FC Maritsa Plovdiv

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.

FC Maritsa Plovdiv
Maritsa logo.png
Full nameFootball Club Maritsa Plovdiv
Founded1921; 101 years ago (1921)
GroundMaritsa Stadium, Plovdiv
Capacity5,000
ChairmanHristo Hristov
ManagerNikolay Dimitrov
LeagueSecond League
2021–22Second League, 9th

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.

HistoryEdit

Early YearsEdit

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 FootballEdit

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 BestEdit

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. Maritsa fought bravely against relegation, however that was not enough, as the team placed 14th, three points behind Etar, thus was relegated again. To date, this is the last appearance in the top level for Maritsa.

Second and Third LevelsEdit

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 footballEdit

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]

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

A Group / Bulgarian First League:

Bulgarian Cup:

Past seasonsEdit

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts Bulgarian Cup
2012–13 A Regional Group (IV) 2 17 8 5 58 22 59 not qualified
2013–14 A Regional Group 1 15 7 6 55 31 52 not qualified
2014–15 V Group (III) 11 12 3 15 38 53 36 not qualified
2015–16 V Group 9 14 9 11 45 29 51 not qualified
2016–17 Third League 2 26 0 8 95 25 78 not qualified
2017–18 Second League (II) 14 9 6 15 34 45 33 First round
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

League positionsEdit

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 Group

Current squadEdit

As of 22 September 2022

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
5 DF   BUL Dimitar Avramov
7 FW   BUL Simeon Veshev
8 FW   BUL Sali Sadakov
10 MF   BUL Veselin Marchev
11 MF   BUL Iliyan Yordanov
13 MF   BUL Milen Tanchev
14 FW   BUL Stanimir Dimitrov
15 MF   BUL Hristian Dimitrov
17 FW   BUL Valeri Domovchiyski (captain)
19 MF   BUL Martin Gaziev
20 DF   BUL Yordan Peychinov
No. Pos. Nation Player
21 MF   BUL Stanislav Malamov
22 DF   BUL Georgi Ivanov
23 MF   BUL Douglas Ivanof
24 FW   BUL Stefan Popov
26 GK   BUL Viktor Petkov
28 MF   BUL Radoslav Apostolov
33 GK   BUL Petar Nachev
66 DF   BUL Martin Lazov
77 MF   BUL Aykut Yanukov
86 GK   BUL Iliya Nikolov
90 FW   BUL Petar Atanasov

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2022.

PersonnelEdit

Current technical bodyEdit

Position Name Nationality
Sports Director Kiril Andonov  
Head Coach Nikolay Dimitrov  
Assistant Coach Krasimir Ivanov  
Goalkeeper Coach Iliya Nikolov  
Analyzer Stoycho Dramov  
Academy Director Vasil Krastev  
Rehabilitator Nikolay Dyulgerov  
Administrator Hristo Dyakov  

Famous playersEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  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.

External linksEdit