Adana Demirspor Kulübü is a multi-sports club based in Adana, Turkey. The football department is the most popular department which secured 4th place at the 2022–23 Süper Lig and qualified for European competitions for the first time in their history. The club also competes in rowing, table tennis, taekwondo and volleyball. Founded by railway workers of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) in 1940, The football team's success at the Adana League and the water polo team's unbeaten National League titles in the club's first three decades, built a large worker fan base in the city. Some supporters who are unhappy with the management of the club, founded Adanaspor in 1954 and competition among the two clubs for the citywide support and domination since then, created one of the fiercest rivalries of Turkish football which continues to this day as the Adana derby. From 1970s to late 2010s, the club have had less success than their archival, did not win any major title and had not participated in any European competitions, though continued to gain wider support than Adanaspor and became one of the most supported clubs in Turkey. The club's recent success at the Super Lig and qualification for the UEFA Conference League and Adanaspor's decline is widening the gap between two clubs further in terms of fan support and club value.
|Full name||Adana Demirspor Kulübü A.Ş.|
|Nickname(s)||Mavi Şimşekler |
|Founded||28 December 1940|
|2022–23||Süper Lig, 4th of 19|
Adana Demirspor was the first club based outside of Istanbul, Ankara, or İzmir to join the National Football League in the 1960–61 season, before this the league games were only hosted in the three cities. The water polo team was the first champions of the Turkish Water Polo League and had dominated the first three decades of the league, winning 21 league titles in 25 years, from the early 1940s to mid 1960s.
Adana Demirspor are by far the most successful of the 38 Demirspor clubs that are founded by the employees of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD). Most Demirspor clubs have jersey colours identical to Adana Demirspor, and bear the TCDD symbol on their logo. Ankara Demirspor are the only other Demirspor club that compete in the Turkish professional football league system, and the only ones that are still affiliated with TCDD.
Turkish State Railway (TCDD) had begun sports activities in 1930 with the foundation of Eskişehir Demirspor. İzmir Demirspor, Ankara Demirspor, Kayseri Demirspor and Istanbul (Haydarpaşa) Demirspor were founded in following years. 
Turkish law of National Defence Obligation came into effect with the upcoming Second World War to prepare civil youth for the possible entry of Turkey to war. The law required the institutions, that have over 500 employees to found sports clubs. This law accelerated the sports activities of TCDD and 33 more Demirspor clubs were founded in almost every major station. The foundation of Adana Demirspor was laid down in 1938 by TCDD Adana Headquarters (6th Region). First Club General Meeting was held at the Station building on 12 January 1940. After 2 years' preparation, Region Chief Eşref Demirağ, Vasfı Ramzan, Hasan Silah, Hikmet Tezel, Feridun Kuzeybay, Seha Keyder, Emin Ersan, Esat Gürkan, Kenan Gülgün and 500 TCDD employees founded the club on 28 December 1940. Eşref Demirağ was elected the first President and held this position until 1946. TCDD 6th Region Chiefs held the president seat until 1969 and Board of Directors were formed from the directors, supervisors and other employees of the 6th Region.
Football, Athletics, Cycling, Wrestling, Swimming and Waterpolo departments were opened with the foundation. A building at the Adana Railway Station was converted into Club House and a training ground was built next to it. A TCDD wagon was designated for Adana Demirspor which was connected to trains that take club teams to away games.
1941 to 1960: Waterpolo Unbeatables & Adana Football Masters Edit
Adana Demirspor waterpolo team joined the Turkish Waterpolo League in 1942 at the same year, Turkey's newest Swimming Complex had opened in Adana. From 1942 to 1965, Adana Demirspor had won the Waterpolo League title for 21 times, without losing a game at 17 of the 21 seasons. Under the leadership of club legend Muharrem Gülergin, 40 players, who earlier developed their swimming skills at water canals of Adana and then joined the club at the swimming complex, became known as the Unbeatables nationwide. Other than waterpolo, these players also broke national and international records in swimming.
Adana Demirspor joined the Adana Football League in 1941. The league, which also known as Çukurova League, was founded as a first-tier semi-professional league in 1924 consisting clubs from Adana, Mersin and later Hatay, Maraş and Malatya Provinces. Adana Demirspor won the league title for the first time at 1942-43 season. ADS won the league title a record of 15 times in 17 seasons from 1942 to 1959.
Adana Demirspor was qualified for the Turkish Amateur Championship for the first time in 1943 and joined every year that they won the Adana title. The club secured the National Third Spot in 1947 at the finals in Ankara, behind Ankara Demirspor and Fenerbahçe. ADS were the National Third again in 1951 at the finals in Balıkesir, behind Beşiktaş and Altay. ADS won the Turkish Amateur Championship in 1954 after defeating Hacettepe 1-0, with Selami Tekkazancı (Füze Selami) scoring the only goal. Adana League was upgraded to fully professional league in 1955, thus Adana Demirspor football team upgraded to a pro-team. As Turkish National League was founded in 1959, Adana League was downgraded to a Second Tier League. 
1961 to 1984: Admission to Turkish Football Edit
Turkey did not have a nationwide professional league until 1959, instead, teams competed in regional leagues like Adana, Ankara, Eskişehir, İzmir, Kayseri, and Trabzon. The Milli Lig, known today as the Süper Lig, was founded in 1959. The league consisted of eight clubs from Istanbul, and four clubs each from Ankara and İzmir. Adana Demirspor had promoted to the Milli Lig at the third season (1960-61), becoming the first club outside the three largest cities. The rules at that time, did not allow games to be played outside of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, thus Adana Demirspor had to play their home games in Ankara, turning every game into an away game. Without fan support and with difficulties of long trips, ADS could not stay long at the National League, as they relegated back to Adana League, after finishing last place with 18 points in the first season. The club returned to Adana League at 1961-62 season, where they competed for another two years.
The second tier (2.Lig) of the Milli Lig  was founded in 1963, and Adana Demirspor were one of the founder clubs of the league. ADS were the Runner-up of the first season (1963-64) of the 2.Lig, though could not promote to top tier.  Adana Demirspor had competed in the 2. Lig for nine years and had promoted to 1. Lig for the second time at the 1972-73 season. They secured promotion after defeating Uşakspor 2–0, with goals from Fatih Terim and Bektaş Yurttasın.
Adana Demirspor secured the 10th position at the Turkish Top Tier 1973-1974 season and with Adanaspor already at the Top Tier, Adana was the first city, outside the three league founder cities, to hold two clubs and to host derby games at the top tier. ADS secured mid-positions at the top tier until 1981 and reached the finals of the 1977–78 Turkish Cup. Demirspor lost the first leg of the final with a 3–0 score, and failed to comeback in the second leg, drawing 0–0 with Trabzonspor. They met Trabzonspor in a cup final once more that year, this time in the Prime Minister's Cup, but would go on to lose 2–1. Hacı Döner was elected the President in 1979 and soon after Coşkun Özarı was hired as the Head Coach. ADS reached its apex when the club finished sixth in the 1981–82 season with Coşkun Özarı. This season was Adana Demirspor's the best result till finishing fourth in the 2022-23 season. ADS had also performed well at the following season securing the 7th position. Adana Demirspor were at the Top Tier straight for 11 years, after relegating to Second Tier at 1983–84 season with a goal difference.
1984 to 2018: Fluctuating between divisions Edit
Adana Demirspor were grouped into 2.Lig Group A with other clubs east of Ankara at the 1984–85 season. ADS could not start the Second Tier journey well as they finished 9th that season. Next season, Metin Türel was hired as the coach and ADS had a head to head to run for promotion with Diyarbakırspor. On the 28th match week, 4 games to the end, ADS was the group leader, and had a game against Diyarbakırspor at a rough environment in Diyarbakır. ADS played with fear and were attacked on the field. Diyarbakırspor won the game with a 2-1 score, took the group leadership and promoted to top tier at the end of the season. ADS had an excellent performance at the following 1986-87 season, again at Group A, promoting to First Tier at the end of the season with 10 point lead. Ali Hoşfikirer coached the team at the second half-season.
Adana Demirspor hired Fuad Muzurovic as the new coach at the third First Tier spell. ADS had completed the 1987–88 season at 10th position and Zijad Svrakic scored 22 goals. Scoring 16 more goals at the following season, Svrakic is the all-time First Tier goal scorer of ADS, in one season and in total. ADS barely saved from relegation at the following 1988–89 season after defeating Karşıyaka 2-1 at the last game. ADS had a very low performance at the 1989–90 season, getting locked at the relegation zone most of the time and relegating to Second Tier weeks before the season end.
Adana Demirspor's last season of top-flight football came in 1994–95. The club finished with 15 points, their lowest point total ever in the 1. Lig. Adana Demirspor reached their lowest point professionally in 1999 when they were relegated to the 3. Lig (Third Division before the 2001–02 season). The club spent two years in the 3. Lig before gaining promotion to the newly created 2. Lig. The 2. Lig became the 1. Lig and the 1. Lig became the Süper Lig in 2001.
In the summer of 2008, Mehmet Gökoğlu was elected as the president of Adana Demirspor after the congresses were repeatedly postponed and there were fierce arguments between the Mavi Simşekler and the president Mustafa Tuncel. After taking office, Mehmet Gökoğlu thanked Aytaç Durak for his support to the Adana Demirspor during the clubs difficult times, expressed his regret for the incidents and stated that they were determined to prevent bad cheering.
Adana Demirspor started the 2008-09 season with President Mehmet Gökoğlu and technical director Metin Yıldız, who dismissed more than 25 players and formed a brand new team. The team failed in the tier and classification groups and continued in the 2. Lig. In the 2009-10 season, with President Bekir Çınar and technical director Hüseyin Özcan, they were eliminated in the play-offs after losing to Tavşanlı Linyitspor in the first round. In the 2010-11 season, in the play-offs, in which they again advanced from the classification group under President Mustafa Tuncel and coach Ali Güneş, they eliminated Yeni Malatyaspor on penalties in the first round and were eliminated by Bandırmaspor in the second round and remained in the 2. Lig. After eliminating Balıkesirspor and BUGSAŞ in the play-offs played in Denizli at the end of the 2011-2012 season, the team defeated Fethiyespor 2-1 in the final on May 31, 2012 and was promoted to the 1. Lig.
2018 to date: Rise in Football Edit
Murat Sancak was elected the President in 2018 and with the vision of the new Board of Directors, Adana Demirspor had relieved from low-profile football. After being knocked out from two play-offs in 2019 and 2020, Adana Demirspor finally won the 1.Lig title in 2021 and had promoted to the Süper Lig after 26 years of absence. This was the sixth promotion of ADS who joined Göztepe and Karşıyaka in holding the record number of promotion to the First Tier. With the promotion Adana Demirspor had contracted many talented players including Mario Balotelli who re-gained his form and success after many years. The club started the season with the current coach Samet Aybaba, though had a coach change at the fifth week,and Vincenzo Montella was hired as the new Head Coach. Montella carried the team to a spectacular era, reaching to third spot many weeks of the second half-season and finishing 9th. Adana Demirspor with Montella, reached its apex when the club finished 4th in the 2022–23 season and qualified for the European Competitions for the first time in the history. Vincenzo Montella did not re-new his contract for the 2023–24 season and Patrick Kluivert was hired as the new coach of football. ADS had an excellent start to the UEFA Conference League though eliminated at the play-off round.
Stadium and facilities Edit
Adana Demir's homeground is the Adana Stadium since March 2021. The stadium has a capacity of 33,543 seats. The stadium's north seats are painted to Adana Demirspor's jersey colors and south seats are painted to Adanaspor's jersey colors. Şimşekler group gather at the North Stand, other fan groups tend to gather at the northern section of the East Stands. From 1940 to 2021, the football team played their home games at the now defunct 5 Ocak Stadium. The waterpolo team played their home games at the Atatürk Swimming Complex from 1940 to dissolution. Menderes Sports Hall hosted club's basketball and volleyball teams.
Adana Demir's main training ground is the "Adana Demirspor Tesisleri", along the Seyhan river bank in the Yüreğir district. The training ground was built by the Metropolitan Municipality on a state land in the early 2000s. It was named the Aytaç Durak Tesisleri to honour the long-time serving mayor of Adana, who lead the construction of the training ground. As it was built on a state land without a tenancy agreement, Milli Emlak (en:National Property Foundation) sent an eviction notice several times in the late 2010s. In March 2019, with the efforts of the Adana MP Jülide Sarıeroğlu, a tenancy agreement is finally made between ADS and the Milli Emlak which secured the training ground for a long-term and at the same time the facility is renamed the Adana Demirspor Tesisleri. The main training ground hosts the club's Head Office and is made of 4 football fields, Club store, fitness center, swimming pool and the staff-player residences.
Adana Demir youth teams train at the TCDD owned training ground at the Central railway station in Kurtuluş, Seyhan. The property, which is composed of a football field and Youth Office, is rented out to Adana Demir for free. ADS Club Museum which is next to the TCDD training ground, was the club's Head Office from 1940 to 2000. Adana Demir has three club stores, one at the main training ground, one at M1 mall and one at the Park Adana mall. The club store at the 5 Ocak Stadium in Reşatbey, moved a little further and is now run by the supporter group, Şimşekler.
Support and rivalries Edit
Adana Demirspor draw support from all over the city and as well as from the districts of the Adana Province. As being founded as a railway club, they are supported by the railway workers in Turkey. Politically left leaning people also have sympathy for the club.
The main supporters group is called Mavi Şimşekler, which translates to Blue lightnings. The fans are known to have a left-wing political stance, as result they have good relations with other left-wing teams such as Livorno and St Pauli. The archrivals are Adanaspor, who share the Adana Stadium with Adana Demirspor.
Football department is the only department that survived the whole history of the club. The department is administered by Gökhan Göktürk. Özgür Zengin is the Head of Academy Coaching.
Current squad Edit
- As of 16 September 2023
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan Edit
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current technical staff Edit
|Assistant coaches||Serkan Damla||Željko Petrović|
|Fitness coaches||Quentin Jakoba||Nedim Askeri|
|Goalkeeping coaches||Ozan Özerkan||Eray Serbes|
|Opponent tactics coach||Cengiz Hoşfikirer|
|Match Analyst||Erdoğan Kaynak|
|Video Analyst||Jordy Kluitenberg|
- Last updated: 05 July 2023
- Source:Technical staff
League affiliation Edit
- UEFA Europa Conference League:[a] 2023–24
- Turkish Football League:[b] 1960–61, 1963–
- Adana Football League:[f] 1941–1960, 1961–1963
European Competitions Edit
- As of match played 31 August 2023
|UEFA Europa Conference League||6||3||1||2||12||8||+4|
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goals difference.
|PO||Genk||1–0||1–2||2–2 (p. 4–5)|
UEFA ranking history:
- As of 22 September 2023
Turkish Football League Edit
Süper Lig Performance
Swimming and water polo Edit
Atatürk Swimming Complex, the largest swimming pool of the time, had opened in Adana in 1938 with the efforts of the Adana Mayor Turhan Cemal Beriker and the Regional Sports Director Rıza Salih Saray. Adana Demirspor formed the swimming and water polo team from 40 youngsters who developed their swimming skills at the irrigation canals in the city. Adana Demir had joined the Turkish Water polo League in 1942, playing their home games at the new complex. From 1942 to 1954, the club had 13 League titles, without losing a game. They had another 8 titles until 1965, bringing the number of league titles to 21. After all this success, Adana Demirspor water polo team has known as Unbeatables, for several decades. Muharrem Gülergin, son of a railway worker, became a legend for the club for his leadership at the water polo team. Erdal Acet broke the record of swimming Canal La Manche (English Channel) in 9 hours and 2 minutes in 1976.
League affiliation Edit
- Turkish Waterpolo League: 38 years/ 1942–1980
Other departments Edit
Adana Demirspor had formed athletics, cycling, swimming, water polo, and football departments with the foundation of the club. In the next decades, wrestling, basketball, and volleyball departments were founded. Currently, the only active department is the football department.
Athletics department participated regional competitions from 1940 to 1952. The department had its best ever season 1953–1954 with titles won by the athletes Yıldıray Pagda, Atilla Pinoz, Yavuz Pagda and Turgay Renklikurt, all becoming well known nationally. The club had several team titles and individual titles within the next decade. After an idling period that lasted until 1980, with the re-organizing efforts of Regional Athletics Coach, Hasan Tekin, the club won titles in the next five years.
Basketball department was founded by Alaettin Atsal and Demiray Sayılır and have first appeared in Turkish League in 1968. Adana Demirspor have won the Anatolian Cup title at 1969–1970 season and were promoted to the Turkish Basketball First League. The club were promoted to the Basketball Super League at 1972-1973 after winning a highly competitive season. The department had dissolved in the 1980s and had re-opened in 2003, competing at the Regional League for some years.
League affiliation Edit
- Turkish Basketball League:[g] 1970–1980
First Tier Performance Edit
Cycling agent and coach Ahmet Ecesoy trained cyclists Ertugrul Arlı, Ahmet Avcılar, İbrahım Gönül and Erol Berk, all becoming part of the National Cycling Team of Turkey. Cycling department were dissolved in 1983.
The volleyball department were the champions for 5 years in a row, from 1967 to 1972 at the Regional Volleyball League. They were dissolved soon after.
Club directors Şevket Kapulu ve Fevzi Özşahin founded the wrestling department in 1956 by converting part of the clubhouse to a wrestling training center, and making up a team from field wrestlers. Wrestlers of Adana Demirspor competed for the Turkish National Wrestling Team in several events. The Wrestling department of ADS became less active after 1968 and were dissolved within the next decade.
- Turkish Football League System
- First Tier (Super Lig)
- Europa Conference League Qualification: 2022-23
- Second Tier (1.Lig)
- Winners (4): 1972–73, 1986–87, 1990–91, 2020–21
- Playoff winners (1): 1993–94
- Third Tier (2.Lig)
- Winners (1): 2001–02,
- Playoff winners (1): 2011–12
- Turkish Cup
- Runners-up (1): 1977–78
- Prime Minister's Cup
- Runners-up (1): 1978
- First Tier (Super Lig)
- Adana Football
- Turkish Waterpolo League
- Sutopu 1.Lig
- Winners (21): 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
- Sutopu 1.Lig
- Turkish Basketball League
- Second Tier (TBL)
- Winners (2): 1972–73, 1974–75
- Second Tier (TBL)
Adana Demirspor is an incorporated company that will partially open to public. President Murat Sancak holds the majority of the shares. The club were a member-owned sports club until 2021. From 1940 to 1959, the club were directly governed by TCDD.
- As of 21 September 2021
|Deputy President||Metin Korkmaz|
|Director for TFF Relations||Levent Özveren|
|Director for Legal Matters||Tekin Taylancı|
|Director for Public Relations||Savaş Çokduygulu|
|Director for Amateur Branches||İsmail Tanrıverdi|
|Director for Facilities and Supporters||Levent Aris|
|Director for International Relations||Ekrem İnaltekin|
|Director for Advertisements and Sponsorship||Telat Şahin|
|Board Member||Süleyman Bilici|
|Board Member||Fatih Tosmur|
|Board Member||Tarkan Kulak|
|Board Member||Casim Korkmaz|
|Board Member||Cihan Şanlı|
|Board Member||Tarık Özunal|
Notable players Edit
Muharrem Gülergin (nickname is Fofo) is the most well-known and reputable name of the club, who performed in different branches such as football, athletism, water polo, as well as being a manager and coach in later years. The north curva tribune in the old stadium (5 Ocak) was named after him. In addition, the names that became the notable players by performed for a long time in the early era of the club can be shown as Selami Tekkazancı (nicknamed Füze), Yaşar Kartal (nicknamed Kartal), Ali Hikmet Aydınlıoğlu (nicknamed Coral). In the 1970s especially Rasin Gürcan is the one of the key players who symbolized with Demirspor. He was the captain of 1977-78 season that Demirspor was runner-up in the Turkish Cup.
Fatih Terim and Hasan Şaş, two names synonymous with Galatasaray S.K. and the Turkish national team, were born in Adana and began their careers with Adana Demirspor. Terim spent five years (1969-1974) at the club before moving to Galatasaray. He became a manager after retiring and won several honours, including the UEFA Cup in 2000, four straight Süper Lig titles, and a semi-final finish in the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship. Şaş spent two years at the club before moving to Ankaragücü in 1995. He was a part of the Turkey squad that finished in third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also played a part in winning five Süper Lig and three Turkish Cup titles with Galatasaray from 1998 to 2009. Adana Demirspor also produced striker Taner Gülleri.
- Total of 1 seasons
- Total of 62 seasons
- Total of 20 seasons
- Total of 31 seasons
- Total of 11 seasons
- Total of 21 seasons
- Total of 10 seasons
- Total of 2 seasons
- Total of 8 seasons
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- See Turkish First Football League 1996–97, Turkish First Football League 1997-98, Turkish First Football League 1998-99, Turkish First Football League 1999-00
- See Turkish First Football League 1997-98, Turkish First Football League 1998-99, Süper Lig 2001–02, Süper Lig 2005–06, Süper Lig 2007–08