His playing days saw him play in Chornobyl and he was seriously injured in a car crash that almost killed him. Stanislav Oleksandrovych Honcharenko has cheated death to take the helm of Ukraine’s national futsal team and is our latest inductee into the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame.
Born 1st November 1960 in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Stanislav Honcharenko, like many youngsters growing up at the time, played football with friends on the streets of his neighbourhood, but unlike many children his dream was to manage rather than play.
Whilst going to school Honcharenko played his football for the local amateur team of Spartak Kyiv, before joining Temp Kyiv. It was here his talents were noticed and at the age of 19, Honcharenko signed his first professional contract and moved north of Kyiv to join Budivelnik Prypyat. Here he spent 2 years playing for the team from Chornobyl under the watchful eye of coach Anatoliy Shepelya.
In 1982 (4 years before the tragic Chornobyl disaster) Honcharenko was on the move south, this time passing Kyiv and continuing south to the city of Kirovohrad. Here he signed for the Kirovohrad Stars, butt this proved to be bad a move as almost instantly he picked up a serious injury and was forced to retire from the game, as a result of this he moved back home to Kyiv.
Although nobody wishes injury on anybody, his career ending injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he could start concentrating on his dream of becoming a football coach at the young age of 22. Easing his way into the world of management, Honcharenko was given responsibility of the FC Start’s youth set-up, where he laid his foundations for 3 years.
His efforts did not gone unnoticed, and in 1985 Honcharenko was invited to the Specialised Youth School Of Football for Kyiv team Zmina. There were over 700 5-18 year old students at the school, all studying and eager to play football. However, his stay here was a short one and he moved on after just one year there.
A year later he received yet another invitation, this time at CSKA Kyiv. Remaining in the youth set up, it was here where he first tasted success winning the Ukrainian youth championship with the team of 1972 youngsters. April 1990 saw a 30 year old Honcharenko given a proposition from head coach of Dynamo White Church’s Volodymyr Onishchenko. Honcharenko was offered a position in the training set up which he duly snapped up. Volodymyr Onishchenko did not hang around however and left the following year. The club then decided to put Honcharenko in charge of the team where he stayed himself for one season.
In the autumn of 1992, Honcharenko was offered the coaching role at FC Himik, a city in the eastern region of Donetsk oblast, however due to his wife falling pregnant he left the club and once again moved back to his home in Kyiv.
On his return to Kyiv work did not dry up for him, and it was not long before FC Obolon came knocking in his door. In spring 1993 he took charge of the team and remained in charge until 1995. It is worth knowing that he was the first manager of FC Obolon when they obtained their professional status as a club.
At the age of 36, in the year 1996 Honcharenko was once again given the opportunity to take up another role. This time it was a proposition with a difference. Instead of coaching another football team, he was approached by Kyiv Futsal Club Interkas. Fancying a challenge, he took charge of the team, which saw the team finish second in his first season in charge.
Further success would come to Honcharenko as he took his Interkas team for 11 more seasons winning some sort of silverware in every season bar 1. Honcharenko came top of the league in 3 seasons, won the Ukrainian cup 3 times as well as international tournaments.
Unfortunately, his Interkas team liquidated in 2000 and it was shortly after this that Honcharenko was involved in a major car accident which almost saw his life cut short. He suffered 9 fractures to his spine, however it was the liquidation of his team Nterkas which he says hurt the most. “When you have taken away your child” he describes the liquidation of his Interkas team.
8 years later, a fully recuperated Honcharenko returned to the dug-out, this time in the western city of Lviv where he took charge of FC Time. In his first season, he stabilised a team which was on the slide. In the following seasons, he turned the team around and won the league twice, the cup and qualifying twice for the Futsal UEFA Cup.
In 2011 Honcharenko remained in Lviv, but moved to Lviv team Energy. Here he had a successful spell winning the Ukrainian futsal league and cup making him the only futsal coach Ukraine to win leagues and cups wth 3 different clubs.
2013 saw him leave Lviv side Energy and move back to Kyiv where to date he manages Kyiv side Polytechnic.
With a very successful club career to date, one may think he will be a future head coach of Ukraine’s national futsal team one day. He has been part of the national team set up since 2000, where he helped Ukraine reach their best ever position (runner-up) in the 2001 European championships.
Aside from his medals and records, Honcharenko has been commended for his achievements on a personal level being given the award for sporting achievements in Ukraine.
Stanislav Oleksandrovych Honchrenko – blighted by injuries and near death experiences, but has still come through it all to be one of Ukraine’s most successful futsal coaches the country has seen, please find yourself a seat in the Viktor Leonenko Hall Of Fame.