Who are Shakhtyor Soligorsk? Nomads’ Europa League first qualifying round opponents profiled
Connah’s Quay Nomads play Belarusian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk at Rhyl’s Belle Vue Stadium this Thursday.
The Welsh Cup winners are the only team left remaining in the UEFA Europa League, after Bala Town and Cefn Druids lost to Tre Fiori and FK Trakai last week.
For Nomads, it’s their fifth European tie after games against Stabæk, Vojvodina Novi Sad and HJK Helsinki.
In their last campaign, they lost to Finnish champions HJK Helsinki 3-1 on aggregate, after beating them 1-0 in the home leg.
Soligorsk are no strangers to a European adventure. When Soligorsk play the Nomads, it will be their 21st game in European competitions.
In 2001, they made their European debut, losing 5-2 on aggregate to CSKA Sofia.
They’ve already played British and Irish opposition already too. In 2003 in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, they beat Omagh Town 8-1 on aggregate.
Eleven years later they would go South of Ireland, as they drew Derry City in the Second Round of Qualifying in the UEFA Europa League, with a convincing 6-1 aggregate victory. A season later in the 2015/2016 Europa League, they beat Glenavon 5-1 on aggregate.
It’s been perfect preparation for the Belarusian side, given that their league season is fifteen games in after starting at the end of March.
You’ll have to stretch back to the 13th April for the last time they suffered defeat. Since then they’ve had eight wins and four draws, with their latest being a 0-0 draw with Minsk.
Currently, Shakhtyor are nine points off the top of the Belarusian Premier League.
Who’s the gaffer?
59-year-old Sergei Tashuyev is the manager. He’s had a coaching and managerial career that has spanned 26 years. He joined Shaktyor back in April, before the new season.
He guided FC Anzhi Makhachkala back to the Russian Premier League, after their relegation in the 2013/2014 season. He’s also managed Krasnodar and Kuban Krasnodar.
26-year-old Denis Laptev is the clubs highest goal scorer this season, with four goals in 12 appearances. Just behind him on three goals is midfielder Yuri Kovalev who has been ever present.
In their 57 years of existence, there haven’t been much to shout about in terms of silverware. However thirteen years ago, the club won the Belarusian Premier League. Their last piece of silverware came in 2014 when they won the Belarusian Cup.