Naftan

Founded In
1963
Location
Navapolatsk (Novopolotsk), Belarus

Naftan

About Naftan

Football Club Naftan Novopolotsk, often known more simply as Naftan, was first established back in 1963. Based in the city of Navapolatsk, the club have undergone a series of name changes over the years, being known as Dvina Novopolotsk, Kommunalnik Novopolotsk and Naftan-Devon Novopolotsk, before settling on their current name. They have experienced a dramatic rise to prominence since the formation of the Belarusian league system.

When the Belarusian Premier League was formed in 1992, Naftan were placed into the country's third tier and their first season saw them finish in 10th place. In 1995, they gained promotion to the second tier. Their stay in that division was short-lived, as they finished top of the league and gained promotion to the Premier League ahead of the 1996 season, completing their climb through the divisions.

The club lasted in the top flight for six seasons, before suffering relegation. However, they returned at the first opportunity and subsequently reached new heights. In 2009, they ended the campaign in 4th place, which remains their best ever league finish. That same season also saw Naftan lift their first piece of major silverware, the Belarusian Cup, after beating Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the final. Then, in 2012, they were able to win the trophy for a second time, after defeating FC Minsk in the final. As a result of both cup wins, the side were granted entry into the UEFA Europa League, marking their first appearances in a major continental tournament.

Valery Strypeykis is perhaps the club's most notable former player and he was the Belarusian Premier League's golden boot winner in 2004 and 2005. Other notable alumni include Mikita Bukatkin and Ihor Chumachenko.

Naftan's home matches are played at Atlant Stadium, which first opened in 1970. It was renovated in 2006 and is currently able to hold up to 4,520 spectators.