Serbian White Eagles FC

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Serbian White Eagles FC
Serbian White Eagles' crest
Full name

Serbian White Eagles Football Club (English)

Fudbalski klub Srpski beli orlovi (Serbian)
Nickname(s) Srpski sinovi (Sons of Serbia)
Srbija (Serbia)
Beli orlovi (White Eagles)
Orlovi (The Eagles)
Srbi (The Serbs)
Founded 1968 (as Hamilton Serbia)
Ground Centennial Park Stadium
Ground Capacity 2,200
President Dragan Bakoč
Head coach Uroš Stamatović
League Canadian Soccer League
2013 Regular season: 8th
Playoffs: Quarterfinals
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours

Serbian White Eagles Football Club (Serbian: Фудбалски клуб Српски бели орлови, Fudbalski klub Srpski beli orlovi) is a Canadian soccer team. The team is a member of the Canadian Soccer League, an unsanctioned league.

The team's home kit is all white commemorating the white double-headed eagle which appears on the Serbian flag while the away colours are red-blue-white commemorating the tricolour of the Serbian flag. The colour white also symbolizes purity and innocence. The Serbian White Eagles play their home games at Centennial Park Stadium in Etobicoke, the western portion of the city of Toronto.

The club also has teams in the Canadian Soccer League Reserve Division and the Ontario Soccer League.

History[edit]

The Serbian White Eagles were established in 1968 (although earlier believed to be in 1970) under the name of Serbia and the club was based in Hamilton, Ontario for some time. In these beginnings, the club was a semi-professional club in the National Soccer League, until 1980. The team qualified for the 1975 CONCACAF Champions' Cup where they lost to a Mexican team CF Monterrey in the first round. In 1980, the Serbian White Eagles withdrew from the league, becoming an amateur club in the process.

Re-birth (2006-present)[edit]

2006[edit]

They remained an amateur club until February 2006, when they joined the CSL, becoming the most successful expansion club in the league's history. Prior to the start of the 2006 Canadian Soccer League season, it was announced that the legendary Dragoslav Šekularac would become head coach of the expansion side with first assistant being Stevan Mojsilović.[1] Other big names were brought in as well to help re-build the team. These include (among others): club legend Mike Bakić who was president of the club in 2006, the director of player personnel was another club legend Mike Stojanović, the general manager was Ken Stanojević (who was also GM during the club's heyday in the 1970s) while the director of football was Nenad Stojkov.[2] This was Šekularac’s second stint with the White Eagles having already played for and coached them in the past. With seasoned internationals being brought over from Serbia and the rest of Europe, the team was set.[3][4]

Šekularac's stint, though short-lived, was not without success. The club was a hit in its first season, finishing first in the International Conference with 55 points and first overall (tallying both conferences). In the regular season, Šeki guided the club to 17 wins, 1 loss and 4 ties with a whopping goal differential of 66:13.[5]

The Eagles advanced to the knockout-stage, easily beating Toronto Supra Portuguese in the quarterfinals with a score of 3-0 and also easily beating the Windsor Border Stars in the semifinal 6-1. The fairy-tale season was almost brought to a Cinderella end but the Serbian White Eagles lost to the Italia Shooters in the final by a score of 1-0.[5] The Serbian White Eagles were embraced by the Serbian Canadian community and have averaged the highest attendance of any team in the CSL.[5] In the past, the club has had an organized supporters following.[5]

2007[edit]

Celebrating with the crowd after advancing to the 2007 final

Some changes were made prior to the 2007 season. 2006 starting goalkeeper Dušan Belić was promoted to player-coach while Dragan Bakoč (vice-president of the club in 2006) was made president. Serbian writer Prvoslav Vujčić wrote for the club's website (in 2007). Belić was player-coach for a few months until he took up a scouting position in Slovenia. Belić was replaced in net by Belarusian Arthur Zaslavski (who had already played in the CSL) and by former Canadian under-17 international George Radan. Radan came out of an 11-year long retirement to help the Eagles with their keeper problems. Zaslavski and Radan rotated minutes but Radan got the notch when the playoffs started nearing. Then-assistant coach Siniša Ninković (another 2006 alumnus) took up the head-coaching position but was replaced prior to the playoffs by Toronto Falcons coach Branko Pavlović. Mid-season acquisition Uroš Stamatović proved to be a key addition. The Eagles managed to reach the final once again but were defeated in a two-leg match-up against Toronto Croatia (4-1 in the first and 0-0 in the second leg).

2008[edit]

Prior to the season, the club continued its tradition of bringing over experienced coaches from Serbia as this time Milan Čančarević was made head coach. The Serbian White Eagles qualified for the play-offs portion of the season where, after extra-time, they defeated the North York Astros by a score of 2-1. The Eagles then proceeded to beat the Italia Shooters in the semi-final by a relatively hefty score of 3-0. In the final, the Serbian White Eagles finally reached championship glory as they outlasted Trois-Rivières Attak over a rain-drenched 120 minutes and penalty kicks to win the Canadian Soccer League championship.[6]

2009[edit]

In 2009, the club introduced a red jersey (blue was the secondary jersey in years previous). At the 2009 final game, playing a man short for most of the second half, Trois-Rivieres Attak took the game into overtime, then penalty kicks to win the CSL Championship at the BMO Field in Toronto on October 10, 2009. The game was scoreless through 90 minutes, then 30 minutes of overtime before Trois-Rivieres outscored the Serbian White Eagles 3-2 in the penalty kick decider. The game was a repeat of the 2008 final when these two teams met in a thriller won by Serbian White Eagles, also with penalty kicks. Serbian White Eagles won the International Division under coach Rafael Carbajal, changing to coach Dušan Prijić[7] for the play-offs part of the season. One of the highlights of the season was tying Toronto FC (the reserve side with numerous first-team players) 1-1 in a closed-doors friendly at BMO Field.

2010[edit]

The club continued to work on its image and continue the tradition of Serbian big-name players bringing in Toronto FC goalkeeper Miloš Kocić on a year-long loan deal.

2011[edit]

They reached the semifinal but disappointed. Serbian defender Boris Miličić was brought in.

2012[edit]

The club once again began bringing in seasoned internationals in Zoran Rajović (who scored on his debut), Vitomir Jelić, Nikola Miodrag and Ivan Stanković. The older players mixed well, slowly but surely, with the young squad. The Eagles made a good push beating a solid SC Toronto squad 1-0 in the quarterfinals only to implode 4-0 against Toronto Croatia in the next round, making this the second year in a row they bowed out in the semis.

Academy[edit]

Serbian White Eagles FC is currently affiliated with the Toronto Falcons junior and midget level teams. The Serbian White Eagles FC academy is a professional training and development program for young elite Canadian soccer players.

Honours[edit]

2008
CSL Runner-up: 2006, 2007, 2009
  • CSL International Division Champion: 3
2006, 2007, 2009
  • NSL: 1
1974 (went on to compete in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup 1975)
Runner-up: 1972, 1973

Current squad[edit]

As of September 25, 2013[8][9][10][11]
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 Canada GK Stefan Avramović
2 Canada DF Vadym Zayarnyy
3 Serbia DF Vitomir Jelić (vice-captain)
4 Canada MF Nikola Negojević
5 Canada DF Goran Vlaški (captain)
7 Bulgaria MF Kiril Dimitrov
8 Canada FW Sahjah Reid
10 Jamaica FW Ramon Bailey
12 Canada GK Goran Velimirović
13 Canada DF Andre Orlando
14 Canada MF Aleksandar Milković
17 Montenegro MF Stefan Račić
No. Position Player
21 Canada DF Mohammed Habibzi
23 Canada DF Žarko Tomić
28 Canada MF Daniel Chamale
29 Canada FW Milan Mitrović
30 Canada DF Stefan Popović
34 Serbia MF Ivan Stanković
36 Serbia DF Dragan Dragutinović
38 Montenegro MF Đorđije Strunjaš
39 Canada MF Goran Rapaić
40 Canada GK Scott Cliff
44 Canada FW Nikola Miodrag
-- Canada MF Thomas Winski

Players with multiple nationalities[edit]

This list is incomplete. Please help complete it.

  • Montenegro Canada Đorđije Strunjaš

Retired numbers[edit]