Founded in – 1911
Honorary President – Kmit М.І.
«SKALА́» (STRYI) – one of the oldest football clubs of Ukraine – founded in 1911 by Ukrainian grammar-school boys under the title Ukrainian Sporting Circle “Sich”. 1943 Halychyna champion. Was liquidated by Soviet authorities in 1944, following which the Stryi team operated under the names “Spartak”, “Mashynobudivnyk”, “Burovyk”, “Avanhard” that were common during USSR time. Second revival of “Skala” happened in 1989 and lasted until 1996. In 1996-2001 the team was named “Hazovydobuvnyk-Skala”, in 2001-2006 – “Hazovyk-Skala”, in 2007-2008 – “Skala-Ekran”. In 2009 when the team was taken care of by opinion allies from Morshyn, the co-founders of FC “Morshyn”, created in 2004, it returned to its usual name “Skala”. At the beginning of July 2009 FC “Morshyn” received a certificate from Football Federation of Ukraine providing the right to participate in All-Ukrainian football competition among Second League professional teams for 2009-2010 season. After that the club received membership in PFL. On February 17, 2010 by PFL Central Council Resolution No 5 the change of name from LLC “Football club “Morshyn” to LLC “Football club “Skala” was approved. The club participated in Second and First Leagues of Ukraine. As of now its biggest achievement is 6th place in First League during 2005/2006 season.
Participation in professional leagues of independent Ukraine:
TEAM FOUNDATION, ORIGIN OF NAME AND COLORS
Ukrainian Sporting Circle “Sich” was created in Stryi in 1911 by Ukrainian grammar-school boys in order to represent Ukrainian football in the town. The team practiced at side pitches of Yordan park, since the main pitch was occupied for practices of town’s another team – “Pogon”. First chronicled game for newly created team was the one played on May 21, 1911 in Lviv at “Sokil-Batko” stadium between USC (third team) and “Sich”. The Stryi team has lost with a score of 5:8. That same year, on October 7 the first Stryi derby “Pogon” vs. “Sich” took place in Stryi at the sports ground in Vilshyna park (currently – T.Shevchenko park). The more experienced Polish team has won with a score of 5:0. Football grew in popularity among grammar-school pupils and from the players who didn’t make the main team “Sich-II” and “Sich-III” were formed. Names of the USC “Sich” from 1911 that remained in the records (those were predominantly grammar-school pupils): Mykola Blyskun, Yosaphat Hnativ, Yulian Levytskyy, Stepan-Adrian Nyzhankivskyy, Mykola Nykolyshyn, Myron-Oleksandr Soloviy, Volodymyr Tyvonovych, Bohdan Lototskyy, Dmytro Machalaba, Mykhailo Khronyovskyy, Volodymyr Fedoryk, Oleksandr Miniv, seminarians Husak brothers.
The “Sich” name brought unpleasant for Poles associations with kozak times and Ukrainian-Polish war under the guidance of Bohdan Khmelnytskyy, therefore conflicts and even fights were regular occurrences at the games. In an article in Lviv sporting weekly “Zmag” author V. Konych wrote that the idea of naming the team “Skala” (The Rock) was expressed by the football player Stanislav Parashchak prior to the game in Przemysl versus “Syanova chaika” on May 12, 1912. The player explained the name by claiming that all attacks of the opponents should be “deflected off the squad like it would be deflected off the rock”. The same moniker “Stryi Skala” was used by “Pogon” (Stryi) in 1911/12 report, therefore it is considered that “Sich” was renamed into “Skala” in 1912. The word “skala” (a rock) was a norm at the time, whereas now a dictionary refers to it as to archaic word synonymous to “skelya”. However, this name became traditional, thus when the club was revived in 1989, after 55 years of absence it received the name “Skala”. A well-known in Stryi public and religious figure abbe Ostap Nyzhankivskyy, who was USC “Sich” first head, bought first real playing kit for the team. Initially the shirts had been blue-yellow, but after a switch to “Skala” name a raspberry-green kit was purchased (raspberry color symbolizes kozaks and freedom (“Sich”), while green embodies forests of Carpathians (“Skala”).
In 1912 Nestor Nyzhankivskyy (son of abbe Ostap Nyzhankivskyy), former “Pogon” (Stryi) goalkeeper Leon Shvarts and striker Stakh Parashchak were among players who joined “Sich” which changed the name to “Skala”. Generally, during the first year of club’s existence, the team was almost exclusively composed of grammar-school boys, but later it started to invite more experienced and stronger footballers. Due to abbe Nyzhankivskyy protection “Skala” received the right to play home games in Yordan park. In 1912 “Skala” played a couple of successful friendly matches. Below are the teams, scores and venues:
“Skala” — USC (Lviv) — 4:0
“Syanova chaika” (Przemysl) — “Skala” — 1:2,
“Skala” — “Syanova chaika” — 5:0 (?),
Ukrainian team of Lviv (USC, “Ukrayina” and “Lechia” players) — “Skala” — 0:1 (the game was abandoned on 78th minute due to darkness).
Thus “Skala” proved its advantage over all leading Ukrainian teams of Halychyna, while the group that wore “Skala” colors in 1912 was the strongest “Skala” squad till the team was disbanded in 1944: goalkeeper Leon Shvarts (“Lyalya”), defenders – Antin Blatkevych and Oleksiy Husak (“Husyokrop”), midfielders: left – Yuke Fogel, centre – Nestor Nyzhankivskyy, right – Mykailo Khronyovskyy and attackers: Volodymyr Fedoryk (“Kolomyika”), Myron Soloviy, Stanislav Parashchak, Osyp Yarem and Viktor Koval.
After successful 1912 “Skala” activities started to decline. Parashchak returned to local “Pogon”, N. Nyzhankivskyy and Blatkevych graduated from grammar-school and continued their education in Lviv, Husak and Khronyovskyy went to army and even undergoing military services in Stryi they didn’t have any spare time for football. Players who replaced them demonstrated substantially lower level of play. Due to demise of the club, “Skala” didn’t even participated in Shevchenko mass gathering in June of 1914, when over 12 thousand people from all parts of Halychyna arrived to Lviv.
POLISH AND GERMAN PERIODS
During First World War years (1914-1918) sporting life in Stryi had stopped. In 1919 “Skala” patron Ostap Nyzhankivskyy was shot dead by Poles. In 1922 football team “Skala” was revived as part gymnastic society “Sokil”. In 1920-s Ukrainian sporting clubs of Halychyna united in Ukrainian Sporting Union, but USU didn’t cooperate with Polish authorities, therefore Ukrainian teams were prohibited from playing matches versus Polish clubs. It prevented the football from developing and rapid “Skala” revival.
In 1925 initiators of team revival have approached the matter seriously by registering Ukrainian Sporting Club “Skala” as separate sporting entity. On May 26, 1925 province authorities approved society charter, prior to which, on May 24, in Stryi “Skala” participated in friendly game versus “Zorya” (Lviv), defeating the visitors 2:0.
In 1928 Lviv SC “Ukrayina” decided to interrupt isolation of Ukrainian sporting teams of Halychyna and joined Lviv area football union under the aegis of Polish football federation. Lviv footballers wanted to face equal opposition, since most of the Ukrainian clubs of the area were of significantly lower level and sometimes “Ukrayina” has been beating them by double digits. In 1931 “Skala” also joined LAFU. Area competitions were conducted “C”, “B” and “A” classes. Class “A” winners from different districts competed for promotion to Polish championship top division. Starting with its first season “Skala” was among the leader of its sub district of class “C” and immediately earned promotion to class “B”, where it played in 1932 and 1933. However, 1933 season in league “B” became catastrophic for “Skala”, since the team finished on the last, 8th place in its group, having scored just 4 points (goal difference – 9:48). After that the leadership of the club decided to abandon LAFU and return to USU. In part it was caused by high expenses for away games and Ukrainian community of Stryi indifference to sport, in part by Polish football officials biased attitude toward Ukrainian teams, in part by “Skala” low playing level in comparison to other class “B” teams.
In 1936 USC “Skala” returned under the aegis of Polish football federation. During that years Stanislav district football union was created and according to administrative division the clubs from Stryi division had compete in SAFU. However, teams from Stryi, especially town’s top team “Pogon” didn’t want to compete against Stanislav area teams due to worse transport connection and smaller number of strong teams, which wasn’t financially viable since they attracted fewer viewers to the stadium. Clubs of the town refused to play in SAFU, and staged its own tournament for Cup of Stryi instead. In 1937/38 season “Skala” returned to Lviv area football union where it participated in class “B”.
During the Soviet times the team was named “Spartak”, “Burovyk”, “Mashynobudivnyk”, “Avanhard”. The match of Stryi “Avanhard” which played in championship of Ukrainian SSR among physical education groups versus Moscow CSKA which arrived to Stryi as reigning champion of Soviet Union will always remain in the memory of long-time fans. Despite the fact that army squad from Moscow at that time composed the core of Soviet national team, while Stryi team had a semi-amateur status, the match ended with 1:1 draw and the coach of Muscovites rejected post-game interview requests.
The team in Stryi was revived in 1989 and in two years, after a merger with “Karpaty” (Kamyanka-Buzka) it received a spot in second league of USSR championship.