Grazer AK, founded 18 August 1902 as Grazer Athletiksport Klub (in Austria the abbreviation GAK is more common), is an Austrian sports club, from the city of Graz in the federal state of Styria (Steiermark). The football section used to be one of the most popular Austrian clubs, mostly successful in the decade 1995–2005. The other sections are basketball, diving and tennis, which however all act as separate legal entities. The "GAK" football section was folded during the 2012–13 Regionalliga Mitte Season in Autumn 2012. It has since been revived and returned to Austrian Second League in 2019.

Grazer AK
GAK 1902 Logo.svg
Full nameGrazer Athletiksport Klub
Nickname(s)Die Roten (The Reds)
Rotjacken (Red Jackets)
Athletiker (Athletics)
Short nameGAK
Founded18 August 1902; 120 years ago (1902-08-18)
GroundLiebenauer Stadium
Capacity16,364
ChairmanHarald Rannegger
CoachGernot Messner
LeagueSecond League
2021–22Second League, 7th of 16
WebsiteClub website

HistoryEdit

 
Historical chart of GAK league performance

The beginningEdit

The club arose from an informal association of local academics around the medical student Georg August Wagner from Prague, later a professor at the Charles University and the Charité in Berlin. Acquainted with football from his hometown, he organised the first public match in present-day Austria on 18 March 1894 in the Graz municipal park. The Grazer Athletik-Sport-Club – modeled after the Wiener AC – was established eight years later on the 72nd birthday of Emperor Francis Joseph.

European football and the golden start to the new millenniumEdit

Between 1962 and 1983 GAK has been involved in European competitions. Their first match was against Odense BK in the Cup Winners Cup in 1962. The club has made regular appearances in European cups ever since, with regular UEFA Cup appearances since the 1980s, but the highlight came on the domestic scene in 1981 when they won the Austrian Cup. The Golden years arrived in the first half of the 2000s, when they won the Austrian Cup two more times in 2000 and 2002. Their biggest success was in 2004 where they did "the double" – they managed to win the cup yet again but also the Austrian title. Their last appearance in Europe was a disappointing 5–0 away defeat to RC Strasbourg in 2005 in Round 1 of the UEFA Cup.

Financial troubles and bankruptcyEdit

During the 2006–2007 season, 'Grazer AK' went into administration. The club was docked 28 points as a result. In the 2007–2008 season, the club was not allowed to participate in the professional leagues and was relegated to the Austrian Regional League Central.[1] After a second bankruptcy, the club managed to achieve a settlement and accommodation with its creditors in September 2008, ensuring its survival. Soon after, the club started having difficulties again after it could not recover from its relegation to the Regionalliga Mitte and eventually was dissolved in 2012.

New startEdit

A phoenix club was set up by the fans soon after the club was dissolved in 2012 called Grazer AC and started from the bottom tier at season 2013/14. On 14 March 2014 Grazer AC at an extraordinary meeting was considered to be a continuation of the original "GAK" in agreement with its umbrella association. After winning every single championship, the club went back to professional football for the season 2019/20, namely in the 2nd tier of the football pyramid.

SupportersEdit

The highest attendance average reached the red jackets in the championship season 2003/2004. This season, an average of 9234 pilgrimage to the home games of the "Athletics". The average attendance since the forced descent had settled at "only" 3500, but the quality of the organized support had risen. The "curve" was in sector 22, before relegation to the Regionalliga in sector 25. Despite the third-rate fate pilgrimage several hundred fans to the away games. The ultra-fan groups are the Red Firm, the Society Graz, the Tifosi Rosso Bianco and the Everreds. Parts of the fan scene maintain friendship to KFC Uerdingen 05, NK Čelik Zenica and also SV Austria Salzburg.

Graz DerbyEdit

GAK have a big rivalry with cross-town rivals Sturm Graz with whom they contest the Graz Derby. In 1974 there was big opposition from both sets of fans against a proposed merger to become FC Graz. Since 1920, excluding the friendly matches (especially before the first official Styrian Cup in 1920), 197 matches have been played between the two, of which there were: 185 encounters in the league (130 at the professional level and 55 at amateur level in the Styrian League); an additional 5 encounters in Austrian Cup (including one final that was won by the GAK in 2002); 1 match in Austrian Supercup; 2 meetings in the Tschammerpokal and 4 games in the Styrian Cup. The very first Derby took place in 1911, the last was dated 17 May 2007. The Red Devils are the most successful Team in the lookwise[clarification needed] of local rivalries. In October, the 19th 2022, a long period without vivid opponent ship find his end,[clarify] when both Clubs are fighting each other at the last 16 of the ÖFB-Cup.

Past seasonsEdit

These are the seasons that the team has done since it was re-founded at the end of the year 2012.

Season League Level Place MP W D L GF GA GD Pts Austrian Cup
2013–14 1. Klasse Mitte A (VIII) 8 1 22 20 2 0 124 12 112 62 not qualified
2014–15 Gebietsliga Mitte (VII) 7 1 26 23 1 2 107 29 78 70 not qualified
2015–16 Unterliga Mitte (VI) 6 1 26 22 3 1 88 19 69 69 not qualified
2016–17 Oberliga Mitte/West (V) 5 1 26 14 9 3 65 29 36 51 not qualified
2017–18 Landesliga Steiermark (IV) 4 1 30 21 5 4 61 24 37 68 not qualified
2018–19 Regionalliga Mitte (III) 3 1 30 21 5 4 70 28 42 68 Semi-finals
2019–20 First League (II) 2 15 30 7 10 13 40 50 -10 31 Second round
2020–21 First League (II) 2 6 30 13 7 10 46 42 4 46 First round
2021–22 First League (II) 2 7 30 13 7 10 47 39 8 46 First round
Green marks a season followed by promotion

European competitionEdit

ResultsEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Aggregate 1st leg 2nd leg
1962–63 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 2   B 1909 Odense 4:6 1:1 (H) 3:5 (A)
1964–65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Round 1   NK Zagreb 2:9 2:3 (A) 0:6 (H)
1968–69 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 1   ADO Den Haag 1:6 1:4 (A) 0:2 (H)
1973–74 UEFA Cup Round 1   Panachaiki Patras 1:3 0:1 (H) 1:2 (A)
1981–82 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 1   Dinamo Tbilisi 2:4 0:2 (A) 2:2 (H)
1982–83 UEFA Cup Round 1   Corvinul Hunedoara 1:4 1:1 (H) 0:3 (A)
1996–97 UEFA Cup Qualification   FK Vojvodina Novi Sad 7:1 2:0 (H) 5:1 (A)
Round 1   Germinal Ekeren (a) 3:3 1:3 (A) 2:0 (H)
Round 2   Inter Milan 1:1
(3:5 p)
0:1 (A) 1:0 a.e.t.
(3:5 p) (H)
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group stage   Silkeborg IF 5:4 2:0 (H)
  Ebbw Vale AFC 0:0 (A)
  NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac 1:3 (H)
  SC Bastia 2:1 (A)
1998–99 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   Vaasan PS 3:0 0:0 (A) 3:0 (H)
Round 1   Litex Lovech 3:1 1:1 (A) 2:0 (H)
Round 2   AS Monaco 3:7 3:3 (H) 0:4 (A)
1999–00 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   KÍ Klaksvík 9:0 5:0 (A) 4:0 (H)
Round 1   FC Spartak Trnava 4:2 3:0 (H) 1:2 (A)
Round 2   Panathinaikos Athens (a) 2:2 2:1 (H) 0:1 (A)
2000–01 UEFA Cup Round 1   1. FC Košice 3:2 3:2 (A) 0:0 (H)
Round 2   Espanyol Barcelona 1:4 0:4 (A) 1:0 (H)
2001–02 UEFA Cup Qualifikation   HB Tórshavn 6:2 2:2 (A) 4:0 (H)
Round 2   FC Utrecht 3:6 0:3 (A) 3:3 (H)
2002–03 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 2   Sheriff Tiraspol 6:1 4:1 (A) 2:0 (H)
Qualifying Round 3   Lokomotiv Moscow 3:5 0:2 (H) 3:3 (A)
2002–03 UEFA Cup Round 1   APOEL Nicosia 1:3 0:2 (A) 1:1 (H)
2003–04 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 2   SK Tirana 7:2 5:1 (A) 2:1 (H)
Qualifying Round 3   Ajax Amsterdam 2:3 1:1 (H) 1:2 (s.g.) (A)
2003–04 UEFA Cup Round 1   Vålerenga IF 1:1 (a) 0:0 (A) 1:1 (H)
2004–05 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 3   Liverpool F.C. 1:2 0:2 (H) 1:0 (A)
2004–05 UEFA Cup Round 1   Litex Lovech 5:1 5:0 (H) 0:1 (A)
Group stage   AJ Auxerre 5:4 0:0 (A)
  Amica Wronki 3:1 (H)
  Rangers 0:3 (A)
  AZ Alkmaar 2:0 (H)
1/16 finals   Middlesbrough F.C. 3:4 2:2 (H) 1:2 (A)
2005–06 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   Nistru Otaci 3:0 2:0 (A) 1:0 (H)
Round 1   Racing Strasbourg 0:7 0:2 (H) 0:5 (A)

Derby statistics vs. SK Sturm GrazEdit

(as of 23.8.2005) Total (in 1st Austrian League):

  • 46 Won
  • 42 Drawn
  • 42 Lost

(Goals: 174:168)

Current squadEdit

As of 15 July 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
1 GK   AUT Jakob Meierhofer
2 DF   AUT Philipp Seidl
3 DF   AUT Michael Huber
5 DF   AUT Elias Jandrisevits
6 MF   AUT Markus Rusek
7 MF   JPN Atsushi Zaizen
8 MF   GER Maximilian Somnitz
9 FW   AUT David Peham
10 MF   AUT Michael Liendl
11 MF   GEO Levan Eloshvili
13 MF   AUT Marco Perchtold (captain)
14 FW   AUT Paul Kiedl
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 DF   AUT Lukas Graf
19 DF   AUT Marco Gantschnig
20 MF   AUT Thorsten Schriebl
21 MF   AUT Michael Lang
22 MF   AUT Lukas Gabbichler
23 MF   AUT Paolo Jager
24 DF   AUT Felix Köchl
26 GK   AUT Christoph Nicht
27 DF   AUT Benjamin Rosenberger
30 DF   AUT Paul Koller
33 GK   AUT Josef Gruber
47 FW   AUT Daniel Kalajdzic

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   AUT Lukas Alterdinger (at Grödig)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   CRO Filip Smoljan (at SC Kalsdorf)

Managerial historyEdit

HonoursEdit

 
GAK celebrates its Austrian Championship 2004 at Hauptplatz in Graz.

Austrian Bundesliga (I)

  • Winners (1): 2003–04
  • Runners-up (2): 2002–03, 2004–05

Austrian Cup

Austrian Supercup

  • Winners (2): 2000, 2002
  • Runners-up (1): 2004

Austrian First League (II)

  • Winners (3): 1974–75, 1992–93, 1994–95

Austrian Regionalliga Mitte (III)

Landesliga Steiermark (IV)

  • Winners (1): 2017–18

Oberliga Mitte/West (V)

  • Winners (1): 2016–17

Unterliga Mitte (VI)

  • Winners (1): 2015–16

Gebietsliga Mitte (VII)

  • Winners (1): 2014–15

1. Klasse Mitte A (VIII)

  • Winners (1): 2013–14

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Austria's GAK agree to leave top flight". FIFA. 11 April 2005. Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  2. ^ Rijavec, Matej (25 June 2010). "Mura išče novega trenerja: Šimundža skočil čez mejo" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 25 June 2012.

External linksEdit