FC Maritsa Plovdiv

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FC Maritsa Plovdiv
Maritsa logo.png
Full nameFootball Club Maritsa Plovdiv
Founded1921;100 years ago (1921)
Ground Maritsa Stadium, Plovdiv
Capacity5,000
ChairmanHristo Hristov
Manager Nikolay Dimitrov
League Second League
2020–21 South-East Third League, 1st (promoted)

Maritsa (Bulgarian : Марица) is a Bulgarian association football club based in Plovdiv, that plays in the Second League, the second level of Bulgarian football league system.

Contents

It was established in 1921, after the merger of the teams Vampir and Trite Konski Sili. The club plays its home games at Maritsa Stadium, located in the city's northern district. The team's biggest success is playing in Bulgaria's top division four times, in 1967–68, 1969–70, 1970–71 and 1996-97. They have also reached the semifinals of the Bulgarian Cup once, in 1996–97.

The team is named Maritsa after the river of the same name, which flows past Plovdiv.

History

Early Years

FC Maritsa was founded on 20 September 1921, after the Union of three smaller teams. The team, up until 1967, competed in either the second or third divisions of Bulgarian football, usually in the shadows of the much more popular and successful other teams from Plovdiv, namely Botev, Lokomotiv, and Spartak.

First Tastes of Top Football

1967 is arguably one of the most important years in the club’s history, because that is when Maritsa managed to promote to the A Group for the first time ever. Maritsa's first season in the elite was largely unsuccessful. The team finished last (16th), with only 6 wins, 5 draws, and 19 losses. This earned them only 17 points, which was eight points below the safety zone, thus resulting in relegation after a single season.

Maritsa, however, did not have to wait long for their second season in the top level. This came just two seasons after their relegation, for season 1969–70. This time Maritsa managed to win 10 games and draw 3 times, earning them 23 points. This was enough for the team to ensure safety from relegation, as Minyor Pernik and Beroe were relegated instead. Maritsa's third season in the elite was less successful, however. The team finished last, with only 4 wins and a total of 17 losses, only earning them 17 points, ending in relegation once more. This ended Maritsa's two year spell in the elite category.

Lower Leagues and Return Among the Best

Between 1971 and 1996, Maritsa bounced between the second and third tiers of Bulgarian football. This changed in 1996, when Maritsa promoted back to the A PFG after a 25-year absence from the top level of football. Their return proved to be difficult. The team fought bravely against relegation, however that was not enough, as the team placed 14th, three points behind Etar, thus were relegated again.

Second and Third Levels

Since then, Maritsa have largely played in the lower categories of Bulgarian football, mainly in the third level, with occasional appearances in the second tier.

The club is particularly famous for its renowned youth program that has produced many Bulgarian talents over the years – Hristo Stoichkov, Dinko Dermendzhiev, Aleksandar Aleksandrov. Bulgarian national first-team players Georgi Georgiev, Kostadin Vidolov, Krassimir Chomakov, Valeri Domovchiyski, Yordan Todorov, Asen Nikolov had also came through the ranks at Maritsa.

2017–present: Return to professional football

In 2016–17 Third League season Maritsa Plovdiv finished second in their regional division, but gained promotion, because the first ranked team – FC Zagorets declined the offer to participate in the Second Professional League. [1] [2] On 16 June 2017 the club signed a contract with Botev Plovdiv for collaboration. Botev sent 5 players on loan and allowed Maritsa to play their home games on their training base, the Botev 1912 Football Complex, until Maritsa Stadium is altered for professional matches. Maritsa was, however, relegated back to the third tier after only one season in the second league. [3]

Honours

Domestic

A Group / Bulgarian First League:

Bulgarian Cup:

Past seasons

SeasonLeaguePlaceWDLGFGAPts Bulgarian Cup
2012–13 A Regional Group (IV)21785582259not qualified
2013–14A Regional Group11576553152not qualified
2014–15 V Group (III)1112315385336not qualified
2015–16 V Group914911452951not qualified
2016–17 Third League 22608952578not qualified
2017–18 Second League (II)149615344533 First round
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

League positions

Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Bulgarian V AFGRegional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Regional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Bulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupFC Maritsa Plovdiv

Current squad

As of 1 July 2021

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 Velichko Velichkov
5 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Dimitar Avramov
6 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Sami Mehmedov
7 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Simeon Veshev
8 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Aleksandar Pramatarov
9 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Georgi Georgiev
10 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Veselin Marchev
12 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Viktor Petkov
15 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Hristian Dimitrov
16 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Yanko Angelov
17 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Valeri Domovchiyski (captain)
18 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Daniel Spasov
19 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Martin Gaziev
21 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Stanislav Malamov
No.Pos.NationPlayer
22 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Georgi Ivanov
23 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Teodor Farkov
24 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Angel Granchov
33 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Petar Nachev
77 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Aykut Yanukov
86 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Iliya Nikolov
87 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Mariyan Tonev
DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Martin Lazov
DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Yordan Peychinov
DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Borislav Donchev
MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Iliyan Yordanov
MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Milen Tanchev
FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Stanimir Dimitrov

Personnel

Current technical body

PositionNameNationality
Sports Director Kiril Andonov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Head Coach Nikolay Dimitrov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Assistant CoachKrasimir Ivanov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Goalkeeper Coach Iliya Nikolov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
AnalyzerStoycho Dramov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Academy DirectorVasil Krastev Flag of Bulgaria.svg
RehabilitatorNikolay Dyulgerov Flag of Bulgaria.svg
AdministratorHristo Dyakov Flag of Bulgaria.svg

Famous players

Note: For a complete list of Maritsa players, see Category:FC Maritsa Plovdiv players.

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References

  1. "Радост в "Кършияка"! Марица се връща в професионалния футбол!". Plovdiv24.bg (in Bulgarian). 1 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  2. "Радост в Кършияка: Марица влиза в Б група". Marica.bg (in Bulgarian). 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  3. "Ботев и Марица ще си сътрудничат, пет "канарчета" ще играят под наем при маричани" (in Bulgarian). botevplovdiv.bg. 16 June 2017. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.