Silkeborg IF (Full name: Silkeborg Idrætsforening, or SIF in short) is a professional Danish football club in Silkeborg, Denmark. Silkeborg IF plays in the Danish Superliga, the highest football league in Denmark. The club was founded in 1917, reached the highest level of Danish football in 1987, and was during the 1990s one of the most successful football clubs in Denmark, achieving a first place in the league in 1993-94, a third place in 1994/1995, a second place in 1997-98 as well as a Danish Cup victory in 2001. Silkeborg IF has participated in European games several times, and won the Intertoto Cup in 1996.
Founded in 1917, the football section of Silkeborg IF played in the top ranks of Jutland, until a short visit in the third division in 1962. However, in 1966 the team was promoted to 2nd division of Danish football. In 1982 the club took the decisive step towards the Danish top football, as the company SIF Football Support A / S was founded, a professional company that would be responsible for professional football in Silkeborg. This resulted in a rise in 1987 to the country's top row; the 1st division. This came as a big surprise to most football enthusiasts and a reporter from the Danish newspaper Politiken wrote: "It will be a surprise if Silkeborg will win a corner kick" However, the team played well and already in the third game of the season Silkeborg IF defeated Denmark's dominant team, Brøndby IF with a 1-0-win at home.
There were many vital matches in the 1993/1994-season, but perhaps the most important game for Silkeborg was already in the tournament's third round at home against Brøndby IF. Just before the game, the team's big name Jakob Kjeldberg had been sold to Chelsea FC, and when Brøndby put themselves ahead 2-0 early in the game, it looked difficult for the home team. But Silkeborg totally turned the match upside down and won 4-2 in front of an enthusiastic audience. During the rest of the fall SIF delivered one attractive game after another. The team lost only two of 18 matches and could overwinter in the first place of the Danish Superliga.
The playoffs were a thrilling affair. The superior play by the fall was followed by a more calculating style. On away SIF ran into a few serious defeats, but in turn Silkeborg Stadion was a fortress. Here SIF won six out of seven games and conceded only one goal. In the second last round SIF could secure the championship with an away win against the only remaining competitor FC Copenhagen. Silkeborg-fans flocked to the national arena, Parken where the game was witnessed by the largest crowd in history of the Danish Superliga, namely 26,679. However, the many visiting SIF-fans witnessed SIF scoring the first goal of the match but eventually losing 1-4.
The situation before the final round was that SIF should provide a better result than FC Copenhagen to become champions. At home SIF played AaB and won 2-0 on two goals by leading scorer Heine Fernandez, and in Odense OB obtained a Copenhagen lead in the second half and won 3-2 on a goal in injury time; securing SIF the championship.
I 2001 Silkeborg IF won the Danish Cup with a 4-1 victory against league rivals AB. Behind 0-1 at half time, the team scored four times in the second half of the match. The Silkeborg-goals were scored by Brian Pedersen, Thomas Poulsen, and Henrik Pedersen (2). Steven Lustü, who later would become a prominent player for Silkeborg IF played the whole game for AB. The following years results were not very impressive. After the cup victory, the club sold Henrik Pedersen to Bolton, Peter Kjær to Beşiktaş and Thomas Røll to FC Copenhagen. At the same time Morten Bruun, the player with most caps to his name in the club history, retired. In 2003 the team was relegated to the second best Danish league, but returned to the top row the following year. Two seasons in a row the team finished 8th in the league with 12 teams, but in 2007 the team was again relegated. However, when former player Troels Bech returned to the club as head coach in 2009 he transformed the team and helped the club to promotion. Silkeborg IF finished 5th in the league in 2011, the best result in 15 years.
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