Apollon Limassol

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Apollon Limassol
Apollon-Limassol.png
Full name Apollon Limassol FC
Nickname(s) ')
Thrilos (Legend)
Kianolefki (Blue-Whites)
O Fygas (The Fugitive)
Founded 14 April 1954; 60 years ago (14 April 1954)
Ground Tsirion Stadium,
Limassol, Cyprus
Ground Capacity 13,331
Chairman Cyprus Nicos Kirzis
Manager Cyprus Christakis Christoforou
League Cypriot First Division
2013–14 Cypriot First Division, 3rd
Website Club home page

Apollon Limassol (Greek: Απόλλων Λεμεσού) is a Cypriot sports club, based in Limassol. It has football, basketball and volleyball teams. Founded in 1954, Apollon F.C. currently plays in Cypriot First Division and has won the championship title 3 times, the cup 7 times and the Super Cup once.

History and establishment[edit]

At the end of the 1953 football season, a team of young men placed as dream and objective the foundation of an association with national and athletic aims based on promoting the education and social skills of its young members.[1] On 14 April 1954 the general assembly of enough members with leader Mr Christaki Pavlides proposes the foundation of an athletic association called " APOLLON LIMASSOL' ". The assembly approved the proposal and thus from that 14-day of the month of April in the year 1954 "APOLLON was born". The first Apollon football team formed consisted in majority of former AEL Limassol players who defected AEL due to nationalistic and political aspirations that opposed the philosophy of AEL as a multicultural non politicized athletic union of Limassol as the name implies. AEL had won the league championship in 1953, 1955, and went on to win the league again in 1956. Due to breakaway of the players from AEL and the formation of a new team, Apollon supporters are nicknamed "Fugitives". AEL Limassol, est. 1930, with the largest number of sports activities on the island established in 1930, and founding member of the Cyprus Football Association, went on to win the league in 1956, while Apollon played their 1st years in the 2nd division until 1957. The first administrative council of the Apollon team included: Charalambos Lymbourides (Secretary), Andreas Psyllides (Cashier), Antonakis Fourlas (Adviser), Melis Charalampous (Adviser), Andreas Theocharous (Adviser) Andreas Aggelopoulos (Adviser) and Kostas Panayiotou (Adviser).[2] Under the directives of Antonakis Fourlas, playing against district teams. This had a result of it becoming continuously more expensive to run and thus the registration of new members was increased with rapid rhythms. For this reason it was decided to send a letter to the C.F.A (Cyprus Football Association) with date of 23 March 1955 for the integration of Apollon into the Association. On 16 October 1955, the Cypriot Football Association (C.F.A) included in its orders Apollon in the 2nd division.[1]

1954–1955: Early years[edit]

In its first year, Apollon suffered 8 defeats in 8 matches in the second division. Just before the next season (1956–57), Apollon won the regional group in the second division and subsequently the play-offs and then was promoted to the first division. This took place in 1957 and ever since Apollon has been competing in the first division. Things were not easy however for the newly promoted club. Apollon couldn't reach a satisfactory position in the rankings and was struggling in the middle of the table for many years. But in the mid-60's things changed.[1]

1964–1967: The first distinctions[edit]

In 1965 Apollon reached the Cup Final. However, Omonia won the tile with a score of 5–1.[3] A year later, Apollon was in the Final again, and won the Cup by defeating Nea Salamina with the score of 4–2(Scorers: Panikos Yiolitis, Andros Konstantinou, Panikkos Kristallis, Antonis Panayides), and triumphantly took the trophy to Limassol.[2] Apollon managed to maintain its Cup title in 1967, by beating Alki 1–0 thanks to the goal of Antonis Panayides.[3] After celebrating these titles, Apollon had to wait another 15 years to start making history once again.

1981–1987: Back to the Cup Final after 20 fallow years[edit]

In the football season 1981–1982 Apollon managed to reach once again the Cup final however in double games Omonia won the Cup. In the 1985–1986 season,after 20 years of "drought" Apollon won once again the Cup in Tsirion Stadium, overcoming Apoel with a score of 2–0.[3] Scores were Kenny and Sokratous.[2]

1990–1999: 10 years of glory[edit]

A Apollon former coach
Diethelm Ferner

In these years, it emerged clearly that absent was this "something" that could make the difference for the team to lead in the Championship. This "something" therefore was non-other than the German coach named Diethelm Ferner who, upon arriving in Cyprus was determined to win. The German, with his discipline and hard work accomplishes "links" between young talented footballers with older more experienced footballers creating a team ready for the big time. Thus in the season 1990–1991 the team entered the championship "marathon" wanting to write the biggest and most glorious page in its history book. After a frantic and impressive season, offering both substance and spectacle in its game, Apollon was finally crowned Champion of Cyprus![4] From that year and for a five-year period the team gained the admiration of all Cypriot football fans after playing modern football. In 1991–1992 season Apollon won the Cup for the fourth time, overcoming Omonia in final with a final score of 1–0.[3] The scorer was Evgenio Ptak. However in the next season of 1992–1993 Apollon lost both titles. The team returned strongly and gained the club's second Championship one year later in 1993–1994 season, later after a hard duel with Anorthosis where the title was judged on the last day of the season.[4] In the 1994–1995 season Apollon reached the Cup final losing from Apoel with 2–4 while the same happened also in the 1997–1998 season with "executioner" this time the almighty Anorthosis, that accomplishes and gains the cup with a final score 1–3. In that five-year period Apollon was accomplished in the European ties, winning enough games and at the same time the respect of many European football clubs. However the game, in which Apollon wrote his own unique history is non-other than with the big opponent of F.C. Internazionale Milano (Inter Milan) in the UEFA Cup! The 1 – 0 in "Stadio Giuseppe Meazza" (San Siro) left margins for Apollon to believe in a miracle, against the Italians for the second leg game of 3 November 1993. The Cup Champions, staffed with a squad of international players led by Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp talked for a walkover in Cyprus against "fishermen" (thus called the footballers of Apollon the goalkeeper of Inter, Walter Zenga before the game) and that the game in Milan was just a bad game for their team. However, the Inter team was found in Limassol, losing in the first ten minutes with a 0–2 score and only finally managed to recover and to finish another historic tie with 3–3, leaving at the end the great Italian goalkeeper speechless!. Scorers for the Apollon team were Milenko Spoljaric, Zlatan Šcepovic and Giorgos Iosifidis.[5]

2000–2010: 1 Championship, 2 Cups and 1 Super Cup[edit]

Apollon supporters during a match in 2006.

In the 2000–2001 season Apollon won the Cup against Nea Salamis Famagusta FC in the GSP stadium, with final score 1–0. Scorer was the unforgettable Viktor Zubarev.[3]

In the middle of the football season (2004–2005) and after enough failed attempts for glory after the final of 2001,German manager Bernd Stange took the responsibility, accomplishing late but regularly he brought back the lost glamour of the team. In the season, 2005–06 Apollon won the league title undefeated and earned a club record of 64 points.[4] Apollon had 19 wins and 7 draws in 26 matches and this went down in Cypriot Football history, due to fact that it was the fourth team in the Cyprus Championship that won the title unbeaten(*Apollon was the only undefeated team in Europe, running an unbeaten streak since 12 March 2005 (30 games). The next year Apollon won for the first time in his history the Super Cup beating Apoel 1–3 at home.

In 2010 Apollon won the Cup after 9 years (2001 Final Cup), beating APOEL Nicosia in GSZ Stadium. The final score was 2–1.[3]

2010-11: Cup finalists[edit]

The following year (2011), Apollon reached the final of the Cypriot Cup for the second consecutive year, but lost to AC Omonoia on penalties, after a 1–1 draw following extra time[3]

2012-13: Cypriot Cup winners[edit]

On 22 May 2013, Apollon won the Cup after 3 years (last Cup won in 2010). Apollon won in the final by beating 1-2 AEL Limassol at Tsirion Stadium in extra time, achieving the club's 7th Cypriot Cup title.[3] Apollon fans are very demanding and loyal to the Club and after 3 years they celebrated the Cup by singing, drinking, celebrating the whole week.

2013–14: Gold history and big dreams[edit]

Apollon Limassol skipper Giorgos Merkis implored his team-mates not to rest on their laurels after securing a famous 2-0 victory against OGC Nice in the first leg of their 2013–14 UEFA Europa League play-off. Christakis Christoforou's men were billed as overwhelming underdogs going into the tie, but a second-half double from Argentinian forward Gaston Sangoy has put them in a commanding position ahead of the 29 August decider at Stade Municipal du Ray. The next week Apollon travelled to Nice and the dream came true. Apollon lost 1-0 from OGC-Nice but qualified at the group stage of Europa League for first time in team's history. In the group stage Apollon will play with: Lazio, Trabzonspor and Legia Warsaw. At the debut match at G.S.P stadium in Nicosia in the group stage of Europa League Apollon Limassol defeated by Trabzonspor 1-2 and scorer was the team's star Gaston Sangoy. On 26 September Apollon became the first Cypriot side to win a game in Poland on matchday two, ending a seven-game losing streak away from home in Europe to beat Legia Warsaw 1-0. Scorer against Polish side was again Gaston Sangoy. It is a first away victory for a Cypriot side in a UEFA club competition group stage in their last 16 attempts. In the third match on 24 of Octomber Apollon claimed a creditable 0-0 draw against Seria A side Lazio in Nicosia to keep alive their chances of qualifying from UEFA Europa League Group J.

Crest and colours[edit]

The team' s emblem represents the olympian God Apollo from the Greek mythology. Apollo was considered the god of sun, poetry and music. The colours of the team are blue and white. They represent the colours of the Greek flag as the creation of the team was well connected with the struggles of Cypriot people for unification with Greece. The away colours are white and the home kit blue.

Other teams[edit]

Basketball team[edit]

The Basketball team of Apollon was founded in 1967 and is one of the founding members of Cyprus Basketball Federation.[citation needed] From then the team participated regularly in the championship of 1st Division. The unique titles in the history of department, are two cups in 2002 and 2014 and a Super Cup in 2004. While it finished many times in second places.

Volleyball team[edit]

A Founding member of the Cyprus Volleyball Federation, the women's team participated in several Championship finals (1999, 2001, 2003, 2010,2011,2012,2013) and in eight Cup finals (1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003,2011,2012,2013) . In 2003 Apollon won its first Super Cup by beating AEL 3–0. In 2011 won its first National championship. In 2013 Apollon won the Super Cup for the second time by beating Anorthosis Famagusta 3-0. In 2014 won the national championship for the second time and the Cup for the first time by beating AEK Larnaca 3-0.

Women's football team[edit]

The women's team has won the Cypriot First Division as well as the Cypriot Women's Cup four consecitive times from 2009 to 2012. The team also reached the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 in 2010 and 2011.

Apollon limassol girls win the first super cup, at 15/10/2013 against anorthosis, anorthosis won the double last year and played final with Apollon limassol in the cup. Super cup Score: 3-0

Stadium[edit]

Football

The team's current stadium is the 13,000 seater Tsirion Stadium, also known as the Olympia Stadium (G.S.O), it is also the home ground of AEL Limassol and Aris Limassol, The stadium holds 13,331 people and was built in 1975 with the help of the generous contributor and great philanthropist, Mr. Petros I. Tsiros, a very generous benevolent benefactor and humanitarian of Cyprus, thus the name of the stadium. Apollon Limassol generally use the West Stand of the stadium, but when the match attendance necessitates, the North and East Stands are sometimes used.

Apollon deposited to KOA (Cyprus Sports Organisation, GREEK: Κυπριακού Οργανισμού Αθλητισμού) its plans for the creation of its own stadium and every Apollon supporter is now looking forward for the work to begin. The stadium will be able to accept 12.500 (seated) people but a prospect will allow the increase of the capacity to 16.000.

Basketball/Volleyball

Apollon has its own indoor hall, the PrimeTel Apollon Stadium, with a capacity of 2,800.

Supporters[edit]

In 1981, the organised portion of the supporters of the club, with no official name yet, elected council members and began organising themselves, in a tiny room of the clubhouse (where it now houses the offices of the football Company) the membership fee was then 10 Cypriot cents. Later on in 1982 after the positive response in enlisting new members of the fan club, the cost of registration was increased to 2 Cyprus pounds. At a time when no other team had yet an organised groups of fans on the island, a new fan club was registered. The registration was triggered after a game in Paphos where the followers of Apollon made an organised excursion something that had not been done previously. On their return, everyone was happy by the experience, that they agreed to set up formally and officially the Sy.Fi Association (Apollon Limassol)-Apollon Limassol Fan club. In 1982 Costas Katafygiotis was elected first president of the Apollon Sy.Fi in September 1982. The next year the fan club worked in an official manner. Chaired by Dino it opened in parallel a souvenir shop on the street and gained its Independence from the football club and became a housing association for the fans rouvaes,lagous. The years went by, the Apollon Sy.Fi renamed itself later to PA.SY.FI Apollon (Apollon Cyprus Association of Supporters) and much later PAN.SY.FI APOLLON (Pan Hellenic Supporters Association of Apollon) to show the bond of our association with Greece.

From 1996 onwards PAN.SY.FI became synonymous with GATE-1 a designation which originated from the entrance gate in the West Tsireio stadium stand, where members gather.

PAN.SY.FI Apollon Gate 1 is the name of the supporters fan club.

Apollon is amongst the most popular football teams in Cyprus. The fans are very demanding and loyal to the Club. Apollon. Almost 12.000 Apollon fans traveled from Limassol for the 2001 Cup Final that took place in Nicosia (14.828 tickets). This number also beat the previous top record for a team traveling for an away game to Nicosia. Celebrations for winning the League championship for the 1993/94 season following the victory against Omonoia F.C. More than 20.000 fans overflowed the Stadium to see Apollon clinch the title in the final game of the season. Celebrations following the victory against Omonoia F.C. at the 1992 FA Cup Final in Tsirio, stadium. More than 20.000 fans attended the game.

− After 13 years (2005/06 season) Apollon was the unbeaten champion and the fans were singing, drinking, celebrating the whole week and in Limassol the only colours on public display were white and blue.

Current squad[edit]

As of 30 January 2014 [6][7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Netherlands DF Dustley Mulder
6 Spain MF Marcos Gullón
8 Romania MF Nicolae Grigore
10 Argentina FW Gastón Sangoy (vice-captain)
11 Czech Republic FW Jan Rezek
13 Colombia DF David Mena Rojas
14 France MF Camel Meriem
16 Cyprus DF Giorgos Merkis (Captain)
17 Spain MF Hugo López
19 Ivory Coast FW Abraham Gneki Guié
20 France MF Bertrand Robert
23 Albania GK Isli Hidi
No. Position Player
26 Greece MF Fotios Papoulis
27 Cyprus DF Angelis Charalambous
28 Cyprus MF Marios Stylianou
31 Cyprus GK Michalis Fani
48 Cyprus MF Chambos Kyriakou
50 Portugal DF João Paulo Andrade
56 Morocco MF Rachid Hamdani
83 Portugal GK Bruno Vale
88 Cyprus MF Giorgos Vasiliou
97 Cyprus MF Andreas Fragkos
Brazil FW Thuram

For recent transfers, see List of Cypriot football transfers summer 2014.

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Cyprus DF Ioannis Efstathiou (to Nea Salamis Famagusta FC until May 2014)
Cyprus MF Chrysis Antoniou (to Nea Salamis Famagusta FC until May 2014)

Club officials[edit]

Board of directors[edit]

Position Staff
Chairman Cyprus Nikos Kirzis
Vice-Chairman A' Cyprus Marinos Efstathiou
Vice-Chairman A' Cyprus Fanos Kinnis
Vice-Chairman A' Cyprus Antonis Glykis
Member Cyprus Andreas Psyllidis
Member Cyprus Kostas Pantelides
Member Cyprus Kostas Polydorides
Member Cyprus Kostas Papachristoforou

Personnel[edit]

Position Staff
General Director Cyprus George Papayannis
Press Officer Cyprus Fanourios Constantinou
Football Department Cyprus Giannis Kyriakidis
Marketing Department Cyprus Koulla Stavrinidou
Accountant Cyprus Despo Panagi
Athletics Department Cyprus Kyriakos Vasileiou
Tickets Department Cyprus Panicos Frangoudis

Technical and medical staff[edit]

Technical staff
Head coach Cyprus Christakis Cristoforou
Assistant coach Cyprus
Goalkeeping coach Cyprus George Nikolaou
Fitness coach Cyprus Euthimios Kyprianou
Medical staff
Doctor Cyprus Dr. Yiannos Ioannou
Doctor Cyprus Dr. Vasos Constantinou
Doctor Cyprus Dr. Michalis Zenios
Head physio Cyprus George Stouppas
Head physio Cyprus Nicos Karaolis
Kinesiologist Cyprus Panayiotis Papandreou
Nutritionist Cyprus Costas Chari

Sponsorship[edit]

  • Official shirt sponsor – CYTA
  • Official sport clothing manufacturer – Macron
  • Official athletism sponsor – Betfair
  • Official stadium sponsor – XM
  • Official communication sponsor – PrimeTel
  • Official sport drink – Gatorade

Other sponsors[edit]

Former managers[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Honours[edit]

National Titles[edit]

Cypriot First Division: 3

Cypriot Cup: 7

LTV Super Cup: 1

European competition history[edit]

Last update: 7 November 2013

Overall[edit]

Competition App. Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA Points
UEFA Champions League 2 6 1 1 4 5 9 4
UEFA Cup/Europa League 8 28 9 6 13 39 46 33
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 6 16 3 2 11 16 50 11
Total 16 50 13 9 28 60 105 48

Matches[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1966–67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Belgium Standard Liège 0–11 1–5 1–6 Symbol delete vote.svg
1967–68 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Hungary Győri ETO 0–42 0–5 0–9 Symbol delete vote.svg
1982–83 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Spain FC Barcelona 1–1 0–8 1–9 Symbol delete vote.svg
1984–85 UEFA Cup 1R Czechoslovakia Bohemians 2–2 1–6 3–8 Symbol delete vote.svg
1986–87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Sweden Malmö FF 2–1 0–6 2–7 Symbol delete vote.svg
1989–90 UEFA Cup 1R Spain Real Zaragoza 0–3 1–1 1–4 Symbol delete vote.svg
1991–92 European Cup 1R Romania Universitatea Craiova 3–0 0–2 3–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
2R Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 0–2 1–3 1–5 Symbol delete vote.svg
1992–93 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R England Liverpool 1–2 1–6 2–8 Symbol delete vote.svg
1993–94 UEFA Cup 1R Hungary Vác-Újbuda 4–0 0–2 4–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
2R Italy Inter Milan 3–3 0–1 3–4 Symbol delete vote.svg
1994–95 UEFA Cup PR Albania KS Teuta Durrës 4–2 4–1 8–3 Symbol keep vote.svg
1R Switzerland FC Sion 1–3 3–2 (aet) 4–5 Symbol delete vote.svg
1997–98 UEFA Cup 1Q Finland MYPA 3–0 1–1 4–1 Symbol keep vote.svg
2Q Belgium R.E. Mouscron 0–0 0–3 0–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
1998–99 Cup Winners' Cup QR Lithuania FK Ekranas 3–3 2–1 5–4 Symbol keep vote.svg
1R Czech Republic FK Baumit Jablonec 2–1 1–2 (aet) 3–3 (4–3 p) Symbol keep vote.svg
2R Greece Panionios 0–1 2–3 2–4 Symbol delete vote.svg
2001–02 UEFA Cup QR Albania Tirana 3–1 2–3 5–4 Symbol keep vote.svg
1R Netherlands Ajax 0–3 0–2 0–5 Symbol delete vote.svg
2006–07 UEFA Champions League 1Q Republic of Ireland Cork City 1–1 0–1 1–2 Symbol delete vote.svg
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 3Q Russia FC Sibir Novosibirsk 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a) Symbol delete vote.svg
2013–14 UEFA Europa League PO France Nice 2–0 0–1 2–1 Symbol keep vote.svg
Group J Turkey Trabzonspor 1–2 2–4 3rd place Symbol delete vote.svg
Poland Legia Warsaw 0–2 1–0
Italy Lazio 0–0 1–2
Notes
  • QR: Qualifying round
  • PR: Preliminary round
  • 1R: First round
  • 2R: Second round
  • 1Q: First qualifying round
  • 2Q: Second qualifying round
  • 3Q: Third qualifying round
  • PO: Play-off round
  • 1: Both matches played in Belgium.
  • 2: Both matches played in Netherlands.

Source: UEFA.com

References[edit]

External links[edit]