|Full name||Klubi Futbollistik Skënderbeu Korçë|
|Nickname(s)||Ujqërit e Dëborës (The Snow Wolves)
Bardhekuqtë (The White and Reds)
Juglindorët (The Southeasterners)
|Founded||15 April 1909
|Owner||Municipality of Korça|
|Head Coach||Mirel Josa|
|2013–14||Albanian Superliga, 1st'|
|Website||Club home page|
K.F. Skënderbeu Korçë (Albanian: Klubi futbollistik Skënderbeu Korçë, in English: Football Club Skenderbeu Korce) is a football club based in Korçë, a city in southeastern Albania. They play in the Albanian Superliga, which is the top tier in the country and are currently reigning champions. The club is named after Albania's greatest hero of all time, Skanderbeg (Skënderbeu). The club plays its home games at Stadiumi Skënderbeu which is one of the largest stadiums in the country, with a seating capacity of over 10,000.
The first yearsEdit
The first football club in the city of Korçë was formed on on 15 April 1909 under the name Vllazëria by politician and poet Hilë Mosi. However, the rise in the popularity of the sport resulted in a number of clubs being formed between 1920 and 1922, including clubs such as Përparimi and Sport Klub Korça, and In 1923 the Albanian National Lyceum formed the Shpresa sports society. Skënderbeu was officially formed in 1925, when a large number of the young men and children of the city were playing football regularly in local fields. The immense rise in popularity of the sport led to most neighbourhoods forming their own football teams, such as Zhgaba in 1926 and Leka i Madh, Pirro, Brekverdhit, Zjarri, Tigri and Diamanti in 1927, who competed in the city's first organised football competition held in 1928. However, these teams were local, and would only compete with one another, as the main football club to represent the city was Skënderbeu who managed to overcome several problems at the start, some of which were even political. Skënderbeu was named after 15th century Albanian nobleman and national hero Skanderbeg. The club quickly became the city's main football team, and in 1926 they began to play friendly games against teams from neighbouring counties, starting with Macedonian side Monastir, then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In two games played Skënderbeu won 5-2 and then drew 2-2 in the other game against Monastir. Skënderbeu also played friendlies against Greek teams from Ermioni and Thessaloniki, which is modern day Aris FC. They also played against Kavala, who they beat 2-0 in Albania but lost 1-0 against in Greece.
The club competed in the first ever national football competition in Albania, which was the 1930 championship. As the only club to represent Korçë nationally, Skënderbeu had hug popular support within the city, with similar support bases seen with the likes of KF Tirana and Vllaznia Shkodër, who all earned a name for themselves in the early stages of Albanian football. During the 1930 championship, Skënderbeu finished runners up to KF Tirana, after forfeiting both championship playoff matches. The club managed to win its first ever Albanian Championship just 3 years later in 1933, finishing 2 points ahead of Vllaznia. The championship winning side was: Klani Marjani, Kristaq Bimbli, Andrea Çani, Andon Miti, Lefter Petra, Fori Stasa, Nexhat Dishnica, Tomor Ypi, Thoma Vangjeli, Servet Teufik Agaj, Enver Kulla, Vasil Trebicka, Stavri Kondili, Aristotel Samsuri, with Qemal Omari as their manager. In the same year the club's striker Servet Teufik Agaj was the top goalscorer with 7 league goals, an honour also won by his strike partner Aristotel Samsuri in 1931, also with 7 goals scored. The following year Skënderbeu strongly fought to retain their title, but only managed to finish as runners-up once again to KF Tirana, with Samsuri being the club's top goalscorer that season with 7 goals. In the next 2 championships held before the start of World War II Skënderbeu finished in 4th place in both years under the guidance of manager Qemal Omari. The club ceased operations between 1938 and 1945 due to World War II, as there were no official tournaments held in Albania.
In 1945 the club began operating once again, much to the delight of supporters who paraded in the streets of Korçë as the club announced the news. The majority of the players who were active in the 1930s were no longer playing football competitively, so the squad was virtually new, except for Klani Marjani, Bellovoda and Saro. But the delight was short lived as the club struggled to match their performances before the war. In 1945 they finished 4th in Group B, consisting of 6 teams, and in the following 1946 season they finished 5th in Group A, just 1 point ahead of bottom place. The manager Tato Bimbli decided to bring in young players in order to revive the squad during the 1947 season, when the club also changed its name to Dinamo Korçë for the Communist Party, Bimbli's decision to bring in young players paid off as the club finished 3rd in the league out of 9 teams. The following season, however, turned out to be a disaster as they finished bottom of Group A with just a single point from 7 games. In 1949 the club changed its name to simply Korça, and they finished in 6th place out of 9 teams in the same year. The manager Tato Bimbli left the club after having a difficult time in charge, and he was replaced by Spiro Koçe in 1950. in 1951 all Albanian teams were ordered by the Communist Party to be named Puna, which literally translates to work. During these years the club remained a notable force, but with no relative success often finishing in mid table in the league.
Skënderbeu is also a three time finalist in the Albanian Cup in 1958, 1965 and 1976, in which they lost all three finals. They did however win the Albanian First Division in 1976/77 as well as three other times with the last win in 2008–2009 season where Skënderbeu won the rights to move into the Albanian Superliga where they have never looked back. As of 8 May 2011 they are the current champions in Albanian Superliga, thanks to their devoted manager of Czech Nationality Stanislav Levý their generous and son of this city, president Agim Zeqo, and of course a very supportive fan base. The greatest managers in the club's history are Kosta Koça and Aleko Pilika who were also their most successful manager ever, with the first team and youth teams.
Players over the agesEdit
Some players over the ages include: Kleo Marjani, Servet Gora, Aristotel Samsuri, Teodor Vaso, Koço Dinella, Jani Kaçi, Dhimitër Dëmbo, Aleko Toshi, Gaqo Lara, Tefik Osmani, Stavrion Lako, Bledi Shkëmbi, Paulin Dhëmbi, Dhimitraq Xhambazi, Gjergji Ballço, Aleko Pilika, Zhani Pilika, Maksim Tuxhari, Petro Mile, Hektor Shkurti, Artan Ziberi, Pajtim Ismaili, Avni Ismaili, Valon Besmiri, Gjergo Shule, Ridvan Shëllira, Ëngjëll Dvorani, Servet Teufik Agaj, Gentian Liçi, Gëzim Muhaxhiri,Kristi Vangjeli and Petrika Tole.
Skenderbeu is considered to be one of the best supported clubs in Albania, with the majority of fans live in the Korçë District, which has a population of just under 140,000. The main supporters' group for the club is called Ujqërit e Deborës, which literally translates to snow wolves. The group was formed in 2008 and quickly became considered the club's main supporters' group. They are present at every home game at the Skënderbeu Stadium and they also organise trips to every away game of the season, also attending Albanian national team games alongside other teams' supporters' groups. It is compulsory for every member to wear either the group's or Skënderbeu's clothing during games to distinguish between other fans. The group also has factions in different cities around the world where there are Albanian diaspora, including Toronto, Canada. Yearly membership to be an official member of the group costs 1000 lek (€7,14 or £5.86 as of 1 February 2014).
They have a fierce rivalry with KF Tirana's supports groups Tirona Fanatics, with both sets of fans being involved in hooligan activities since Skënderbeu's rise to prominence overtaking KF Tirana around 2010. In September 2013 prior to an away game in Tiranë the Ujqërit e Deborës group called upon Tirona Fanatics members to reduce the tensions between the two sets of fans.
In November 2013 Skënderbeu was forced to play Flamurtari Vlorë behind closed doors due to the behaviour of Ujqërit e Deborës against Partizani Tirana in a 3-0 win on 2 November. The game against Partizani Tirana was seen by attended by 5500 and there were no altercations between rival fans or any offensive chanting but the Albanian Football Association deemed the choreography of the Ujqërit e Deborës to be worthy of a one match ban on supporters.
Honours and achievementsEdit
- Albanian Superliga (level 1)
- Albanian First Division (level 2)
- Winners (3): 1975–76, 2004–05 & 2006–07
- Runners-up (3): 1989–90, 1994–95 & 2004–05
- Albanian Cup
- Albanian Supercup
- SuperSport Trophy
- Winners (1): 2011
Seasons top scorersEdit
|1933||Servet Teufik Agaj||7|
|2010–11||Alfredo Rafael Sosa||13|
European competitions recordEdit
As of 29 August 2013
|UEFA Champions League||
|UEFA Europa League||
|2011–12||UEFA Champions League||2QR||APOEL||
|2012–13||UEFA Champions League||2QR||Debrecen||
|2013–14||UEFA Champions League||2QR||Neftchi Baku||
|2013–14||UEFA Europa League||PO||Chornomorets Odesa||
|2014–15||UEFA Champions League||2QR||BATE Borisov||
- 1QR: First qualifying round
- 2QR: Second qualifying round
- 3QR: Third qualifying round
- PO: Play-off round
|1978||Balkans Cup||B||Aris Thessaloniki||2–0||0–2||2–2|
UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit
(As of 9 August 2014)
|229||FC Shakhter Karagandy||5.775|
|232||KF Skënderbeu Korçë||5.575|
|233||The New Saints FC||5.575|
|236||FC Admira Wacker Mödling||5.460|
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Co President||Agim Zeqo|
Current coaching staffEdit
|Head Coach||Mirel Josa|
|Assistant Coach||Milutin Kërçiç|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Ilir Bozhiqi|
|Athletic Coach||Iris Selimi|
|Qemal Omari||1932||1938||1||1933 Championship|
|Aleko Pilika||1975||1982||1||1975-76 First Division|
|Gjergj Ballço||2004||2005||1||2004-05 First Division|
|Jani Kaçi||2006||2008||1||2006-07 First Division|
|Gerd Haxhiu||24 July 2009||9 january 2010||0|
|Andrea Marko||9 january 2010||1 February 2010||0|
|Mirel Josa||8 February 2010||7 June 2010||0|
|Shkëlqim Muça||8 June 2010||17 February 2011||0|
|Shpëtim Duro||17 February 2011||9 October 2011||1||2010-11 Superliga|
|Stanislav Levy||10 October 2011||31 July 2012||1||2011-12 Superliga|
|Mirel Josa||31 July 2012||4||2012-13 Superliga, 2013-14 Superliga, 2013 Supercup, 2014 Supercup|
- Official shirt sponsor – Ama Coffee
- Official host broadcaster – SuperSport Albania
- Official sport clothing provider – Legea
- Teodor Vaso (11 November 2010). "Todo Vaso, mjeshtri i merituar, rrëfen historinë 80-vjeçare të futbollit korçar" (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. Retrieved 2010-11-12.[dead link]
- Giovanni Armillotta (15 July 2009). "Albanian Football Season 1930". Giovanniarmillotta.it. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
- Giovanni Armillotta (15 July 2009). "Albanian Football Season 1933". Giovanniarmillotta.it. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
- Ujqërit e Dëborës thërrasin shqiptarët : Eja edhe ti!
- Tifozët, thirrje bardhebluve: Të evitojmë problemet
- Vendos Disiplina: Skënderbeu-Flamurtari, luhet pa tifozë