Digenis Akritas Morphou
|Full name||Digenis Akritas Morphou|
|Nickname(s)||" Ο Φονέας των Γιγάντων" (Killer of Giants)|
|Founded||23 April 1931|
|League||Cypriot Third Division|
Digenis Akritas Morphou (Greek: Διγενής Ακρίτας Μόρφου) is a Cypriot sports club from Morphou, founded on April 23, 1931. The club takes its name from the medieval Greek hero Digenis Akritas who is depicted on the club's emblem. It currently has a football and a basketball team.
As the club did not have access to a suitable stadium, the football team was not able to play in an official league of the Cyprus Football Federation until 1968, when it joined the second division. The team was promoted to the first division after the 1969–70 season. After finishing second in the Cypriot First Division in 1971, qualified for the UEFA Cup competition and was knocked out by AC Milan (lost 4–0 and 3–0) UEFA Cup 1971-72 under the Management of Noel McFarlane one of the famous Busby Babies of Manchester United. The club had a great following and was ranked in the top 3 clubs in Cyprus before the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and occupation of the city of Morphou in 1974.
Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the team was displaced to the southern part of the island, where they currently play in exile. This upheaval brought a downturn in fortunes, and the team loitered in the lower divisions until the 1999–2000 season, when they again earned promotion to the top division. 2005 also brought success in the Cypriot Cup, in which they reached the final of the competition only to lose 2–0 to Omonia Nicosia and finishing in 4th place in the Cyprus first division.
Digenis also has an active basketball team. They won the top division championship twice, in 1967 and 1968. last year the team won the 2nd division championship with an unbeaten record and were promoted back to division 1.
Digenis Akritas Morphou is one of the oldest sport clubs in Cyprus. It was established on April 23, 1931 under the full name of "Mousikofilologikos ke Athlitikos Sillogos Digenis Akritas Morfou". The club started off with 61 members but it soon reached 400. Its first executive panel was comprised by Stavros Geroudis, Christos Koumeras,Christos Sofroniou (Chamberlaine) Christakis Yiallourides, Pantelis Tsiapparis, Melis Hatzhiloizou, and Charalambos Odisseos. In addition to its athletic activities the club was very active in organizing cultural events in the area of Morphou. After its establishment Digenis sets up its first football team. Due to the absence of an appropriate stadium in Morphou the team cannot enter the official league of the Cyprus Football Federation. In 1968, however, Digenis (along with the other football club from Morphou, AEM) is admitted in the Second Division. From its first year in the league Digenis shows its potentials by finishing in the second place (with Enosis Neon Paralimniou being the champions that year). The dream comes true the following year. In the 1969–70 season Digenis becomes the champions and is promoted to the First Division. With Kostas Talianos being the manager, manages a great achievement from its first year in the First Division. Digenis rises up above the big teams of that time (APOEL, Omonoia, Anorthosis, AEL etc.) to finish up in the second place of the league (with Olympiakos being the champions). The greatest moment in the history of the club is written as Digenis participates in the UEFA cup and plays in "San Siro" stadium against the mighty A.C Milan (0–3).
The golden era of Digenis soon comes to an end. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus of 1974 and the subsequent occupation of the city of Morphou leaves Digenis with no home, no financial resources, and no stadium. Its members and thousands of supporters are scattered all around Cyprus trying to start their lives from the beginning.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
- Giorgos Savvidis (1999–01)
- Marios Constantinou (2001–05)
- Savvas Constantinou (2005–07)
- Apostolos Makrides (2009–2010)
- Nedim Tutic (2010-2011)
- Stelios Stylianou (2010-2011)
- Arsen Michaelovits (2012-2013)
- Karapanos Nikos (2012-2013)
- Akis Apostolou (2013- 2013)
- Kostas Loizou (2014 - )
- Cypriot First Division
- Runner-up (1):1971
- Cypriot Cup:
- Runner-up (1):2005
- Cypriot Second Division:
- Champions (2):1970, 2000
- Cypriot Championship
- Winners (2) 1966–67, 1967–68
Cypriot Second Division Champions 2009