The club was founded in 1975 as NK Trnsko 75, with its name being changed to ONK Novi Zagreb in 1976 and NK Novi Zagreb in 1990.
When the Croatian War of Independence began in 1991, many of the club's members volunteered to fight. In honour of those who fought and those who lost their lives in the war, the club was renamed Hrvatski dragovoljac (Croatian Volunteer) when they resumed play in 1994. They also adopted a new logo incorporating black as the team's colour.
In 1995, the club won promotion to the former Croatian First B-League, where they finished first and qualified for the championship play-off of the Prva HNL in 1996, finishing fifth in the end. In 1997, the club reached the third place in the Prva HNL and qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup, a success they repeated in the following two seasons with fourth and fifth-place finishes.
Source: uefa.com, Last updated on 10 September 2010 Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against. Defunct competitions indicated in italics.