium has been built in the city, and two large parks have been completely restored nearby. Mamaev Kurgan is literally across the road, all this creates excellent conditions for spending wonderful and useful time.
Of course, the success of the club in the 90s also played an important role, Rotor steadily fought for the title, reached the final of the Russian Cup, beat Manchester United in the UEFA Cup. Viktor Prokopenko’s legacy in Volgograd with the legendary Veretennikov, Niederhaus and Esipov is not forgotten.
Unfortunately, Rotor’s long-awaited entry into the RPL two years ago coincided with the height of the coronavirus pandemic, so in principle turnout could not be high and a number of matches were played in completely empty stands. This was probably one of the reasons why the Volgograd club flew out of the elite section. Nothing went well for the team in the FNL next year. Having one of the best budgets in the league, Rotor managed to fly to the Second Division.
Big reboot in the Second Division
Changes were expected in the city, and they were ready to endure even a performance in the “South” region. I wish they would change the leadership, composition and become more open to fans. And so it happened. “Rotor” was led by a young coach Alexei Stukalov, who made some noise in the RPL with “Ufa”, where his father Boris, together with Prokopenko, once worked on the coaching staff of Volgograd. Therefore, Stukalov Jr. For this is not a foreign club.
Fedor Shcherbachenko, also well known to Volgograd fans, was invited to play the role of sports director. He coached Rotor several times, loves the club’s fans very much and is called “Uncle Fedor”. In fact, the team was tasked with returning to the RPL for two years. He is very ambitious, but both Stukalov and Shcherbachenko came here for these goals. The head coach of “Rotor” admitted that if it were not for Volgograd, he would not have accepted the transition to the Second Division.
The team had to be put together very quickly because until the last moment there was an option for Rotor to stay in FNL. Because of this, the players were left in limbo. As a result, the club was completed “on the knee”, and in these conditions the squad turned out very well. What is the arrival of Artem Maksimenko, who has options even in RPL clubs? But the attacking midfielder believed in the Volgograd project and showed himself perfectly in the first match.
In the opening match with “Forte” became the main character Maksimenko. He first gave Nikita Karmaev an assist from the corner, then made a clever solo pass in Arjen Robben style and sent the second ball into the opponent’s goal. More than 23 thousand spectators were satisfied. Volgograd fans were given hope that the club had finally chosen the right path of development. And if it takes a year or two to play in the lower leagues, so be it.
Utkin is not satisfied
Journalist Vasily Utkin tried to throw a keg of tar on the Telegram channel this holiday, in Volgograd Arena, by writing that tickets for the match the team will play with Forte are given to people free of charge. Vasily has a long-standing “love” for the club. He once called Volgograd “the city of gopniks”, where fans of the team gave the journalist a soft toy in the form of a duck in the form of a “Rotor”.
Some of the tickets were indeed sold free of charge by the Volgograd Region Football Federation, this is absolutely normal practice. However, most of the spectators still came to the stadium with purchased tickets.
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