Anatoliy Mykolayovich Kroshchenko, a product of the famous Dynamo Kyiv academy who will forever feature prominently in the annals of Karpaty Lviv
Born in Kyiv, 26th October 1937 Kroshchenko joined Kyivs academy in 1957, joining a group that included the likes of Andriy Biba and Oleh Bazylevych. Unlike some of his classmates the striker would never make an appearance for the Dynamo first team, moving on in search of first team football after 3 seasons representing Dynamo-2. Kroshchenko firstly moved on to SKVO Kyiv, before moving away from the Ukrainian capital, first to Lokomotiv Vinnytsia, then onto Shakhtar Stalino (Donetsk). During a season at Shakhtar he would make 26 appearances, scoring 6 goals. During 1961 Kroshchenko moved north to Avangard Kharkiv spending 2 years at the club, where he bagged 3 goals in 22 appearances.
On January 18th 1963, a new team came into being in Lviv, going by the name of Karpaty. The new team formed after a merger between SKA Lviv and Silmash, and were due to compete in the newly created Group B of the Soviet Football League structure. Karpaty’s first manager was Nikolai Kuznetsov – who was familiar with Kroshchenko from his time in the Kyiv youth set up – invited the player to join the new team, along with a number of fellow Dynamo graduates. Kroshchenko would quickly write himself into Karpaty folklore scoring their first official goal against Lokomotiv Gomel (Belarus) on April 23rd 1963, in a 1-0 win. Nikolai would go on to add a second historic first for the Lviv club soon after, scoring their first ever international goal in a 1-0 win against Atletico Cerro of Montevideo, Uruguay on 12th June 1963.
His first spell in Lviv ended in 1966 having scored 34 goals in 115 appearances, moving up a division to join Dnipro. Kroshchenko would only spend one year at the riverside club, scoring only once in 10 appearances before returning to Karpaty.
Over the next 2 seasons the striker would make a further 55 appearances for Lviv, scoring a further 23 goals while helping Karpaty achieve promotion to the Soviet First league in 1968. By now aged 31, Kroshchenko decided to hang up his boots and make the move into coaching.
His coaching career took him across Ukraine, with stints in Luhansk, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Kerch before returning to where it all began at Dynamo Kyivs academy in the early 90s, leading the clubs 2nd and 3rd sides. During his time working at Dynamos academy he helped bring through a number of players including Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Serhiy Federov and Vladyslav Vaschuk who would all play a prominent role in Dynamos resurgence as a European force in the late 1990s.
Kroshchenko would return to some prominence when he was appointed, as first manager of the Ukrainian national under-18, then manager of the Under 20 side. Under his tutelage the Ukrainian side impressively topped their group featuring Germany and the Netherlands at the 2000 European Under 18 Championship, before succumbing to a French side in the final. Despite defeat the performance in the tournament qualified the side for the 2001 World Youth Championships held in Argentina. Kroshchenko led a side containing future full Ukraine internationals Ruslan Valeyev, Olexiy Gai, and Oleksiy Belyk, to top spot in the group stages, before a narrow defeat to Paraguay in the second round. Following his exploits with the national side, Kroshchenko again returned to Dynamo as head of youth development before retiring in 2011 aged 73.
Kroshchenko is credited as being one the best coaches of youth players in Ukrainian football history, as well as a Karpaty Lviv legend. We welcome him into the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame.
Profile by EwhenChymera co-founder of the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame. Follow Ewhen on twitter – @EChymera