7 episodes

The Athletic is given inside access to leading Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk as they compete against the world's best teams despite being unable to play at home - in their own stadium - due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Athletic's Adam Crafton and Joey D'Urso travelled with the team to gather first-hand accounts of the extraordinary challenges in the lives of players and staff as they compete against the world's best players on the biggest stage under unprecedented, ever-changing circumstances.

Away From Home The Athletic Audio+

    • Sports
    • 4.6 • 14 Ratings

The Athletic is given inside access to leading Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk as they compete against the world's best teams despite being unable to play at home - in their own stadium - due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Athletic's Adam Crafton and Joey D'Urso travelled with the team to gather first-hand accounts of the extraordinary challenges in the lives of players and staff as they compete against the world's best players on the biggest stage under unprecedented, ever-changing circumstances.

    Episode One: We believe in miracles

    Episode One: We believe in miracles

    In this episode, The Athletic’s Adam Crafton speaks to Taras Stepanenko, the captain of Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk, as he and his young family take refuge in an underground shelter when war breaks out in Ukraine. 
    Adam also meets with Shakhtar's Croatian head coach, Igor Jovicevic, who was separated from his family when Russia invaded. 
    Meanwhile, as the team prepares for their first match in Europe’s elite competition, the Champions League, we hear from Shakhtar midfielder Ivan Petryak, who lost a family member to the war with Russia. With all the odds against Shakhtar, can the Ukrainian club pull off a shock victory against the German club Red Bull Leipzig?

    Credits
    Presenter: Adam Crafton
    Producers: Adam Crafton, Abi Paterson, Mike Stavrou
    Sound mixing: Ollie Bellwood
    Featuring footage from: The Daily, AP, ABC News, Sport BILD, DW News, Al Jazeera, and BT Sport

    • 41 min
    Episode Two: Thank you Croatia

    Episode Two: Thank you Croatia

    We take you inside the dressing room with Shakhtar Donetsk as they prepare for their next Champions League match against Celtic.
    Whilst The Athletic’s Adam Crafton follows the team in Warsaw, his colleague Joey D'Urso is in Croatia. He meets with the children from the club’s academy who are kept safe and out of harm’s way, but pine for their friends and family back home in Ukraine.
    We then return to Warsaw for match day - can the underdogs get another result? We start with an emotional team-talk from the club’s captain Taras Stepanenko…

    Credits:
    Presenters: Adam Crafton and Joey D'Urso
    Producers: Adam Crafton, Joey D'Urso, Abi Paterson, and Mike Stavrou
    Sound Mixing: Ollie Bellwood
    Featuring footage from: CBS with dressing room footage & audio kindly supplied by Shakhtar Donetsk.

    • 36 min
    Episode Three: God in the sky

    Episode Three: God in the sky

    In this episode The Athletic’s Adam Crafton goes into the boardroom at Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk to meet those facing unprecedented challenges to compete in the Champions League whilst war rages in Ukraine. Shakhtar’s CEO Sergei Palkin reveals why his club are suing football’s world governing body FIFA for €50m. 
    The grim realities of war are never too far away, as Adam speaks to one Ukrainian mother, who shares the tragic story of her son, a soldier and promising young footballer, who once tried out with Shakhtar.
    Despite it all, we join Shakhtar as they take to the field against the world’s richest, most successful club Real Madrid. 
    Credits:
    Presenter: Adam Crafton
    Producers: Adam Crafton, Jesse Howard, and Mike Stavrou
    Featuring footage from Al Jazeera, AP, ESPN, BBC News and BT Sport

    • 48 min
    Episode Four: Nothing can kill us

    Episode Four: Nothing can kill us

    Adam Crafton’s trip to Ukraine is aborted as Russia launches a fresh wave of missile strikes on Kyiv and other cities.
    As the war drastically changes, Adam is with Shakhtar players who desperately await confirmation that their friends and family have survived Putin’s latest onslaught.
    Amid the anxiety, Joey hears how the coaching staff somehow prepare to face the best team in the world, Real Madrid. 
    In an intensely emotional week, can Shakhtar pull off a sporting miracle? 
    Credits:
    Presenters: Adam Crafton and Joey D'Urso
    Producers: Adam Crafton, Joey D'Urso, Abi Paterson, and Mike Stavrou
    Sound Mixing: Ollie Bellwood
    Featuring footage from: BBC, The Daily

    • 52 min
    Episode Five: The impossible game

    Episode Five: The impossible game

    Shakhtar’s Champions League campaign reaches an epic climax with two decisive fixtures against Celtic and RB Leipzig and head coach Igor Jovicevic promises his team will do everything they can to honour and represent the troops back home. 
    We hear the inside story on young superstar Mykhailo Mudryk, who attracts attention from the world’s biggest clubs. 
    The realities of war remain and we hear the first-hand account of Olena Sukhenko, who lost multiple members of her football obsessed family to Russian brutality. 
    And eight years on from Shakhtar’s forced exodus from their home in Donetsk, we explore just how realistic it is for the club to one day return to its true home in eastern Ukraine.
    Credits:
    Presenters: Adam Crafton and Joey D'Urso
    Producers: Adam Crafton, Joey D'Urso, Jesse Howard, and Mike Stavrou
    Sound Mixing: Jesse Howard
    Credits: BT Sport

    • 56 min
    Episode Six: The road ahead isn't easy

    Episode Six: The road ahead isn't easy

    In the final episode, Adam Crafton & Joey D’Urso are joined by producer Abi Paterson in the London studio to reflect on their experiences witnessing Shakhtar's against-all-odds story in the Champions League against the backdrop of war.
    They are joined by Jakub Parusinski from the Kyiv Independent and Powerlines podcast to learn more about Ukraine's relationship with sport during this war. 
    With the uncertainty in Ukraine, we explore what the future might hold for the club and its star players who have emerged such as Mykhailo Mudryk.
    Credits:
    Presenters: Adam Crafton, Joey D'Urso and Abi Paterson
    Producers: Abi Paterson and Mike Stavrou

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Joseph of the K ,

Compelling

The humanitarian effect of this war shines thru.

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