F.C. Nazareth Illit

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F.C. Nazareth Illit
FC Nazareth Illit.gif
Full name Football Club Nazareth Illit
Founded 1962; 53 years ago (1962)
Ground Green Stadium, Nazareth Illit
Ground Capacity 4,000
Manager Ofer Talker
League Liga Leumit
2013–14 8th
Current season

Football Club Nazareth Illit (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל נצרת עילית‎, Moadon Kaduregel Natzrat Illit, formerly Hapoel Nazareth Illit F.C.), is an Israeli football club based in the city of Nazareth Illit.

History[edit]

The club was founded in 1962 as Hapoel Kiryat Nazareth and competed in Liga Gimel for several seasons, before promoting to Liga Bet at the end of the 1971–72 season. In 1973, after Nazareth Illit was granted city status and officially changed its name.

The club won 1975–76 Liga Bet, but, due to the league system restructuring, the club remained in the league system's third tier, which became Liga Alef. In 1978–79 the club won Liga Alef North division and was promoted to Liga Artzit, then the second tier. In 1983-84 they finished second from bottom, and were relegated to Liga Alef. Two seasons later the club finished second from bottom in Liga Alef and dropped to Liga Bet.

In 1998-99 the club finished as runners-up in Liga Alef North, and was promoted back to Liga Artzit, which was now the third tier following the formation of the Israeli Premier League in 1999. After narrowly avoiding relegation in 2000-01 when they finished one place above the relegation zone, the club finished as runners-up the following season, and were promoted back to the second tier. In 2003-04 they finished as runners-(on goal difference), and were promoted to the top division for the first time in their history.

In their first season in the Premier League the club finished fifth. Home matches were initially played at Maccabi Ahi Nazareth's Ilut Stadium, whilst their home ground had floodlights installed. They returned home in February 2005. However, the following season, 2005-06, they finished second from bottom (on goal difference), and returned to Liga Leumit. In 2007-08 they finished bottom of Liga Leumit, and were relegated to Liga Artzit.

Despite only finishing seventh in Liga Artzit in 2008-09, F.C. Nazareth Illit were promoted back to Liga Leumit as restructuring meant the top seven clubs were automatically promoted. Since then, Nazareth Illit hasn't been relegated for 3 consecutive seasons, finishing 7th in 2009-10, 11th in 2010-11 and 12th in 2011-12.

In the 2012-13 season, With the joining of players like Ibrahim Basit, Eran Malchin and Moti Malka, Nazareth Illit surprisingly finished runners-up at the end of the regular season. However, at the Top Playoff, Nazareth Illit lost 1-3 at home in a crucial match against Hapoel Ra'anana,[1] which were eventually promoted instead to the Israeli Premier League, whilst Nazareth Illit finished third and remained in Liga Leumit.

Current squad[edit]

As to 1 March 2015
No. Position Player
1 Israel GK Sagi Malul
2 Israel DF Elior Kakiashvili
4 Israel DF Eliran Hudeda
5 Israel DF Jenia Berkman
7 Israel MF Eran Malkin (on loan from Maccabi Haifa)
8 Israel MF Yehuda Zano
10 Israel MF Moti Malka
14 Israel MF Naor Abudi (on loan from Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona)
15 Israel DF Niran Rotstein
16 Israel MF Yaniv Brik (on loan from Maccabi Haifa)
No. Position Player
17 Ghana MF William Owusu
18 Israel DF Reuven Gal
20 Moldova FW Eugen Sidorenco
21 Israel MF Liad Elmaliah
22 Israel GK Ron Shushan (on loan from Maccabi Haifa)
23 Israel MF Yaniv Deri
25 Israel DF Ohad Rabinovich
77 Israel FW Hitham Halabi (on loan from Maccabi Haifa)
99 Ghana FW Ibrahim Basit

Honours[edit]

Notable former players[edit]

     

External links[edit]

References[edit]