NK Pazinka is a Croatian football club based in the town of Pazin in Istria. Founded in 1948, their greatest success was competing in the Croatian top flight 1. HNL for two seasons between 1992 and 1994. They are currently competing in the Croatian Third Football League.
|Full name||Nogometni klub Pazinka|
|Founded||1948 (as SD Pazin)|
|Ground||Igralište NK Pazinka|
|2016–17||4. HNL Rijeka, 1st (promoted)|
The club was established in 1948 as part of the SD Pazin sports society. They spent the next few decades in relative obscurity contesting Istrian regional league competitions within the Yugoslav league system. In 1970 the club was renamed NK Pazinka, after the local textile factory which began sponsoring the club after it had run into financial difficulties. In 1985 they won promotion to Croatian League West, one of several regional fourth level divisions in SR Croatia. In spite of winning the division in 1989–90 Pazinka failed to progress further up the football pyramid and remained at fourth level until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.
Following Croatia's independence in 1991 Pazinka entered one of the three regional divisions of the newly formed 2. HNL in the shortened 1992 season and finished top, thus gaining promotion to top level in 1992–93. They finished their debut top level season in 11th place but were then relegated in the 1993–94 season.
Notable players who appeared for Pazinka during this spell included Dado Pršo (later with AS Monaco and Rangers), Zoran Škerjanc (formerly of Dinamo Zagreb and Recreativo Huelva) and Damir Desnica (one of the very few deaf professional footballers, formerly with Rijeka and Kortrijk).
The club then spent several seasons in second level before slipping down to 3. HNL in the 1997–98 season which coincided with the bankruptcy of the Pazinka textile factory. After spending a few years struggling to stay in third level they slipped down to fourth level in 2003 and then again to fifth level in 2004. However, Pazinka won the fifth level Istria Group and earned promotion back to 4. HNL in 2007–08.