FC Astra Giurgiu

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Astra Giurgiu
Astragiurgiulogo.png
Full name Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu
Nickname(s) Black Devils
Short name Astra Giurgiu
Founded 1934
Ground Stadionul Marin Anastasovici
Ground Capacity 5,500
Owner Ioan Niculae
Chairman Dinu Gheorghe
Manager Florin Marin
League Liga I
2012–13 Liga I, 4th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu is a Romanian professional football club from Giurgiu, Giurgiu County, Romania. They were founded in 1934 and spent their vast majority in the lower leagues, only recently achieving some performances. They are currently playing in the country's top league, Liga I, after obtaining the promotion in 2009.

It qualified for the very first time in history to the UEFA Europa League at the end of the 2012–13 Liga I season, after it finished 4th in the table.

Astra Giurgiu was known as Astra Ploiești until September 2012 when it was moved from Ploieşti to Giurgiu, by owner Ioan Niculae.

The traditional colors of the team are white and black.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Clubul Sportiv Astra-Română (Astra-Română Sports Club) was founded on 18 September 1921 by the "Astra-Română" Society, an oil-company owned by Henri Deterding and based in Prahova. Initially, the club consisted of several football sides based in towns from the entire county. The players of these teams were workers of the company.

In the summer of 1934, the inaugural edition of the "Astra" Societies Cup” was organised by the rafinery, a trophy open for all the Astra teams. The matches were played in the town of Moreni. At the time, the rafinery had only one team, Astra Română Câmpina, that was playing in the district championship. In order to make the cup more attractive, the society created three new football sides for the event: Astra Română Moreni, Astra Română Boldeşti and Astra Română Unirea Hârsa.

After the 1937 edition of the Cup, the society decided to merge all of its Prahova teams and thus created Astra Română Ploiești on 29 May 1937. The team was registered in the district championship. Just a few months after the team's foundation, the society changed its name to Columbia and moved it to a ground located near the society's headquarters, in Câmpina.

In May 1945, Astra Română Ploiești was refounded and played its home matches on the old Columbia Stadium, a stadium that still exists today in Ploiești.

Recent history[edit]

In the summer of 1992, Astra promoted for the very first time in history to the Divizia C. The following seasons it finished 6, 12, 3 and 14 in the championship.

In the summer of 1996, it merged with Danubiana București, it changed its name to Danubiana Ploiești, and played for the first time in the Divizia B. After one season the club changed its name back to Astra.

In the summer of 1998, Astra promoted to the Divizia A for the very first time in history. They played at this level for five consecutive seasons, until 2003, when it merged with Petrolul Ploieşti.

Two years of pause passes for Astra, until 2005, when Ioan Niculae founded once again the club directly in the Liga II. It relegated to the Liga III after only one season. In the summer of 2007, the club is renamed FC Ploiești and promotes at the end of the season back to the Liga II.

In the summer of 2009, after 6 years, it played once again in the Liga I, after the promotion achieved at the end of the 2008–09 season. It changed its name back to the traditional Astra Ploiești and the black and white colours were brought back, hence the team's old nickname, "The Black Devils".[1]

After 78 years in Ploiești, in September 2012, the club was permanently moved to Giurgiu,[2] the birthplace of owner Ioan Niculae. The last match played on the Astra Stadium was on 2 September 2012, against Bucharest giants Dinamo București, won by Astra 1–0. The first game played on the Marin Anastasovici Stadium was on 23 September 2012, against Gaz Metan Mediaş, won by Astra with 4–0.

It qualified for the very first time in history to the UEFA Europa League at the end of the 2012–13 Liga I season, after it finished 4th in the table.

Crest and colors[edit]

Astra's primary colors are white and black, although the kit design also included red on many occasions, especially on the away outfits.

Astra's home kit consists of white and black stripped shirts, white shorts and white socks, making them similar to those of Juventus Torino. The away shirts are decorated with red and black strips, making them similar to those of AC Milan. The shorts and socks are predominantly black, but they also include splashes of white.

The present Astra crest was adopted in July 2009, following the team's promotion from Liga II. The design is based on a classical template, and is characterized by the same black and white stripes which can be found on the team's shirts. The numerous stars which adorn the crest have their origin in the club's name, with Astra (like Steaua) being a Romanian word that translates as "star".

Rivalries[edit]

After Astra's premiere promotion to the Divizia A in the summer of 1998, its few fans engaged in a grudge with their cross-town rivals Petrolul Ploieşti. Often, the matches between Astra and Petrolul ended with violent clashes between the supporters of both teams. Most Astra fans consider Petrolul as their main rivals, but the Yellow Wolves regard Rapid Bucureşti as their main arch-enemies. Even after the moving of the team to Giurgiu, the rivalry is kept, because between Giurgiu and Petrolul, there's an old rivalry kept from the time when Petrolul was playing in the Romanian 2nd league.

Honours[edit]

Liga I:

Liga II

Liga III

Cupa României

  • Semifinalists (3): 2001–02, 2002–03, 2012–13

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 15 April 2014.

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

No. Position Player
1 Romania GK Silviu Lung Jr.
5 Tunisia DF Syam Ben Youssef
6 Ghana MF Seidu Yahaya
7 France MF Karim Yoda
8 Japan MF Takayuki Seto
9 Romania MF Gabriel Enache
10 Romania MF Constantin Budescu
11 Romania FW Denis Alibec
12 Romania GK George Gavrilaș
13 Brazil DF Júnior Morais
14 Cyprus MF Vincent Laban
17 Romania MF Laurențiu Iorga
No. Position Player
18 Romania MF Marian Cristescu
19 Ghana FW Sadat Bukari
21 Portugal FW Yazalde (on loan from Braga)
22 Republic of Macedonia FW Mirko Ivanovski
23 Romania DF Paul Papp (on loan from Chievo)
25 Romania DF Valerică Găman
27 Romania MF Andrei Mureșan (captain)
28 Romania MF Alexandru Ioniță
33 Romania GK Dănuț Coman
71 Romania DF Ștefan Popescu
77 Romania DF Alexandru Mățel
91 Brazil MF William

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Nigeria FW Kehinde Fatai (at Club Brugge)

Shirt sponsor and supplier[edit]

Kit supplier Shirt sponsor
Germany Puma Romania InterAgro

League history[edit]

Season League Pos. M W D L GS GA Pts. Notes
1992/93 Liga III 6 38 19 4 15 57 51 42
1993/94 Liga III 12 36 14 6 16 40 47 34
1994/95 Liga III 3 36 21 3 12 68 35 66
1995/96 Liga III 14 36 15 3 18 51 52 48
1996/97 Liga II 8 34 14 9 11 42 31 51
1997/98 Liga II 1 34 28 4 2 80 20 88
1998/99 Liga I 10 34 13 7 14 40 38 46
1999/00 Liga I 10 34 13 8 13 43 41 47
2000/01 Liga I 10 30 11 7 12 41 36 40
2001/02 Liga I 12 30 9 10 11 29 28 37
2002/03 Liga I 9 30 13 3 14 42 42 42
2005/06 Liga II 10 30 12 4 14 45 50 40 Relegated
2006/07 Liga III 5 32 15 7 10 48 40 52
2007/08 Liga III 1 34 31 2 1 83 18 95
2008/09 Liga II 2 30 21 4 5 62 32 67 Promoted
2009/10 Liga I 14 34 8 12 14 33 45 36
2010/11 Liga I 11 34 10 15 9 36 30 45
2011/12 Liga I 12 34 11 8 15 36 43 41
2012/13 Liga I 4 34 17 9 8 64 37 60 Qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League

Cup history[edit]

Season Opponent 1st Leg 2nd Leg Cup Round Notes
1996/97 Farul Constanţa 1–2 1/32
1998/99 UM Timişoara 0–2 1/32
1999/00 Oţelul Galaţi 1–2 (ET) 1/16
2000/01 Metrom Braşov 1–2 (ET) 1/32
2001/02 Rapid Bucureşti 2–2 0–0 Semi-finals Best performance
2002/03 Dinamo Bucureşti 2–1 1–3 (ET) Semi-finals Best performance
2005/06 Chimia Brazi 1–2 5th Round
2006/07 Petrolistul Boldeşti 0–3 3rd Round
2007/08 FCM Câmpina 3–4 4th Round
2008/09 Universitatea Craiova 1–3 1/32
2009/10 Dinamo Bucureşti 1–2 Quarter-finals
2010/11 Rapid Bucureşti 0–2 1/16
2011/12 Petrolul Ploieşti 0–1 1/16
2012/13 CFR Cluj 0–0 0–2 Semi-finals Best performance

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2013–14 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round Slovenia Domžale 2–0 1–0 3–0
Second qualifying round Cyprus Omonia 1–1 2–1 3–2
Third qualifying round Slovakia Trenčín 2–2 3–1 5–3
Play-off round Israel Maccabi Haifa 1–1 0–2 1–3


Notable former players[edit]

Former managers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A reînviat Astra!". liga2.ro. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Astra se muta la Giurgiu, iar Ploiestiul ramane doar o amintire!" (in Romanian). 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 

External links[edit]