The city of Moscow is reputed to host several professional football clubs which evolve in the elite of Russian football. We find Dynamo Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow. In recent years, the Chertanovo club whose strategy focus in formation is progressing and could be added to this long list of Moscow team evolving in the elite of Russian football.
History of Chertanovo FK
The Chertanovo Academy, founded in 1976 in the Nothern Chertanovo District of Moscow by the Sports Department of the Moscow City Government. A structure that trains young Russian talent aged between 6 and 17 years old. An academy that has managed to bring out certain names that have proven themselves in and out of Russia: Igor Kolyvanov, Vasily Kulkov, Igor Chugainov.
It was in 1993 that the football club was founded, initially it was to be named “СУО” before becoming definitively FK Chertanovo. This club is therefore a branch of the structure in place in Chertanovo since 1976. The club starts in the 3rd Russian divisions, but will in its first year be relegated to the 4th division, thereafter the club will not rise and will lose its professional status in 1997 and will continue for many years in the amateur divisions.
A new dynamic
It is in 2008 that the club will know a new dynamic with the arrival of Nikolaï Larine and Dmitri Poliatskine at the head of the academy with this will to put back on the front of the stage the academy not only to the local but national scale. This work will bear fruit in 2010 with the integration of the U17 team from the Chertanovo academy into the national championship. A progressive evolution which is also displayed at the national level with the young selections from Russia. Indeed, we find in 2013, 6 players from the academy of Chertanovo winner of the Euro Sub17.
A complicated entry into the Russian football divisions
With the positive results displayed, ambitions are increasing and this is how for the 2014/15 season, the direction decides to put the professional team back in place so that they can offer a professional experience to the players. But due to its unique status, in fact Chertanovo is not considered as a “conventional” football club, obtaining the license to join the upper divisions of Russian football was complicated. The club was able to count on the support of influential members of Russian football to respond favorably to this request:
“Chertanovo is still not a professional club. We simply have the possibility of participating in transfer operations and concluding professional contracts. They are even legally declared to participate in the championship as a public educational establishment” Sports center and education “Chertanovo (…) Very great support was provided by Nikolai Alekseevich Gulyaev – head of the Moscow Sports Committee, Yuri Dmitrievich Nagornyh – then Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Petrovich Lukin- Head of the RFU ethics committee, as well as of the Moscow Football Federation, represented by Sergei Vyacheslavovich Anokhin and Alexander Anatolyevich Startsev. And, of course, Anatoly Ivanovich Vorobyov, who was then the CEO of RFU “- Nikolaï Larine.
An event for the Russian football because before the enthronement of Chertanovo in the upper divisions of Russian football, only professional clubs could participate. A small revolution that could give ideas to other structures.
However, this enthronement is governed by fairly strict regulations concerning Chertanovo:
- Only players trained at the club for more than 2 years can play
- Only 5 players can be over 23 years old
A new beginning in the 3rd division
Thus, in the 2014/15 season, the club marks its return by starting in the PFL Center (3rd Russian divisions). During the seasons, the club will know a constant evolution approaching from year to year of the promotion:
- 2014 / 15: 15th
- 2015 / 16: 11th
- 2016 / 17: 6th
An important change during the 2017/18 season will contribute to the promotion of the club in FNL. Indeed, the club decides to leave the PFL Center, which is too competitive, to join PFL West. A winning choice because it was during this season that the team finished first and therefore entered the FNL (2nd division).
First time in FNL
It was therefore in its 5th year after returning to the front of the stage that Chertanovo participated for the very first time in its history in the 2nd division championship. A rather successful first season, where the club was able to see during the season a few players leaving the club to join RPL teams (1st division):
– Anton Zinkovskiy => KS Samara (350k euros)
– Maksim Glushenkov => Spartak Moscow (300k euros)
– Nail Umyarov => Spartak Moscow (300k euros)
Despite these departures records for the team, Chertanovo managed to climb to the fifth position. Promising beginnings for the young Chertanovo team (an average age of 19.03 years).
2019/2020 season, at the entrance to the RPL
Following this promising season, the club continues its evolution during this 2019/20 season and appears in the fight at the head of the classification to join the RPL. Faced with these positive results, Nikolai Larin does not hide his ambitions while remaining measured as to the possibility of joining the elite of Russian football:
“From a financial point of view, I don’t see any problem in terms of increasing costs, because there is a certain broadcasting budget. The infrastructure needs, if we are talking about having a stadium, I think that In Moscow there is a stadium which has no team. As we are a team whose founder is Moskomsport, this should not be a problem for us. The most important thing is the sports result, and it is too early to talk about it”– Nikolai Larin.
This is why during the winter break, when the club was ranked 4th with 48 points. The direction decided to keep the important elements of the team and not to sell them like the last season to be able to fight until the end of the championship. Today, the club is currently 3rd after 27 league days, with 54 points. An advantageous position, especially since one of these direct competitors (Khimki: 2nd – 54 points) should not take the steps to reach the first division.
It’s important to note the fragile position suffered by the clubs due to the stoppage of the championships caused by the Covid-19. A situation which could upset the promotion / relegation system in the different divisions.
Overview of the 2019/20 season
What makes the particularity of this squad of Chertanovo is above all the youth (an average age of 21.83 years), moreover the players who compose this squad are all from the academy of Chertanovo.
Most decisive players
We find a young squad, always with this desire to gradually integrate the youngest players of the academy. This facilitates integration into the first team and at the professional level.
This season the youngest player to ever participate in a match is Artem Sokolov, the young midfielder who is an important part of the Sub17 team and one of the brightest talents of the academy. Making his debut at the age of 16 years, 7 months and 16 days, he becames the youngest player of Chertanovo to start in FNL.
The Sub17 team to secure the future
Before the players can hope to have a chance with the first team, the youngest players are shaped with the Sub17 team in the Russian Sub17 Youth Football championship. A championship that brings together various club academies and other training structures: SShOR Zenit St. Petersburg, DYuSSh CSKA Moskau, Y. Konoplev Football Akademia, DYuSSh Strogino Moskau, Akademia Rubin Kazan, Akademia Zenit St. Petersburg, Akademia Spartak Moscow, Saturn- Master Egorjevsk, Akademia Lokomotiv Moskau, Akademia FK Krasnodar, Akademia Dinamo Moscow and Chertanovo.
Squad Chertanovo Sub17 (Only players who played in Sub17 YL):
Most decisive players
It is interesting to observe that in this squad there are several players who have started to be integrated into the first team: Artem Sokolov, Nikita Sulaymanov, Aleksandr Konev, Aleksandr Nadolskiy and Leonid Gerchikov.
During this season, the Sub 17 team from Chertanovo dominates this YL championship. Indeed, the club is ranked first with 10 points ahead of the second and has never suffered a defeat this season.
A success which is also reflected in the young selections of Russia with the presence of 10 players at the last meeting with the teams Sub15, Sub16, Sub17, Sub18, Sub19 of Russia:
– Russia Sub15: Denis Pushkarev (2005)
– Russia Sub16: Ilya Gribakin (2004), Nikita Saltykov (2004)
– Russia Sub17: Kirill Furman (2003), Artem Sokolov (2003), Sergey Pinyaev (2004), Garrik Levin (2003)
– Russia Sub18: Konstantin Lyakhov (2002)
– Russia Sub19: Nikita Suleymanov (2001), Aleksey Nikitenkov (2001)
How does Chertanovo play?
The formation of Chertanovo most often alternates between 442 and 4231. Patterns of play which is flexible and offers great freedom to allow the individual expression of the players.
An example of composition set up during the last match against Mordovia:
A flexible game plan with the use of versatile players who constantly alternate their positions. However, in the fold we find the team defending in 442: We find 2 players who exercise this first function of first line of pressure to disrupt the construction of the game, promote ball losses and force a more direct game. A desire to facilitate offensive transitions once the ball is recovered:
In the first phases of the game, we find the team formed with 3 players. A scheme that offers the freedom to the wing back to occupy a position across the width to open more space inside the game. In this configuration, we most often find one of the two midfielders s’ get betwen the CB although there may be variations of this configuration depending on the situation:
With their configuration, Chertanovo is a team that is aggressive in obstructing the first stages of possession of the opposing team. Indeed, Chertanovo exerts a high pressure to hinder the exit of balls and push to the fault to attack and create opportunities of goals:
This Chertanovo team is also distinguished by the great flexibility that these players can offer it, facilitating the ball exit, ball conservation and attack sequences:
Another example but this time in an offensive sequence:
Chertanovo is a team that knows how to be aggressive in blocking the first stage of possession of the opponent. A team who show ease of creating danger on offensive transitions. A tactical flexibility possible with versatile players who bring movement and permutations to create attack situations during the build of attacks. The team should strengthen it’s ability on outside attack, the use of effective wing back in 1v1 could bring variety in attacks.
It is interesting to observe similarities in the game model with the Sub17 team. This strategy facilitates the integration of young players into the first team.
What to expect for the future?
In constant progression, this structure of Chertanovo with its work on development is getting closer and closer to the first division. Everything seems announced that this club will settle in the near future in RPL. This success will highlight this strategy focused on local/national development but also to promote formation in Russia which could inspires other structures of Russian football.
A promotion to the first division must not overturn this philosophy which has become a force and makes Chertanovo a club apart in the world of football. Stability in the first division would strengthen the image of the quality of development in Chertanovo and more generally in Russia on a wider spectrum.
Written by: Mickael Marques | @Mycki_Boy