SK Sturm Graz


SK Sturm Graz

Football club infobox


clubname = SK Sturm Graz
fullname = Sportklub Puntigamer Sturm Graz
nickname = die Schwoazn, Blackies
founded = 1909
ground = UPC-Arena
capacity = 15,400
chairman = Hans Rinner
manager = Franco Foda
league = Austrian Bundesliga
season = 2007-08
position = 4th
pattern_la1=_black_stripes|pattern_b1=_blackstripes|pattern_ra1=_black_stripes
leftarm1=ffffff|body1= ffffff |rightarm1= ffffff |shorts1= FFFFFF|socks1= 000000
pattern_la2=|pattern_b2=_thinblacksides|pattern_ra2=
leftarm2=FFC802|body2= FFC802 |rightarm2= FFC802 |shorts2=000000|socks2= 000000

SK Sturm Graz is an Austrian football club, based in Graz, Styria, playing in the Austrian Bundesliga. The club was founded in 1909 and the club colours are black and white.

So far, Sturm Graz has won the Austrian Football Championship twice (1998 and 1999) and participated several times in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup under the management of Ivica Osim.

History

Foundation

SK Sturm Graz were founded in 1909, as a working men's team (as opposed to their town neighbours Grazer AK, founded in 1902).

1982 - First Success

The first great success of the club was celebrated under manager Otto Baric, when the club finished runners-up in the league in the 1982/3 season. A year later, the club battled through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, beaten only by Nottingham Forest through a dubious penalty in extra-time.

1992 - The Start of a new Era

In December 1992, Hannes Kartnig was installed as President, naming his close friend Heinz Schilcher as new manager. At the time, Sturm were languishing under enormous debts, a chronic lack of money and a general sporting malaise. Sturm qualified for the newly-formed Zehnerliga, and Kartnig and Schilcher decided the best course of action would be to abstain from big-name signings, and opt instead for a new start using young players from the club's youth setup. In 1993 Milan Djuricic became manager, and together with his "kindergarten" team managed to stay up.

1994 to 2002 - Osim and European Football

In 1994, the Bosnian Ivica Osim took control of the up-to-now unsuccessful Sturm; this proved to be a crucial turning-point in the club's history. Osim succeeded in producing an effective and powerful team using the young and inexperienced players at his disposal, strengthened with a few experienced leading players. The team's first success was as runners-up in the league in 1995; a year later, they won their first title, beating Admira Mödling in the cup-final, but wobbling in the league to finish runners-up yet again.

In 1998, SK Sturm Graz won their first Austrian Bundesliga title, pulling away from the field early on and winning the title with seven games in hand. Sturm set two records during this season; they remained unbeaten in their first twelve matches, and then for another nineteen matches later in the season. At the end of the season they amassed 81 points, an Austrian record total, winning the title with 19 points ahead of Rapid Vienna. This season also saw the development of the "magic triangle" of Mario Haas, Hannes Reinmayr and Ivica Vastic.

1999 saw SK Sturm Graz retain the title, securing the treble as they did so (league, cup and super cup), in addition to appearing in the qualification for the Champions League. Here, however, a scoreless draw with Spartak Moscow proved to be the only success. The 1999/2000 season saw Sturm in the Champions League for a second time, finishing third in their group. FC Tirol wrested the title from Sturm's grasp, but the runners-up spot achieved was sufficient for a third trip into the Champions League.

Sensationally, Sturm Graz won their Champions League Group D (against Galatasaray, Rangers and AS Monaco FC), reaching the second round for the first time. The league campaign was less successful - a fourth place finish, the worst under Osim.

After their Champions League exploits, several key players out of the twelve who later left were not suitably replaced. Worse still, this hasty squad redevelopment devoured almost all the profit made from the European campaign. Only a small fraction of the money was invested in youth development, to establish an academy. Despite this, the newly assembled team again finished in second place in the league, but failed at the qualification hurdle for the Champions League. This, together with increasing criticism from the President precipitated the departure of Osim after eight years at the helm.

2002 to Present Day - Consolidation

Franco Foda and Gilbert Gress (7 defeats in 9 games) both enjoyed short and fruitless stints as coach, before former striker Michael Petrovic took control in autumn 2003. He presided over a gradual introduction of young talent, securing the team's place in the top flight in both 2004 and 2005, finishing in seventh spot.

In the season 2005/6, Sturm Graz took part in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, but were knocked out in the second round by VfL Wolfsburg from the German Fußball-Bundesliga.

Since 2005 Sturm Graz has been facing financial problems and on September 1, 2006 a petition of bankruptcy was filed by the tax authorities.

Stadium

The traditional home of the team for many years was the "Gruabn", which held over 12,000 people - almost exclusively standing - and which achieved cult status with many fans. The stadium was characterised by its narrow playing field, and the proximity of the fans to the players. From 1997 till 2005, Gruabn was used just as a training ground and for youth and amateur matches; in 2005 the ground was sold to the town of Graz to relieve the club's financial difficulties. 1997 saw the move to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium, shared between Sturm and their local rivals, Grazer AK. Since February 2006 the stadium is called UPC-Arena.

Achievements

* Bundesliga:* Champions (2): 1998 and 1999:* Runners-up (5): 1981, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002
* ÖFB-Cup:* Winners (3): 1996, 1997 and 1999:* Runners-up (4): 1948, 1975, 1998 and 2002
* Austrian Super Cup:* Winners (3): 1996, 1998 and 1999 :* Runners-up (2): 1997 and 2002
* Austrian Amateur Champions (1): 1934
* Styrian Regional Champions (11): 1921, 1923, 1925, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949
* Styrian Cup Winners (9): 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949
* UEFA Champions League (3): 1998,1999,2000 (2nd Group Stage)
* UEFA Cup (11): 1970/71, 1974/75, 1978/79, 1981/82, 1983/84 (Quarter Final), 1988/89, 1991/92, 1995/96, 1999 and 2002
* UEFA Intertoto Cup (1): 2008 (Winners)

European records

Current squad

"As of September, 2008."

Transfers 2008

In:

Out:

Out on loan

Famous players

* Filip de Wilde
* Kazimierz Sidorczuk
* Franco Foda
* Darko Milanič

Club Management

Administration

* President: Hans Rinner

Coaching Staff

* Coach: Franco Foda
* Asst. Coach: Thomas Gerstner
* Goalkeeping Coach: Kazimierz Sidorczuk
* Youth and Amateur Team Coach: Christian Peintinger

External links

* [http://www.sksturm.at/ Official Website]
* [http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/club=50111/domestic.html Sturm Graz at UEFA.COM]
* [http://www.eufo.de/football/aut/sk_sgraz.htm Sturm Graz at EUFO.DE]
* [http://www.weltfussball.de/teams/sturm-graz/ Sturm Graz at Weltfussball.de]
* [http://www.playerhistory.com/Default.aspx?page=club_details&clubID=3777 Sturm Graz at Playerhistory.com]
* [http://www.transfermarkt.de/de/verein/122/sksturmgraz/uebersicht/startseite_sort_rn.html Sturm Graz at Transfermarkt.de]
* [http://www.footballsquads.co.uk/austria/2008-2009/bundes/sturmgraz.htm Sturm Graz at Football Squads.co.uk]
* [http://www.national-football-teams.com/v2/club.php?id=141 Sturm Graz at National Football Teams.com]


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