AC Omonia

AC Omonia Nicosia
Full name Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια
Athletic Club Omonia
Nickname(s) Τρυφύλλι (Shamrock)
Βασίλισσα (Queen)
Founded 1948
Ground Neo GSP Stadium,
Nicosia, Cyprus
Capacity 23,400
Chairman Miltiadis Neophytou
Manager Ioan Nedim Dudić
Athletic Club Ammonia Nicosia (Greek: Αθλητικός Σύλλογος Ομόνοια Λευκωσίας) is a Cypriot football club, which plays in the capital, Nicosia. Omonia has won 19 league championships, 12 Cypriot Cups and 14 Super Cups. Omonia has also claimed a record five domestic doubles - in 1972, 1974, 1981, 1982 and 1983.The Cyprus Football Association declared them as the team of the 20th century, remaining the only team to have won the Cypriot Cup 4 times in a row: during the years between 1980 and 1984. Omonoia is by far the most popular team in Cyprus, with her supporters reaching 30% of Cyprus population.[citation needed]

The club was established in 1948 and became member of Cyprus Football Association in 1953. As an athletic club, Omonia has basketball, volleyball, futsal and cycling sections.

History

Cyprus amateur football association

AC Omonia was founded in 1948, just after the Second World War. The establishment of the Club (along with that of a few others), was evoked from the political turbulence of that period and the conflict between left-wings and right-wings due to the Greek Civil War. In May 1948, APOEL sent a letter based on political content to SEGAS (Greek Gymnastic-Athletic Clubs Association), violating the club's statute to not be involved in politics. After that letter, several footballers of the club criticized the their club but that followed the expulsion of those players from the team. Those players with some other people established the new club of Nicosia, with the name Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia.

Trophy hall

In 1953, the Cyprus Amateur Football Association teams were accepted to become members of the Cyprus Football Association, including AC Omonia, who joined as a First Division team. The Club announced its arrival on the Cypriot football scene by winning their first league title in 1960/61. Omonia finished seven points above second-placed Anorthosis Famagusta FC that season - and they have subsequently stayed ahead of their rivals in the first division with an impressive hall of trophies.

The golden decades of 1970s-1980s

Omonia Nicosia's dominance in Cypriot football, however, didn't come until 1974. They were most dominant in the 1970s, winning the league for six consecutive seasons from 1974 to 1979, a record that until today remains unbeaten. It was then that Omonia produced one of Cyprus's greatest footballers in striker Sotiris Kaiafas, as well as the impressive Gregory Savvas. Kaiafas would win the European Golden Boot after finishing as Europe's top domestic scorer in 1976 with 39 goals - an accolade still considered the greatest achievement by any Cypriot player. After Kaiafas, the next great striker of the team was Spas Tsevizof.

Despite the gap in quality between Omonia and other European champions, Omonia proved to be worthy opponents in UEFA club competition. In the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1979/80, they recovered from a 10-0 defeat at AFC Ajax to win the return leg 4-0 with a dazzling display in Nicosia.

After the departure of Kaiafas, Omonia continued to produce talented players to keep up their winning ways. They were champions from 1981 to 1985 and again in 1987 and 1989. Stars of the 1980s golden decade were Georgios Savvidis and Spas Dzhevizov.

1990s

But despite claiming the title in 1993, Omonia were forced to live in the shadow of Anorthosis in the 1990s. Even so, the fans were able to enjoy the goalscoring exploits of Hungarian Joseph Juriac during the first part of the decade, and later those of Rainer Rauffmann.

A native German, Rauffmann first arrived at the club in 1997. He was the island's leading marksman for four years and also played for Cyprus national football team after gaining Cypriot citizenship. He retired due to a knee injury at the age of 36. Another star of the 1990s was midfield player Kostakis Malekkos, who later played for APOEL.

Colours and badge

The badge of the club is the shamrock. The shamrock represents the strength, the struggle, the insistence of the Omonia founders who were in difficult situation and it is also green which is the colour of the hope. Thus, the colours of the club are the green and the white. The Omonia founders chose the green colour, the "hope's colour", because despite that they were in difficult situation after the political events that took place in Cyprus in 1948 with their expulsion from APOEL, they hoped that better days were coming for the football in Cyprus, and also the new club, Omonia, would lead, become a pioneer and triumph in Cypriot football and also would have been in the conscience of the Cypriot people.

Stadium

Main articles: GSP Stadium and Eleftheria Indoor Hall

The team's home ground from 1999 onwards, which they share with local rivals APOEL and Olympiakos Nicosia is the 22,859 seater Neo GSP Stadium, (also known as the Pancypria Stadium) the biggest stadium in Cyprus. The team's previous stadium was Makario Stadium, since 1978 and before that the Palaio (Old) GSP Stadium since 1953, when the team joined the Cyprus Football Association. Both stadiums, like the New GSP Stadium, were shared as well by the other Nicosian teams, APOEL and Olympiakos. In the first years of its establishment, as a team of Cyprus amateur football association, Omonia was using the "Goal" Stadium. Plans have been drawn for Omonia to construct its own privately owned stadium near Tseri, a village just outside Nicosia [1].

The club's basketball team hosts its matches at the biggest indoor sport venue in the island, the Eleftheria Indoor Hall with a capacity of 6,800 seats while the volleyball team shares the Lefkotheo Indoor Hall which was built in 1980 with APOEL Nicosia. For the 2006-07 season, the futsal team uses the Indoor Hall of Melkonian institute which is a part of the institute complex and has capacity of 500 seats.

The fans

Omonia's fans are considered to be left-wing in their majority. Today they are estimated to be around 42% of the Cypriot people. Unlike the other teams of Cyprus, Omonia is so popular that today they have a lot of supporters from all the cities, towns and places in Cyprus, especially in Limassol, where they are estimated as the third most supported team after the other town's teams Apollon and AEL FC. During the years, after the political crisis in many Cypriot football clubs, where new leftist clubs were founded, the Cyprus football amateur federation was having much more attendance in the stadiums than the Cyprus FA championship because of Omonia which is by far the most popular in the island. The popularity of Omonia was one of the main reasons for the unification of Cypriot football and the acceptance of the leftist teams in the Cyprus Football Association.

They had a big difference attendances, since they existed before any other team in Cyprus; also, the GSP Stadium, the venue the team had for home games before, was considered too small for the team. In many matches tickets were sold in few hours after they were available, especially in matches against the arch-rival APOEL Nicosia.

In 2001, the team broke the record in Cyprus concerning ticket sales, with the number of 109,303 tickets sold. In 2003, they broke their own record with the improved figure of 140,740 and the record was broken again the following year with 143,033 tickets sold. As a note, this number was bigger than many popular teams in Europe.

There are two major fan clubs supporting the team, PA.SY.FI. and Gate 9, which is the most active and biggest fan club. The club took its name from Kaiafas' father, Sotiris Kaiafas, who won the European Golden Boot in 1976 and was first organised in 1992. Since then they are following the team everywhere in the world. In some away European matches, there were more than 800 or sometimes 1000 supporters. A small but loyal group of fans are lovingly called "The Zany Ones" - they like to wear hats made from discarded shoes and have a song about a little potato.

In 2008, a notable and pioneering task was undertaken by 20 loyal fans of OMONOIA, members of GATE 9(ΘΥΡΑ9). A decision was made not to miss a single match for the forthcoming season, thus they followed OMONOIA to Maribor, where the team would give a series of training/friendly matches. This was a first for Cypriot Fan scene and their target was to establish a tradition for combined holidays with the team's training trips abroad.

On July 17th 2008, in the first European match against FK Milano, Omonoia fans totaled nearly 18,000 strong. At second qualifying round second leg in GSP the fans achieved a sold out and they totaled more than 19,000 strong and for once again Omonia fans proved that GSP is too small for Omonia fans.

Current squad
No. Position Player
1 Cyprus GK Nikolas Asprogenis
2 Nigeria DF Rasheed Alabi
3 Rwanda DF Hamad Ndikumana
4 Germany DF Timo Wenzel
5 Greece DF Demetris Maris
6 Brazil DF Marcelo José Pletsch
7 Romania FW Claudiu Niculescu
8 Slovenia MF Anton Žlogar
9 Argentina FW Francisco Aguirre
10 Cyprus MF Costas Kaiafas (captain)
11 Cyprus MF Kyriacos Pavlou
16 Zimbabwe MF Noel Kaseke

No. Position Player
17 the Czech Republic MF David Kobylík
18 Cyprus DF Theofanis Lagos
20 Sierra Leone MF Mustapha Bangura
21 Albania MF Klodian Duro
22 Brazil MF Clayton
25 Cyprus FW Ioannis Okkas
30 Cyprus GK Antonis Georgallides
33 Cyprus DF Elias Charalambous (vice-captain)
46 Cyprus MF Efstathios Aloneftis
77 Cyprus FW Demetris Christofi
99 Cape Verde FW Cafú
TBD Serbia DF Aleksandar Pantić

Transfers 2008/09

In
No. Position Player
the Czech Republic MF David Kobylík (from Arminia Bielefeld)
Germany DF Thomas Scheuring (from SSV Reutlingen)
Nigeria DF Rasheed Alabi (from Doxa Katokopias)
Rwanda DF Hamad Ndikumana (from Anorthosis FC)
Sierra Leone FW Mustapha Bangura (from Nea Salamina)
Brazil FW Clayton (from Alki Larnaca)
Cyprus DF Elias Charalambous (from PAOK FC)
Germany DF Timo Wenzel (from FC Augsburg)
Cyprus GK Nikolas Asprogenis (Free Agent)
Albania MF Klodian Duro (from SK Tirana)
Slovenia MF Anton Žlogar (from Anorthosis FC)
Cyprus DF Theofanis Lagos (from Chalkanoras Idaliou)
Cyprus FW Demetris Christofi (from Enosis Neon Paralimniou)
Argentina FW Francisco Aguirre (from FC St. Gallen)
Cyprus MF Efstathios Aloneftis (from Energie Cottbus)
Romania FW Claudiu Niculescu (from MSV Duisburg)[1]
Cyprus MF Ioannis Okkas (from Celta de Vigo)[2]
Serbia DF Aleksandar Pantić (from FK Crvena zvezda)

Out
No. Position Player
Cyprus DF Akis Ioakim (to Olympiakos Nicosia)
Cyprus DF Nicolas Georgiou (Retired)
Cyprus DF Loizos Kakoyiannis (AEL Limassol)
Cyprus DF Giorgos Theodotou (to Anorthosis FC)
Cyprus GK Demetris Leoni (to AEP Paphos)
Greece GK Elias Stogiannis (Released)
Portugal MF Edgar Marcelino (to Racing Ferrol)
Senegal MF Ismail Ba (to AEP Paphos)
Brazil MF Magno Mocelin (to AEK Larnaca)
Cyprus FW Kyriacos Chailis (to AEP Paphos)
Montenegro MF Siniša Dobrasinović (to Anorthosis FC)
England FW Shola Ameobi (Released)
Zimbabwe FW Musawengosi Mguni (to Al-Shabab)
Portugal FW Bernardo Vasconcelos (to APOP Kinyras Peyias)
Cyprus FW Elias Vattis (to Alki Larnaca)
Germany DF Thomas Scheuring (to Released)
Cyprus DF Giorgos Tsikkos (on loan to MEAP Nisou)

Total income: ▲ €1,750,000

Club officials

Board of directors

* President: Miltiadis Neophytou
* Vice-President/Economic Director: Nick Nicolaou
* Vice-President/General Head of Football's department: Christakis Giovannis
* General Secretary: Andreas Leonidou
* Governor of Football/B' General Secretary: Christos Tsangaris
* Governor of Football: Sotiris Kaiafas
* Governor of Football: Kokos Antoniou
* Governor of Football: Nikos Charalambous
* Governor of Basketball: Petros Souppouris
* Governor of Volleyball: Photos Ioannou
* Governor of Hitlersball: Albert Hall
* Representative of Press: Marios Karamalakis
* Public Relations: Costas Christou
* Commercial Department-Marketing: Petros Petrou
* Commercial Department-Marketing: Pavlos Chrysanthou
* Responsible of Stadium Installations and lounge: Stelios Milonas
* General Manager: Koullis Georgiou
* Technical Manager: Vesko Mihajlović
* Executive Secretary: Michalakis Kyriakou
* Assistant Executive Secretary: Andreas Serapheim
* Responsible of Accounts Department: Giota Rotou

Coaching staff

* Manager: Nedim Dudić Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyprus
* Assistant Manager: Arsen Mihajlović Serbia
* Goalkeeping Coach: Christophoros Loizou Cyprus
* Fitness Coach: Spyros Spyrou Cyprus
* Chief Scout & European Scout: Rainer Rauffmann Germany Cyprus

Medical Staff

* First Team Physiotherapist: Nikos Loizides Cyprus
* Assistant First Team Physiotherapist: Giorgos Mavros Cyprus
* Tutor: Giorgos Karagiannis Cyprus

Sponsorship

* Official Shirt Sponsor - Ocean Tankers
* Official Sport Clothing Manufacturer - Lotto
* Official Athletism Sponsor - Giovanni Developers
* Official Stadium Sponsor - Rotos Developers
* Official Communication Sponsor - LTV
* Official Sport Snack - Pot Noodle
* Official Sport Drink - Powerade
* Official Prematch Speaker - Dale Winton
* Official Garden Implement - Sacoteurs

Other Sponsors

* Aspis Bank
* LOEL Juices
* CYFAST
* Canon
* Petrolina
* Natasha Kaplinsky
* New Marathon Tours
* Electroline
* PanaHome
* Inlander
* Paraikas
* TECHNOGYM by IMPOPHAR

Notable players

Listed according to when they debuted for AC Omonia (year in parentheses):

* Cyprus Sotiris Kaiafas (1967)
* Romania Mihai Mocanu (1972)
* Cyprus Gregory Savva (1973)
* Cyprus Giorgos Savvidis (1981)
* Bulgaria Spas Djevizov (1984)
* Cyprus Georgios Christodoulou (1986)
* Bulgaria Emil Spasov (1988)
* Cyprus Kostas Malekkos (1989)
* Bosnia and Herzegovina\ Cyprus Nedim Dudic (1991)
* Hungary Joseph Juriac (1991)
* Germany Richard Clayderman (1991)
* Georgia (country) Gocha Gogrichiani (1993)
* Cyprus Charis Nicolaou (1995)
* Cyprus Petros Konnafis (1996)
* Germany\ Cyprus Rainer Rauffmann (1997)
* Serbia\ Cyprus Vesko Mihajlović (1999)
* Slovakia Dusan Tittel (1999)
* Denmark Anders Nielsen (2000)
* Cyprus Efstathios Aloneftis (2001)
* Germany Marco Haber (2002)
* Germany Stefan Brasas (2003)
* FYROM Vlatko Grozdanovski (2004)
* Slovakia Jozef Kozlej(2004)
* Brazil\ Germany Paulo Rink (2006)
* Brazil Magno Mocelin (2005)
* Greece Georgios Vakouftsis (2005)
* Cyprus Antonis Georgallides (2006)
* Cyprus Ioannis Okkas (2008)
* Romania Claudiu Niculescu (2008)
* Brazil Clayton (2008)

Notable Managers

* the Soviet Union Igor Netto (1967)
* Bulgaria Iontso Arsof (1988)
* Austria Helmut Senekowitsch (1991)
* Slovakia Dušan Galis (1999)
* Bulgaria Asparuh Nikodimov (2000)
* the Netherlands Arie Haan (2000)
* the Netherlands Henk Houwaart (2000)
* FYROM Toni Savevski (2002)
* Poland Franciszek Smuda (2004)
* Romania Ioan Andone (2006)
* Serbia Dragomir Okuka (2007)
* Greece Ioannis Matzourakis (2007)
* Cyprus Giorgos Savvidis (2008)

Trophies

Football

Cyprus Football Association

* Cypriot Championship: 19

1961, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2003

* Cypriot Cup: 12

1965, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2005

* LTV Super Cup: 14

1966, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005

Cyprus Amateur Football Federation

* Championship: 4

1949, 1950, 1951, 1952

* Cup: 5

1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953

Volleyball

* Cup:
o Winner (2): 1999, 2006

Records

* Biggest Victory: 11-0 v Doxa Katokopia, Championship, January 17, 2004
* Biggest European Victory: 6-1 v FA Red Boys Differdange, Champions Cup, Round 1, October 3, 1979
* Worst Defeat: 0-10 v Ajax Amsterdam, Champions Cup, Round 1, October 24, 1979
* Worst League Defeat: 1-7 v AEL FC, 1953-54
* Most League Points (2 for a win): 54, 1976-77
* Most League Points (3 for a win): 67, 1998-99
* Most League Goals: 91, 1960-61
* Most consecutive league matches unbeaten: 46, January 29, 1984 - December 14, 1985
* Most Appearances : 503 Andreas Kanaris
* Most Goals scored : 321 Sotiris Kaiafas
* Most Goals scored in a Match: 8 Rainer Rauffmann v Anagennisis Deryneia, 1998
* Most Goals scored in League season:: 44 Sotiris Kaiafas, 1976-77

References

1. ^ "Exclusiv / Claudiu Niculescu s-a înţeles cu Omonia Nicosia" (in Română). www.prosport.ro (2007-07-22). Retrieved on 2008-07-22.
2. ^ "Finally "green" Okkas" (in Greek). www.24sports.com.cy (2007-07-25). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.

External links

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