Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F.C.
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|Full name||Maccabi Ironi Ashdod|
|Nickname(s)||The Dolphins, "Ironia"|
1961 as Maccabi Ashdod|
1981 as Maccabi Ironi Ashdod
2015 (Re-established) as Football club Maccabi Ashdod
|Ground||synthetic Stadium, Ashdod|
|Owner||"Ashdod's dolphins" Voluntary association|
|League||Liga Bet South B|
Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F.C. (Hebrew: מכבי עירוני אשדוד), commonly known as Ironi Ashdod, is an Israeli football club based in Ashdod city with long history mainly between 1970-2000, In 1999 the club was forced merged with local rivals Hapoel Ashdod to create Moadon Sport Ashdod.
In 2015, the club was resurrected by its supporters. The newborn club Run and Fully Owned by fans started its way in lowest tire of Israeli football – Liga Gimel. Ironi Ashdod did well in their inauguration season and were able to win the promotion to Liga Bet at the end of it.
Re-establishment as a fan-owned club
During the 2014–15 season, Ironi Ashdod fans protested against F.C. Ashdod's chairman, Jacky Ben-Zaken, and cheered for the opponents of F.C. Ashdod during matches. The protests were intensified following Ben-Zaken's decision to rename F.C. Ashdod to Hapoel Ashdod and to play in red shirts, while the fans announced their intention to re-establish the original Maccabi Ironi Ashdod FC with the purpose of joining Liga Gimel in the 2015–16 season.
After re-grouping as Fans Owned Club, it was set to start 2015–16 season in Liga Gimel. Pini Ayash has been appointed as head coach, Tal Aspormas signed as general manager, the squad was based mainly on local players with experience.
At the start of 2016/2017 season "Ironi Ashdod Fans association" had 193 members that can elect and to be elected.
Maccabi Ashdod FC was established in 1961 by the Israeli Maccabi Union, and was registered for the start of the games in Liga Gimel Central division. Famous players in the first years In "Liga Gimel" were Yehoshua Peretz, Zvika Kaspi, Shlomo Lasri and Meir Ben-Harush.
At the end of 1979/1980 the club qualified for the first time to "Liga bet", At the end of 1980/1981 a major change was made and Maccabi Ashdod FC merged with Beitar Ashdod FC, The club added "Ironi" to its name (the first team in Israel to use that name) and will be known from now as Maccabi Ironi Ashdod.
On July 1983 the club was sent by the Maccabi Israel Association to participate in the Maccabiah Games, Antwerp. The group did great and won the gold medal beating Maccabi England 0-1 in the finals, Joseph Marzouk made the score, After two seasons in Liga Alef the club was dropped out back to "Liga Bet" (1983/1984).
At the end of 1988/1989 season Maccabi Ironi Ashdod advanced back to "Liga Alef" after tough competition with Sektzia Ness Ziona, One year later in 1989/1990 under the guidance of Arie Radler as a coach, Maccabi Ironi Ashdod stormed the league and managed to lead Liga Alef South division until the 19' round, then a lost 1-0 to Hapoel Ashdod ended the run, at the final round the team was looking for a victory against Hapoel Kiryat Ono to finish in second place, place that leading to national league Artzit (2) play-off matches, Ironi Ashdod won 2-3 with a winning goal scored by Micah Sharvit (94 min). The play-offs worked great for the club, a win 1-2 over Hapoel Daliyat al-Karmel and 0-1 win over Maccabi Tamra did the incredible, two league promotions in two straight seasons.
In the National Artzit league Ironi Ashdod played for three straight seasons, the first season Ironi eventually finished fourth after leading the table number of times. Year later the club signed Ofer Shitrit, Pudi Halfon, Miro Ben-Shimon and Fabian Grimberg, after few rounds Arie Radler was replaced by Reuven Cohen as head coach and finally the club finished in the middle of the table.
At the end of season 1992/1993 the club was promoted for the first time in the history of the club to the first Israeli league Leumit, the young striker Amir Turgeman returned after a loan at Maccabi Tel Aviv and with additional few key players that strengthened the squad made the impossible.
Ironi Ashdod signed during 1993/1994 season many great players like Motti Ivanir, Igor Petrov and goalkeeper Bonni Ginzburg and managed to secure another season in the league few rounds before the end of the season. The following season, they climbed to first the place after five rounds (2-3 victory over Maccabi Haifa at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium), but were eventually dropped back to the second League after a 1-1 drew against Maccabi Petah Tikva at the last round (1-1).
The club strengthened during the 1995/1996 season but failed to return to the first league. One year later Ironi Ashdod signed Alexander Folokrov, Naor Galili and Sami Ayash and returned to the first division after a close race with Maccabi Netanya and a crucial win over Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 3-1 at the final round.
1997/1998 season was special, with the strengthening of key players like Alon Hazan, Yossi Madar, Tibor Balogh and later Kazimierz Moskal the group reached the Israeli Cup Semi Finals for the first time in history, lost 5-0 to Maccabi Haifa. Season 1998/1999 team got the nickname "Robin Hood" from the media because she managed to beat the big teams at the Yud-Alef Stadium while losing to "smaller" clubs at their ground.
On 26 July 1999, following heavy pressure from a politician named Jackie Ben Zaken, the club was forced to merge with Hapoel Ashdod the big rival due financial reasons, The new club was called Ashdod F.C (Moadon sport Ashdod), symbol and club color was changed as well, Maccabi Ironi Ashdod FC stopped to exist.
- 2015/2016 Season
2015/2016 started with signing local players like Roy Sabbag, Yitzhak Ybarkan, Arieal Trabelsi, Daniel Tolmasov and Moshe Shalev and the experienced coach, Pini Ayash. The team finished in first place, winning the promotion to Liga Bet "Darom Bet" - the fourth league in the Israeli football after a close battle with Maccabi Sderot. In the process, the team won three derby games from four league games against Hapoel Bnei Ashdod and Hapoel Adumim Ashdod. In the Israeli State cup, the team won "Liga Gimel Darom" division trophy. Trabelsi scored two goals, Tolomosov and Atias one each to give a 4-1 victory over their rivals Adumim Ashdod. One round (4) after the club lost to Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan F.C. from Liga Alef 1-0.
- 2016/2017 Season
The debut in Liga Bet "Darom Bet" wasn't perfect, the harsh pre-season didn't help the new coach Tal Hirshoren to succeed, after seven games and a crucial loss to Agudat Sport Nordia Jerusalem 1-0 at the Yud-alef stadium he was sacked, Sharon Martziano was hired to stabilize the situation and to change the way the team played, the talented Eran Malkin, Dor Nahmani and Daniel Rahimi was signed and together with few additional changes the team was able to make a twenty games run without losing eventually finishing fourth in the league.
The playoffs started well for the Dolphins after 1-0 win against Beitar Giv'at Ze'ev at Givat Ze'ev ground, continued with a dramatic away penalties kicks 2-1 win against Kiryat Malachi, 2-2 after 90 minutes. Ironi Played the semi-final's "Gmar Hamehozot" against F.C. Ironi Or Yehuda from Liga Bet "Darom Alef" and after 90 min the score was 2-2. At the 115 min Or-Yehuda managed to take the lead, 3-2 after 120 minutes.
- As to 7 June 2018
|Fourth tier||2||1966–681, 1981–82|
|Fifth tier||2||1979–801, 2015–16|
1. as Maccabi Ashdod
Israel Cup State
Semi Finals 1997/1998
|Liga Bet south Division Cup 1988/1989, 2017/2018|
|Liga Gimel south Division Cup 2015/2016|
- Ashdod football derby
- Category:Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F.C. players
- Maccabi Ashdod B.C
- Maccabi Bnot Ashdod
- List of Fan-Owned Sports teams
- A tiding for the football fans- Ironi Ashdod will be resurrected Shimon Yaish, ashdodnet.com, 15 March 2015 (in Hebrew)
- Fans protest intensifies ashdod4u.com, 24 April 2015 (in Hebrew)
- Ashdod fans protested in front of the mayor's house Igal Berman, One, 20 March 2015 (in Hebrew)
- 12 New teams registered for Liga Gimel so far (Page 3) Hadshot HaSport, 27.9.1961, archive.football.co.il (in Hebrew)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maccabi Ironi Ashdod.|
- Club website (in Hebrew)