Hapoel Nazareth Illit F.C.

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Hapoel Nazareth Illit
FC Nazareth Illit.gif
Full name Hapoel Nazareth Illit Football Club
Founded 1962; 55 years ago (1962)
Ground Green Stadium, Nazareth Illit
Ground Capacity 4,000
Chairman Roni Likwernik
Manager Yosi Zezot
League Liga Leumit
2015–16 Liga Leumit, 13th
Current season

Hapoel Nazareth Illit Football Club (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל הפועל נצרת עילית‎‎, Moadon Kaduregel Hapoel Natzrat Illit) is an Israeli football club based in the city of Nazareth Illit. The club currently plays in Liga Leumit.

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. The club changed its name in 1973 after Kiryat Nazareth gained city status and was renamed Nazareth Illit.

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-up (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 seventh in 2009–10, 11th in 2010–11 and twelfth in 2011–12.

In the 2012–13 season the club signed several new players, including Ibrahim Basit, Eran Malchin and Moti Malka; they finished second in the league, but lost 3–1 at home in a crucial match against Hapoel Ra'anana in the play-offs,[1] with Ra'anana eventually promoted to the Israeli Premier League, whilst Nazareth Illit finished third and remained in Liga Leumit.

Current squad[edit]

As of 21 June 2016.

No. Position Player
1 Israel GK Sagi Malul
5 Israel DF Jenia Berkman
6 Israel DF Niv Serdal
7 Israel FW Roi Atar
8 Israel FW Lior Asulin
9 Israel FW Tomer Drimer
10 Israel MF Yarden Cohen
11 Israel FW Aviv Solomon
12 Israel MF Dolev Azulay
13 Israel MF Afik Cohen
14 Israel MF George Amsis
15 Israel DF Ohad Rabinovic
17 Brazil MF Pedro Sass
No. Position Player
18 Israel DF Reuven Gal
20 Israel MF Liad Elmaliah
21 Lithuania MF Rokas Stanulevičius
22 Israel GK Shaked Nachmani
23 Israel MF Nicolás Falczuk
24 Israel MF Moti Malka
25 Niger DF Koffi Dan Kowa
26 Israel FW Abdallah Huley
28 Israel GK Ram Strauss
77 Israel DF Rahamim Checkol
Israel MF Adam Lauz
Israel FW Shalev Swisa

Honours[edit]

League[edit]

Honour No. Years
Third tier 2 1975–76, 1978–79
Fourth tier 1 1971–72

Cups[edit]

Honour No. Years
Liga Bet North A Division Cup 1 1986–87[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Three on top: 3–1 for Ra'anana over Nazareth Illit Best Ball, 26.4.2013 (Hebrew)
  2. ^ A Victory to Nazareth Illit over Bnei Nazareth in the City Derby Ma'ariv, 28 December 1986, Historical Jewish Press (Hebrew)

External links[edit]