FC Academica Clinceni

Fotbal Club Academica Clinceni, commonly known as Academica Clinceni or simply as Clinceni, is a Romanian football club based in Clinceni, Ilfov County, currently playing in the Liga I.

Academica Clinceni
Academica Clinceni logo.png
Full nameFotbal Club Academica Clinceni
Nickname(s)Academicienii (The Academics)
Founded2005; 15 years ago (2005)
as CS Buftea
OwnerClinceni Commune
ChairmanConstantin Bigan
ManagerMarin Dună
LeagueLiga I
2018–19Liga II, 2nd (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Founded in 2005, following a merger between a local team from Buftea, which was playing in the fourth division and Cimentul Fieni, being located only 20 km north-west of Bucharest, in the town of Buftea, Ilfov County, the club had originally a red, white and blue combination of colors and played its home matches on Orășenesc Stadium. The club was enrolled directly in the Liga III and promoted for the first time in the second league at the end of the 2007–08 season, but it only resisted one year, selling its place to Săgeata Stejaru and swapping divisions with the squad from Tulcea County.

After another three seasons spent in the third tier, "Buftenii" promoted again, this time under the name of ACS Buftea, but the local authorities have withdrawn their financial support leaving the club in a position to play a Romanian Cup match only with youth players, registering the biggest defeat in the history of the club and probably the biggest in the history of the Romanian football, 0–31. After this black episode the team near Bucharest made a decent season and at the end was ranked 6th (the best performance in the history of the club at that time).

In the next years followed three relocations for the club, which has a short, but tumultuous history. First time in 2013, the club was bought by the local authorities from Clinceni, 30 km away from Buftea, renamed as FC Clinceni and rebranded, then one year later, businessman Constantin Moroianu bought the club, moved it to Pitești, renamed it as Academica Argeș, changing its colors and logo. After another year the club was relocated again to Clinceni, renamed as Academica Clinceni, changed its colors back in black and blue and also the logo. After some financial problems, the club started in 2017 a collaboration with FCSB, having some young players on loan from the multiple champions of Romania.

In 2019 under the led of Ilie Poenaru and with a squad composed mostly of young players, Academica promoted in the Liga I, for the first time in its 14 years old history representing the smallest locality that ever played in the Liga I, commune of Clinceni having a population of only 4,938 people.[1] The previous record was held by Brănești with 8,531 inhabitants, whose team, Victoria played in the top-flight during the 2010–11 season.


CS Buftea, first years and the ascension (2005–2013)Edit

Name[2] Period
CS Buftea 2005–2009
ACS Buftea 2009–2013
FC Clinceni 2013–2014
Academica Argeș 2014–2015
Academica Clinceni 2015–present

FC Academica Clinceni was founded in 2005 under the name of CS Buftea, being originally based in the town of Buftea, Ilfov County.[3] CS Buftea was formed following a merger between a local team from Buftea, which was playing in the fourth division and Cimentul Fieni, first colors of the club were red, white and blue and as a peculiarity, the senior squad of the club was enrolled directly in the third tier (Liga III) and assigned to the third series, on the place occupied by Cimentul, where it was ranked 6th at the end of the season.[4][5] Next season (2006–07) was a better one for the club located only 20 km north-west of Bucharest, finishing on the podium and achieving the bronze medal, but pretty far from the champions Concordia Chiajna (13 points) and runners-up Juventus București (8 points).[6] The ascension of the club continued and at the end of the 2007–08 season has advanced a place, finishing this time as runners-up, in a third series totally dominated by FC Ploiești which had an advance of 19 points in front of "the red-white-blue team".[7] After a promotion play-off tournament held on neutral ground, at Câmpina on Poiana Stadium, CS Buftea promoted for the first time in its history in the Liga II. The promotion was obtained after winning the first group of the play-off tournament, a group consisting of Juventus București, Aerostar Bacău and "the red-white-blue team".[4]

In the summer of 2008, after the promotion, the football club led at that time by president Sorin Dumitrescu and general manager Dumitru Tudor, realized that it would be quite difficult to manage by itself in the second tier and started a collaboration with the top-flight squad Politehnica Timișoara.[8] Through this collaboration at Buftea arrived, on loan, a number of important players such as Cristian Zimmermann, Ioan Mera, Alin Rațiu, Marian Chițu, Adrian Popa, Cristian Scutaru, Artur Pătraș, Alexandru Popovici, Florin Sandu, Adrian Poparadu, Gueye Mansour or Mircea Axente, among others. With this dream team in which more than half of the players were on loan from Politehnica Timișoara, the club was quickly perceived as a satellite of "the white and violet" club. The technical bench has been completed with Ion Balaur (head coach), Daniel Iftodi and Vasile Caciureac (assistant managers), Nicolae Ciocănișteanu (goalkeeping coach) and the club near Bucharest ended the autumn season on an honorable seven place, with 23 points, over teams such as Petrolul Ploiești, Sportul Studențesc, Concordia Chiajna, FC Botoșani or FCM Bacău. During the winter break the collaboration with Politehnica Timișoara was broken, the club from the banks of Bega choosing Gloria Buzău as the new informal satellite, president Sorin Dumitrescu left the club, in his place being named Constantin Niță, all the important players were redirected to Buzău and the technical staff resigned.[8][9] In January 2009 executive president was named Anamaria Prodan, a football agent, and Cristian Țermure was hired as the new head coach, the results were far below expectations, the squad accumulating only 10 points and avoiding the relegation mostly due to the points made in the first part of the season.[10][11]

Giani Kiriță (pictured), former international player and player-manager of ACS Buftea during the 2012–13 season, when the club was ranked 6th, against all the odds.
Valentin Bădoi (pictured), former international player and manager of ACS Buftea during the 2012–13 season, when the club was ranked 6th.

The tough spring of 2009 was clear evidence for the town of Buftea that the club could not sustain itself financially at this level and in July 2009 mayor of Buftea announced that the team sold its place in the Liga II to Săgeata Stejaru for 500,000 and that the club will continue to play in the Liga III, in Săgeata's place, the two clubs practically swapping their places.[12][13] After "the self-relegation" episode, the club started the Liga III season with a small name change, now being known under the name of ACS Buftea (Asocția Club Sportiv Buftea), but with the same logo and colors. A 5th place at the end of the season, followed by a 9th place at the end of the 2010–11 campaign put the club in the shadow, now being only a mid-table team in the third tier of the Romanian football league system.

In the summer of 2011, Buftenii has gathered the ranks and under the leadership of president Sorin Dumitrescu (also the former president of the club during the 2007–08 campaign) and head coach Lavi Hrib obtained a promotion against the odds, a promotion that was disputed until the last rounds of the season, the main rival, Viitorul Domnești, finishing at the same number of points, 51.[14] After the promotion, the same financial problems, as at the previous one, appeared, this time much more serious. In the summer of 2012, the town of Buftea decided that cannot sustain financially the club in the second division and ordered the football club to withdrew before even starting the season. Meanwhile, a group of businessmen from Snagov showed interest in taking over the club, but the negotiations were in progress when the squad should have play a Romanian Cup preliminary round against third division side ACS Berceni.[15] So, in order not to be excluded, the team sent on the pitch a first eleven composed mostly of youth players, registering not only the biggest defeat in the history of the club, but probably the biggest defeat in the history of the Romania football, 0–31.[16][17] Finally bought by a group of private sponsors, ACS Buftea was enrolled in the championship, Lavi Hrib, the head coach which promoted the club in the Liga II, was sacked after a few rounds being replaced by Giani Kiriță, who was then replaced during the winter break by Valentin Bădoi. Surprisingly the squad had good results being ranked 6th at the end of the season, the best result ever for the club near Bucharest.

Academica, a club on the roads (2013–2017)Edit

On 2 August 2013 the club was sold, by its private owners, to commune of Clinceni, a locality that had at that time a team in the Liga III, named Inter Clinceni. The procedures moved quickly, ACS Buftea changed its name to FC Clinceni, the red, white and blue colors were changed in black and blue, Inter Clinceni was kept in the third tier, but its best players, together with a group from ACS Buftea made the new squad, Valentin Bădoi being named as the head coach.[18] The club was ranked 6th at the end of the 2012–13 edition, equaling their best performance, achieved only one season before.

Former logo, used between 2013 and 2014.

In the summer of 2014, it seemed that the good results of the club do not provide also the financial security, the commune of Clinceni choosing to sell the club, at only one year after buying it. The new buyer was Constantin Moroianu, a businessman and owner of Cafea Fortuna, the largest Romanian coffee maker.[19] Moroianu chose to move and rebrand the club, this time the base was set outside the Ilfov County, more exactly in Pitești, Argeș County, 115 km from Clinceni; the club was renamed as Academica Argeș, the black and blue kits were replaced by the new white and purple ones and as manager was hired Marius Baciu. Academica Argeș started as a project which was supposed to replace FC Argeș Pitești, the traditional club of the city and double champion of Romania, football club which was declared bankrupt in the same year.[20] The new project, however, did not attract the supporters' sympathy or the financial support of the local authorities and after a 2014–15 season in which "the Academics" fought for promotion till the end, finally losing it in front of FC Voluntari, Moroianu withdrew and sold the club back to commune of Clinceni.[21]

Back to Clinceni in the summer of 2015, Academica Argeș was renamed as Academica Clinceni, the colors were changed back from white and purple to black and blue and the logo also suffered some transformations.[22] Former footballers Bogdan Apostu and László Balint were named as general manager, respectively head coach.[23] In the winter of 2016 financial problems were back to "the Academics" and after a difficult period, during the winter break, the club was sold again. At a short time after the transaction, in the Romanian press started to appear many articles about the fact that the club was bought by a Chinese company.[24] At the end of the season "the black and blues" finished on a well deserved six place, away from any worries.

"The Academics" are going up (2017–present)Edit

Răzvan Patriche, captain of Academica during the promotion campaign.

In the summer of 2017, local authorities from Clinceni have returned to the club's ownership, former footballer Sorin Paraschiv was named as general manager and Erik Lincar as head coach. "The Academics" also returned to the old methods and started a collaboration with a top-flight club, this time FCSB, club which loaned some young players in the Ilfov County.[25][26] During the winter break Lincar left the club, being replaced by Ilie Poenaru and "the black and blues" finished the championship on the 6th place. 2018–19 season was a fantastic one for the club, which under the led of Ilie Poenaru and with a squad composed of young players coming on loan from FCSB, others who grew up at Sportul Studențesc Academy and some of them with first league appearances such as Vasile Olariu, Paul Pîrvulescu or captain Răzvan Patriche, managed to promote in the Liga I, for the first time in its history, surpassing teams such as Universitatea Cluj, Petrolul Ploiești, Argeș Pitești or UTA Arad. ACS Buftea was previously in collaboration with Politehnica Timișoara.

Youth programEdit

Youth academy of FC Academica Clinceni is still a project in development, currently in the Academy of the club that represents the smallest locality that ever had a football team in the first tier, are no less than 700 kids and youth players.[27]


Stadionul ClinceniEdit

Clinceni Stadium, located in Clinceni, Ilfov County is the current home ground of Academica Clinceni. Opened in 2011 and with a capacity of 4,500 seats,[27] the stadium, also known as Clinceni Arena, is the main ground of a modern complex that consists of many other football pitches. The stadium was between 2011 and 2015 the home ground of Inter Clinceni and during the 2013–14 season, then again from 2015, the home ground of Academica. In the autumn of 2018 started a renovation process that included, among others, the pitch modernization, capacity expansion to 4,500 seats and the installment of a floodlight system.[28] The second ground of the Clinceni Complex is approved to host Liga II matches, having a capacity of 1,000 seats.



First team squadEdit

As of 15 March 2020[29]

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

No. Position Player
1   GK Octavian Vâlceanu
3   DF Florin Achim
6   DF David Bollo
7   MF Aristote N'Dongala
9   FW Alexandru Buziuc
11   FW Jovan Marković (on loan from CSU Craiova)
14   DF Gabriel Matei
17   DF Cristian Albu
18   DF Giannis Kontoes (on loan from CFR Cluj)
19   MF Denis Ventúra
20   MF Robert Ion (on loan from FCSB)
21   DF Mihai Dobrescu
No. Position Player
22   MF Paul Pîrvulescu
23   DF Florin Bejan (on loan from Dinamo)
25   MF George Merloi
29   DF Răzvan Patriche (Captain)
33   GK Miguel Santos (on loan from Astra)
37   MF Eugeniu Cebotaru
77   FW Jakub Vojtuš
80   DF Andrei Șușu
82   GK Andrei Ureche
89   MF Adrian Șut (on loan from FCSB)
96   FW Sofien Moussa
99   MF Bogdan Ilie

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
  MF Răzvan Dogaru (to Tunari)
  MF Armando Gheorghe (to Tunari)
No. Position Player
  FW Valentin Cristea (to Tunari)

Club officialsEdit

League historyEdit

Notable former playersEdit

The footballers enlisted below have had international cap(s) for their respective countries at junior and/or senior level and/or more than 50 caps for FC Academica Clinceni.

Notable former managersEdit


  1. ^ "Academica Clinceni a stabilit un nou record în fotbalul românesc! Este așezarea cu cei mai puțini locuitori care are echipă în Liga 1" [Academica Clinceni set a new record in Romanian football! It is the settlement with the few inhabitants who have a team in the Liga I]. libertatea.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ RomanianSoccer.ro, (r). "Evolutia denumirilor echipelor de-a lungul anilor".
  3. ^ "O echipă a promovat în premieră în Liga I de fotbal" [A team promoted for the first time in the First Football League]. romanialibera.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Barajul pentru Liga a II-a: CS Buftea" [Liga II promotion play-off: CS Buftea]. prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  5. ^ "2005–06 Divizia C clasamente" [2005–06 Divizia C tables]. romaniansoccer.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  6. ^ "2006–07 Divizia C clasamente" [2006–07 Divizia C tables]. romaniansoccer.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  7. ^ "2007–08 Divizia C clasamente" [2007–08 Divizia C tables]. romaniansoccer.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b "O echipa intreaga, plimbata pe traseul Timisoara-Buftea-Buzau" [An entire team, walking along the Timisoara-Buftea-Buzau route]. romanialibera.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  9. ^ "CS Buftea are un nou preşedinte!" [CS Buftea has a new president!]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Ana Maria Prodan, preşedinte la Buftea" [Ana Maria Prodan, president of Buftea]. gsp.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Dacă nu e Bucurescu, atunci e Ţermure" [If is not Bucurescu, then is Țermure]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  12. ^ "FC Buftea vinde locul din Liga a II-a!" [FC Buftea sells the Liga II place!]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Stejaru ia locul celor de la Buftea! Cum comentezi?" [Stejaru replaces Buftea! How do you comment?]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Buftea a promovat in liga secundă" [Buftea promoted in the second league]. ilfovsport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Buftea reloaded! Răgazul acordat de FRF pare să dea roade pentru ilfoveni" [Buftea reloaded! The delay granted by FRF seems to be fruitful for the club from Ilfov]. sportb.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Romanian Second Division Side CS Buftea Beaten 31–0 By ACS Berceni". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Bătaie de joc în Cupa României! CS Buftea a pierdut cu scorul de 0–31" [Mockery in the Romanian Cup! CS Buftea lost with 0–31]. evz.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Lăzărescu anunţă: "De miercuri, echipa se numeşte ACS Clinceni"" [Lăzărescu announces: "On Wednesday, the team is called ACS Clinceni"]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  19. ^ "FC Clinceni va juca la Pitești" [FC Clinceni will play in Pitești]. curier.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Pentru că în prezent este prea scump, patronul FC Clinceni a renunţat deocamdată la brand-ul şi palmaresul FC Argeş" [Because nowadays it is too expensive, FC Clinceni has given up the brand and the record of FC Argeş]. jurnaluldearges.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Academica Argeş va avea un nou finanţator. Clubul revine de unde a plecat şi va juca tot în Liga 2: "Acordul este semnat". Ce oraşe au mai fost interesate de preluarea echipei" [Academica Argeş will have a new owner. The club returns from where he left and will play in the Liga 2: "The deal is signed". What cities were interested in taking over the team]. prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  22. ^ "FC Clinceni va fi noua denumire a Academicii Argeş Piteşti. În aceste zile se definitivează actele. Balint: "Sunt convins că vom face o echipă care să fie respectată"" [FC Clinceni will be the new name of Argeş Piteşti. These documents are finalized these days. Balint: "I'm sure we will make a team to be respected"]. liga2.prosport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Foștii utiști, Apostu și Balint, fac echipă la Clinceni în Liga a 2-a" [Former UTA players, Apostu and Balint, make a team at Clinceni in the second league]. glsa.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  24. ^ Patronii chinezi au făcut curățenie. Mugur Bolohan, noul antrenor de la FC Clinceni
  25. ^ "Becali a început deja să se implice financiar la clubul pe care l-a preluat în această vară: "Este o sumă consistentă"" [Becali has already begun to get involved financially at the club he took over this summer: "It's a consistent amount"]. telekomsport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Becali ar putea avea doua echipe in Liga I sezonul viitor: planul patronului de la FCSB a fost confirmat" [Becali could have two teams in the Liga I next season: FCSB owner's plan has been confirmed]. sport.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Poftiți la Clinceni :) Președintele Academicii a prezentat baza echipei din Ilfov și stadiul lucrărilor pentru Liga 1" [You are invited to Clinceni :) Academica's president presented the sports base of the team based in Ilfov and the level of the works for the Liga 1]. gsp.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  28. ^ "Nocturna din Ghencea va ajunge la Clinceni. Se lucrează intens la renovarea arenei, pentru a fi adusă la standarde de Liga 1. Poenaru: "Avem o infrastructură foarte bună"" [Floodlight system from Ghencea will reach Clinceni. Intensive work is being done on the arena to be upgraded to the Liga I standards. Poenaru: "We have a very good infrastructure"]. news.ro. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Echipa" [Squad] (in Romanian). Academica Clinceni. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Board of directors".
  31. ^ "Technical staff".

External linksEdit