Hapoel Afula F.C.

Hapoel Afula is an Israeli football club based in Afula. The club is currently in Liga Leumit and plays at the Afula Illit Stadium. Their main rivals are Hapoel Asi Gilboa.

Hapoel Afula
Hapoel Afula F.C.png
Full nameHapoel Afula Football Club
הפועל עפולה
Nickname(s)Afula
Founded1924 (original club)
1951 (reformed club)
1954 (merged club)
2001 (reformed club)
GroundAfula Illit Stadium
Capacity3,000
ChairmanDani Asulin
ManagerShahar Weisinger
LeagueLiga Leumit
2021–22Liga Leumit, 10th

HistoryEdit

 
Afula Municipal Stadium

The club was founded in 1924 in Beit Jann, near Yavne'el, by Russian Jews affiliated with Hashomer Hatzair movement. Due to unemployment in Beit Gan, the club relocated to Afula.[1] During its early days, Hapoel Afula played mostly in friendlies against the likes of Hapoel Haifa[2][3] and in regional leagues, comprising clubs from the Northern and Haifa regions.[4][5]

After the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the club was re-established in 1951. At the summer of 1954, the club merged with neighboring football club, Hapoel Balfouria,[6] which played at the time at the top flight of Israeli football, and played home matches in Afula.

Since the 1957–58 season, while playing in Liga Alef, the second tier of Israeli football at the time, the club was officially known under its current name, although they were mentioned by the press in both Hapoel Afula and Hapoel Balfouria names.[7][8] the club continued to play as Hapoel Afula, and the name of Balfouria was dropped. In the 1958–59 season the club finished bottom in Liga Alef, and went to play in the relegation play-offs. In spite the club finished the relegation play-offs in a perfect record against Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Hapoel Netanya and Maccabi Sha'arayim, they were eventually disqualified and demoted to Liga Bet for fielding ineligible player.[9]

The club played for 17 successive seasons in Liga Bet, until they were relegated to Liga Gimel at the end of the 1976–77 season.[10] The club made an immediate return to Liga Bet, where they played up until the 1983–84 season, in which the club folded during the season.[11]

The club reformed in 2001, and reached Liga Bet in the 2002–03 season, where they finished runners-up in the North B division.[12] In the following season, the club won that division and were promoted to Liga Alef.[13] After 9 seasons in Liga Alef, the club finally managed to win promotion to Liga Leumit, when they won the 2012–13 season in Liga Alef North, by a margin of ten points, and made a return to the second tier of Israeli football after 54 years.

In The 2013–14 season, the club reached the top play-off in Liga Leumit, and finished in the 6th place, an achievement which was bettered in the following season, after the club finished in the 4th place.

In the 2014–15 Israel State Cup, the club eliminated top flight club, Maccabi Petah Tikva, in the Quarter-finals by away goals (0–0, 2–2), and reached the Semi-finals for the first time in their history. However, in the Semi-finals, Hapoel Afula were hammered 0–7 by Hapoel Be'er Sheva in Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem.

On 6 December 2017, the club won its first major trophy, after beating Hapoel Ramat Gan in the Toto Cup Leumit final.[14][15]

Current squadEdit

As of 31 August 2022
No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ISR Sharif Kayouf
3 DF   ISR Ofek Nadir
4 DF   GHA David Acquah
5 DF   ISR Roni Laufer
6 DF   ISR Tamir Arbel
7 MF   FRA Romain Habran
8 MF   ISR Avihay Wodaje
9 FW   ISR Neil Goldberg
10 MF   ISR Kevin Rainstein
11 FW   ISR Ihab Abu Alshech
14 MF   ISR Dor Galili
16 MF   ISR Bassam Za'arura
17 FW   ISR Shahar Hirsh
19 DF   ISR Eran Azrad
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF   ISR Sivan Gafney
21 DF   GAM Kabba Sonko
22 MF   FRA Sacha Petshi
26 DF   ISR Adar Azrual
33 GK   ISR Liav Salkind
44 DF   ISR Roey Elimelech
55 DF   ISR Roy Katri
70 MF   ISR Ilay Lazar
77 MF   ISR Afik Cohen
94 GK   ISR Eliran Gabay
97 MF   ISR Naor Abudi
99 FW   ISR Almog Shankor
DF   ISR Sahar Ben Menashe
DF   ISR Mor Naaman

HonoursEdit

LeagueEdit

Honour No. Years
Third tier 1 2012–13
Fifth tier 2 1977–78, 2003–04
Sixth tier 1 2001–02

CupsEdit

Honour No. Years
Toto Cup Leumit 1 2017–18

ManagersEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ History of Hapoel Hapoel Legacy Website (in Hebrew)
  2. ^ Sporting competition Davar, 8.4.1926, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  3. ^ In "Hapoel" Davar, 26.9.1935, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  4. ^ Football league committee at the Northern district Davar, 3.2.1936, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  5. ^ Games at the Haifa district Doar Hayom, 16.3.1936, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  6. ^ FA Operated Maariv, 29.8.1954, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  7. ^ Bnei Yehuda 0–3 defeat to Kiryat Haim increase chances of Beitar Heruth, 20.4.1958, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  8. ^ Hapoel Balfouria and Beer Sheva in Liga Alef Davar, 14.6.1959, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  9. ^ Hapoel Afula disqualified Maariv, 5.7.1959, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  10. ^ Liga Bet (Page 9) Hadshot HaSport, 24.4.1977, archive.football.co.il (in Hebrew)
  11. ^ HaShikma, Dimona and Or Akiva to Liga Alef (Page 8) Hadshot HaSport, 13.5.1984, archive.football.co.il (in Hebrew)
  12. ^ Liga Bet North B, 02-03 One (in Hebrew)
  13. ^ Liga Bet North B, 03-04 One (in Hebrew)
  14. ^ Toto Leumit: Hapoel Afula Defeated Hapoel Ramat Gan 3:0 and Won 6 December 2017, Walla! (in Hebrew)
  15. ^ History: Hapoel Afula Won the Toto Cup Kobi Portal, 6 December 2017, Doublepass (in Hebrew)
  16. ^ "The Israel Football Association". Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  17. ^ "The Israel Football Association". Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2013-05-04.