FC Arda Kardzhali

Last updated
Arda Kardzhali
FC Arda logo 2018.png
Full nameProfessional Football Club Arda 1924 Kardzhali
Nickname(s)Сините вълци (The Blue Wolves)
Господарите на Родопите (The Lords of the Rhodopes)
Short nameArda
FoundedAugust 10, 1924;96 years ago (1924-08-10) as Rodopski Sokol
Ground Arena Arda, Kardzhali
Capacity11,114
OwnerPSI Group
ChairmanPetar Peshev
Head coach Nikolay Kirov
League First League
2020–21 4th
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

FC Arda 1924 Kardzhali (Bulgarian : ПФК Арда Кърджали) is a Bulgarian association football club based in Kardzhali, which currently competes in the First League, the top tier of the Bulgarian football league system.

Contents

It was founded on 13 October 1924, as an association football branch of a larger sports society in the town. The club was reestablished in 2015, after its former entity was dissolved.

Named after the Arda river, a tributary of the Maritsa, Arda's home ground is the Arena Arda in Kardzhali, which has a capacity of 15,000 spectators. For the majority of its existence, the club regularly participated in the Second League, with its highest-ever ranking a second-place finish during the 1955–56 Bulgarian Second League. Arda have also reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Cup once, it happened during the 1959–60 season of the competition.

In 2018–19, Arda won the Second League promotion play-off against Septemvri Sofia, resulting in the club's first-ever appearance in the Bulgarian top division.

History

First Arda team (1924–2013)

Arda was established on August 10, 1924 under the name Rodopski Sokol, but later took the name Arda, derived from the nearby Arda River. [1] From 1945 to 1957 the team was named Minyor until a year later when the previous name was put in use again. In 1956, the club finished as a runner-up in the B Group. They also reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Cup during the 1959–60 campaign of the competition. In 1988 they secured the third place in the B Group. The Kardzhali club spend most of its time in the second and third levels of Bulgarian football, before getting dissolved in 2013 due to financial troubles.

Refounding (2015–2017)

The team suffered relegation from the V Group in 2013 and didn't compete in any league division until 2015 when they returned to the A Regional Group after reestablishment. In 2016, Arda achieved promotion to the Bulgarian Third League after a successful season and a 3–0 win in the play-off match against Lyubimets. [2]

PSI Group ownership and promotion to the elite (2017–present)

In early June 2017, the club was purchased by Bulgarian road construction company PSI Group, in an attempt to develop a football project, inspired by the domestic and international success of Ludogorets. [3] Two weeks later, former Levski Sofia player Elin Topuzakov was appointed as head coach and Emil Kremenliev was hired as sporting director. [4] Subsequently, Petar Peshev was elected chairman of the club and was revealed that the new ownership would invest around €1 million in new signings, salaries and infrastructure around the stadium during the following South-East Third League season. [5] All of this led to an amateur double during the 2017–18 season, as Arda won both its group and the Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League, resulting in a promotion to the Bulgarian Second League. [6]

After the unsatisfactory results in the first 5 rounds, Elin Topuzakov was released as a manager and Stoycho Stoev was appointed, [7] but on 6 March 2019 Stamen Belchev was appointed as the new manager, after Stoev reached an agreement with the Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad. The team improved greatly, eventually managing a 3rd-place finish, enabling them to participate in the play-offs against relegation-avoider PFC Septemvri Sofia to enter the top level of Bulgarian football. Arda eventually managed to win 0–1 over Septemvri at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Plovdiv, thus resulting in the club's first-time ever participation in the Bulgarian First League. [8]

First Seasons in the Elite and Bulgarian Cup Final

Arda's first match in the Bulgarian top tier resulted in a 0–0 home draw against Botev Plovdiv. This was followed by an away 0–0 draw to Tsarsko Selo. Arda's first win came in the third round, when the team managed to beat Beroe Stara Zagora 3–1 at home. The game remained 1-1 up until the 90th minute, when Elisha Sam scored two goals in three minutes to give Arda the win. Arda then won their first away game in the top league, by beating Vitosa Bistritsa 1–3, extending their unbeaten run to four games. At the end of the first half of the season in December, Arda was in seventh place in the league, with seven wins, seven draws, and six losses. At the end of the regular season in June, Arda was in the relegation group. Despite this, on June 20th, Arda mathematically secured their place in the First League for the upcoming season, after Botev Plovdiv beat Botev Vratsa 3–2.

Arda reached the final of the 2020–21 Bulgarian Cup, their first-ever participation at a final of the domestic cup. Arda faced CSKA Sofia, and lost by 1-0, in a closely fought game. A few days later, the team won the Europa Conference League play-off against Cherno More Varna and qualified for European tournament for first time in their history. [9]

Honours

First League:

Second League:

Third League:

A Regional Group:

Bulgarian Cup:

Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League

Players

First-team squad

As of 1 June 2021 [10]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
4 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Milen Stoev
5 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Petko Ganev
8 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Milen Zhelev
9 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Spas Delev
11 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Aleksandar Georgiev
12 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ivan Karadzhov
14 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Stoycho Atanasov
17 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ivan Kokonov
18 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Georgi Atanasov
19 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Rumen Rumenov
20 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Deyan Lozev
23 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Mesut Yusuf
No.Pos.NationPlayer
24 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Alex Petkov
25 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Radoslav Uzunov
27 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Emil Martinov
30 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Okan Topcu
33 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ivan Tilev
36 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Vasil Simeonov
37 FW Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Juninho
71 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Plamen Krumov (captain)
77 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Martin Kostadinov
80 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Lachezar Kotev
98 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Tonislav Yordanov

For recent transfers, see Transfers winter 2020–21 and Transfers summer 2021.

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Petar Hristov (at Litex until 30 June 2021)
No.Pos.NationPlayer
16 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Emirdzhan Syuleyman (at Dimitrovgrad until 30 June 2021)

Foreign players

Up to five non-EU nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the Bulgarian First League; however, only three can be used in a match day. Those non-EU nationals with European ancestry can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry he can claim Bulgarian citizenship after playing in Bulgaria for 5 years.

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Notable Players

The footballers enlisted below have international caps for their respective countries or more than 100 caps for Arda. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries.

European record

As of May 2021
CompetitionPlayedWonDrewLostGFGAGDWin%
UEFA Europa Conference League 000000+0!
Total000000+0!

Matches

As of June 2021
SeasonCompetitionRoundClubHomeAwayAggregate
2021–22 UEFA Europa Conference League 2Q Flag of Israel.svg Hapoel Be'er Sheva

Records and notable stats

Club Records

Goalscoring and appearance records

As of 31 May 2021

Most appearances for the club in First League

RankNameCareerAppearances
1 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Emil Martinov 2019–57
2 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ivan Kokonov 2019–52
3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ivan Karadzhov 2018–45
4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Spas Delev 2019–44
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Deyan Lozev 2020–44
6 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Aleksandar Georgiev 2019–39
7 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Plamen Krumov 2018–35
8 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Rumen Rumenov 2019–34
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Milen Stoev 2018–34
10 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Radoslav Vasilev 2019–202031


Most goals for the club in First League

RankNameCareerGoals
1 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ivan Kokonov 2019–14
2 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Radoslav Vasilev 2019–202011
3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Spas Delev 2019–9
4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Tonislav Yordanov 2021–8
5 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Svetoslav Kovachev 2019–5
6 Flag of Brazil.svg Juninho 2021–4
7 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Rumen Rumenov 2019–3
8 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Milen Zhelev 2020–3
9 Flag of Israel.svg Elisha Sam 2019–20203
10 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ivan Tilev 2018–2

Personnel

Board of directors

PositionNameNationality
PresidentEng. Petar Peshev Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Director of FootballGalabin Vasilev

Flag of Bulgaria.svg

Director of Sports AdministrationStanimir Nikolov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
AdministratorEray Salif Flag of Bulgaria.svg

Current technical body

PositionNameNationality
Head Coach Nikolay Kirov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Assistant Coach Emil Kremenliev Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Assistant CoachIvan Kochev Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Goalkeeper coach Todor Popov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Conditioning CoachAtanas Nikolov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Conditioning CoachAnton Donchev Flag of Bulgaria.svg

Manager history

NameNatFromToHonours
Alekber Kamber Flag of Bulgaria.svg 201513 September 2017
Elin Topuzakov Flag of Bulgaria.svg 14 September 201726 August 2018
Stoycho Stoev Flag of Bulgaria.svg 26 August 20186 March 2019
Stamen Belchev Flag of Bulgaria.svg 6 March 201914 April 2020
Nikolay Kirov Flag of Bulgaria.svg 15 April 2020present

Seasons

League positions

First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Regional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Bulgarian V AFGFC Arda Kardzhali

Past seasons

SeasonLeaguePlaceWDLGFGAPts Bulgarian Cup
2015–16 A RFG (IV)170145721Not qualified
2016–17 Third League (III)1611617496939Not qualified
2017–18 Third League 13040142794Not qualified
2018–19 Second League (II)31956441862 Round of 32
2019–20 First League (I)981111283635 Round of 16
2020–21 First League 413117423750 Runners-up
2021–22 First League Qualified
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

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The 2018–19 First Professional Football League was the 95th season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, the 70th since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid and also the 3rd season of the First Professional Football League, which decides the Bulgarian champion. The season began on 20 July 2018 and finished on 30 May 2019. Ludogorets Razgrad became champions for the 8th consecutive time, on the final matchday of the season, with a 4–1 home win over Cherno More Varna.

The 2018−19 Bulgarian Cup was the 37th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 25 September 2018 with the first round and finished with the final on 15 May 2019. Slavia Sofia were the defending champions, but lost on penalties in the round of 16 to Ludogorets Razgrad. The final was contested between Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Botev Plovdiv, thus being the first ever final to feature the Plovdiv derby. Lokomotiv won the final with the score of 1–0 and clinched their first ever cup title. They also qualified for the second qualifying round of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Arena Arda

Arena Arda is a football stadium in Kardzhali, Bulgaria and the home ground of Arda Kardzhali.

The 2019–20 First Professional Football League, also known as Efbet League for sponsorship reasons, was the 96th season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, the 71st since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid, and also the 4th season of the First Professional Football League, which decides the Bulgarian champion. Ludogorets Razgrad were the defending champions after winning their 8th consecutive title in the previous season. On 21 June 2020 the team from Razgrad clinched its 9th championship with four games to spare after a 2:1 win home win over Beroe. The season began in July 2019 and was scheduled to end in May 2020, but was completed in July 2020.

The 2019–20 season was Ludogorets Razgrad's ninth consecutive season in the Bulgarian First League, of which they were defending champions. Ludogorets Razgrad finished the season as Champions for the ninth season in a row, whilst they reached the Quarterfinals of the Bulgarian Cup, before defeat to Levski Sofia, and won the Supercup. In Europe, they were knocked out of the Champions League by Ferencváros in the First qualifying round, dropping into the Europa League where they reached the Round of 32 before being knocked out by Inter Milan.

The 2019−20 Bulgarian Cup was the 38th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 4 September 2019 with the preliminary round and finished with the final on 1 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria. Lokomotiv Plovdiv successfully defended the cup by winning on penalties against CSKA Sofia and qualified for the first qualifying round of the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League.

The 2020–21 First Professional Football League, also known as efbet League for sponsorship reasons, was the 97th season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, the 72nd since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid, and also the 5th season of the First Professional Football League, which decides the Bulgarian champion. Ludogorets Razgrad were the defending champions for the ninth consecutive time.

The 2020–21 Bulgarian Cup was the 39th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 29 September 2020 with the preliminary round and finished with the final on 19 May 2021. Lokomotiv Plovdiv were the defending cup winners, but were eliminated after extra time by Ludogorets Razgrad in the quarter-finals. After CSKA Sofia missed out on the cup after losing last year's final, this time they won it against Arda Kardzhali for their 21st cup title and qualified for the second qualifying round of the 2021–22 UEFA Europa Conference League.

The 2020–21 season was Arda's second consecutive season in the Bulgarian First League. It was the club's most successful season yet with the club both reaching the final of the Bulgarian Cup and qualifyng for the UEFA Europa Conference League for the first time ever in their history.

References

  1. История на клуба
  2. Арда (Кърджали) се върна в Трета лига
  3. Готви се грандиозен проект в Кърджали, Топузаков и легенда от САЩ '94 поемат клуба
  4. Топузаков потвърди за треньорския пост в Арда Кърджали
  5. Силният човек на новия хит в БГ футбол за плановете на клуба и защо е избрал Топузаков
  6. Драма във Велико Търново! Арда направи дубъл в аматьорския футбол
  7. Арда освободи Топузаков, сериозно име пое отбора
  8. Стамен Белчев пое Арда
  9. Историческа вечер за Кърджали! Арда срази Черно море и ще дебютира в Европа
  10. "Играчи : Арда". fcarda.bg. Retrieved 3 May 2017.