Rokometni klub Maribor Branik (English: Maribor Branik Handball Club), commonly referred to as RK Maribor Branik or simply Branik, is a handball club from Maribor, Slovenia. As of the 2023–24 season, the club competes in the Second National League (2. DRL), the third tier of Slovenian handball. They play their home games at Tabor Hall, a 3,261 capacity multi-purpose sports venue in Maribor. Between 2004 and 2010, the team was known as RK Klima Petek Maribor due to sponsorship reasons.[1] Their biggest success is reaching the final of the Slovenian Handball Cup twice and reaching the quarter-finals of the EHF Cup in the 2012–13 season.[1]

RK Maribor Branik
Full nameRokometni klub Maribor Branik
Nickname(s)Vijoličasti (The Purples)
Founded2003; 21 years ago (2003) (as MRD Maribor Branik)[1]
ArenaTabor Hall
PresidentMihael Pisanec[2]
Head coachKristijan Ladič
LeagueSecond National League
2022–23Slovenian First League, 13th of 14 (relegated)
Club colours     
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Official site

History edit

Handball in Maribor edit

A match between Branik and Rudar in 1961

The first handball team in Maribor was formed in 1925, when the women's section of the 1. SSK MB played their first Czech handball match at the Ljudski vrt area.[1] The first men's handball team, named Polet, was formed in 1949.[1][3] They renamed as Branik in 1951, when they participated in the Yugoslav First League qualifiers.[1] In 1954, Branik won their first Slovenian Republic League title, and were promoted to the Yugoslav First League.[1] Between 1955 and 1968, Branik did not achieve any major success and were even relegated to the local Styrian League in 1966, but returned to the top Slovenian division two years later.[1] They were relegated again in 1972, but once again returned in 1979 after spending a few years in the local regional leagues.[1] In 1977, the team merged with Kovinar Tezno to form Maribor.[1] The team was struggling in the next decade and did not achieve any major results. After Slovenia's independence in 1991, the team was reformed with a help from some former handball players, including Marko Šibila, and reached the Third National Handball League (3. DRL).[1]

Maribor Branik edit

In 2003, a new club called Maribor Branik was founded. In their first season, the team was promoted to the 2. DRL East.[1] In 2005–06, they were promoted to the 1. B DRL, where they stayed until the 2008–09 season, when the team was promoted to the top tier Slovenian First League of Handball.[1] In the same year, they also finished third in the Slovenian Handball Cup.[1] In their first season in the top division, they finished eighth and were runners-up of the Slovenian Handball Cup, where they lost to Celje in the final.[4] As runners-up, they gained a place in the 2010–11 EHF Cup Winners' Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to the Spanish side San Antonio.[1] In the same season, Branik finished fifth in the league. They again finished fifth in the 2011–12 season, and were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2011–12 EHF Challenge Cup by Maccabi Tel Aviv from Israel.[1] The most successful international season for the club was in 2012–13, when they reached the group stages of the EHF Cup, defeating Dudelange, Kópavogs and Siscia in the qualifications.[5] They were drawn in the group with Danish team Tvis Holstebro, Norwegian Elverum and Polish Wisła Płock.[6] With seven points out of six games, Maribor Branik qualified to the quarter-finals of the competition,[7] where they were eliminated by Göppingen with 57–56 on aggregate.[8] In 2013–14 and 2014–15, the club finished third in the Slovenian League, which is their best result since the establishment. The club was about to enter the regional SEHA League alongside Celje and Gorenje in the 2014–15 season, but all three Slovenian clubs refused entry due to unacceptable financial requirements.[9] In the 2016–17 season, Maribor Branik reached the final of the Slovenian Cup for the second time in its history, where they lost to Celje 36–28.[10]

Arena edit

Maribor Branik play their home matches at a 3,261 capacity Tabor Hall in the Tabor District of Maribor.[11] The reserve venue of the club is Lukna Sports Hall, a 2,100[12] capacity all-seater indoor hall, also located in Maribor.[13]

Supporters and rivalries edit

Kristijan Petek, the former president of the club, was the first to organize a fan group which would support the team at home matches.[14] As he was also the owner of the air conditioning company Klima Petek, which was the main sponsor of the club, the fan group was composed of employees of the company.[14] In 2010, when Andrej Bauman has been appointed a new director of Maribor Branik, the club gained a new group of fans, named Maribor Supporters, which supposedly consisted of the younger members of Viole Maribor, the supporters of football club NK Maribor.[14]

In February 2012, Maribor Supporters chanted a song about the Srebrenica massacre against the Bosnian team Gradačac during the 2011–12 EHF Challenge Cup match.[14] The match was temporarily suspended, and the incident received wide coverage in the Slovenian and Bosnian media.[15][16][17] The group was banned by Maribor Branik from attending any home matches, and a police investigation was ordered.[14][15]

Maribor Branik do not have any major rivals; however, matches between Maribor Branik and RK Celje are dubbed as the Styrian derby (Slovene: Štajerski derbi),[18][19] named after Styria, with Maribor and Celje being the two largest cities in the region. Matches between Maribor Branik and RK Jeruzalem Ormož are also called Styrian derby or Neighbourhood derby (Slovene: Sosedski derbi).[20][21][22][23]

Colours, kits and crest edit

During the club's first years, the kit colours were blue,[24] white and black, with the last two also being the traditional colours of the Branik Sports Association.[25] Before the start of the 2011–12 season, Maribor Branik changed its main colour to purple due to the popularity of NK Maribor, the most successful football club in Slovenia, which plays in purple jerseys.[26] A decade later, ahead of the 2021–22 season, the club reverted to white kits for home games and black kits for away games.[13][27] The club crest is in the form of a shield with an abstract portrayal of a handball player. In 2012, the colours of the crest were changed from black and white to purple and white.

Season-by-season records edit

Season Division League Pos. Cup Supercup European competition Head coach
2003–04 4 3. League 3
2004–05 3 2. National League 13 Round of 32 Sebastijan Kovačič
Milan Šimac
2005–06 3 2. National League 2 Milan Šimac
Kristjan Ladič
2006–07 2 1. B League 5 Round of 32 Sebastjan Oblak
Primož Hoenigmann
2007–08 2 1. B League 3 Round of 16 Sebastjan Oblak
2008–09 2 1. B League 2 Third place Bojan Čotar
2009–10 1 First League 8 Runners-up Bojan Čotar
2010–11 1 First League 5 Round of 16 Runners-up EHF Cup Winners' Cup
Marko Šibila
2011–12 1 First League 5 Fourth place EHF Challenge Cup
Marko Šibila
2012–13 1 First League 4 Quarterfinals EHF Cup
Marko Šibila
2013–14 1 First League 3 Round of 32 EHF Cup
Round 3
Marko Šibila
2014–15 1 First League 3 Round of 32 EHF Cup
Round 2
Marko Šibila
Boris Denič
2015–16 1 First League 5 Quarterfinals EHF Cup
Round 3
Boris Denič
Slavko Ivezič
2016–17 1 First League 7 Runners-up Slavko Ivezič
Sebastjan Sovič
2017–18 1 First League 7 Quarterfinals Runners-up Marko Šibila
2018–19 1 First League 4 Round of 16 Marko Šibila
2019–20 1 First League 11[a] Quarterfinals[a] EHF Challenge Cup
Round 3
Marko Šibila
Davor Rokavec
2020–21 1 First League 9 Not held Siniša Markota
2021–22 1 First League 8 Round of 32 Luka Žvižej
2022–23 1 First League 13 Quarterfinals Luka Žvižej
  1. ^ a b The league season was finished early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] The cup competition was cancelled before the quarterfinals.

Maribor Branik in European handball edit

The table includes matches from the official European Handball Federation competitions only.[29] All results (home and away) list Branik's goal tally first.

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2010–11 EHF Cup Winners' Cup R3   Karviná 28–22 33–28 61–50
L16   Kolubara 32–27 40–26 72–53
QF   Amaya Sport San Antonio 28–34 27–35 55–69
2011–12 EHF Challenge Cup R3   Radnički Kragujevac 26–22 23–27 49–49 (a)
L16   Gradačac 30–22 26–31 56–53
QF   Maccabi Tel Aviv 29–28 29–31 58–59
2012–13 EHF Cup R1   Dudelange 39–24 27–28 66–52
R2   Kópavogs 35–25 42–25 77–50[a]
R3   Siscia 35–22 29–30 64–52
G   Tvis Holstebro 31–27 26–26 Second place
(Group C)
G   Elverum 34–29 27–30
G   Wisła Płock 26–23 26–30
QF   Göppingen 26–26 30–31 56–57
2013–14 EHF Cup QR2   Bregenz 37–23 25–26 62–49
QR3   Tatran Prešov 30–28 26–34 56–62
2014–15 EHF Cup QR2   Kristianstad 26–25 24–36 50–61
2015–16 EHF Cup QR3   Dinamo București 27–26 25–31 52–57
2019–20 EHF Challenge Cup R2   H71 31–24 24–25 55–49[b]
R3   Madeira Andebol SAD 20–23 23–31 43–54[c]
  1. ^ Both matches were played in Maribor, Slovenia, with "home" and "away" being used for administrative purposes.
  2. ^ Both matches were played in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, with "home" and "away" being used for administrative purposes.
  3. ^ Both matches were played in Funchal, Portugal, with "home" and "away" being used for administrative purposes.

By competition edit

EHF competitions
Competition Pld W D L Win% Last season played
EHF Cup 22 11 2 9 050.00 2015–16
EHF Cup Winners' Cup 6 4 0 2 066.67 2010–11
EHF Challenge Cup 10 4 0 6 040.00 2019–20
Total 38 19 2 17 050.00

Honours edit


Third place: 2013–14, 2014–15
Runners-up: 2008–09
  • Slovenian Third Division
Runners-up: 2005–06


Runners-up: 2009–10, 2016–17
Semi-finalist: 2008–09, 2011–12
Runners-up: 2010, 2017

International players edit

The following Maribor Branik players have made at least one appearance for their senior national team.

  1. ^ Also played for Slovenia before switching his national team allegiance to Croatia.
  2. ^ Also played for Slovenia before switching his national team allegiance to Macedonia.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Zgodovina kluba" [Club history] (in Slovenian). RK Maribor Branik. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  2. ^ "2. DRL MOŠKI – Rokometna zveza Slovenije" (in Slovenian). Handball Federation of Slovenia. Retrieved 19 May 2024.
  3. ^ "Zgodovina" [History] (in Slovenian). Handball Federation of Slovenia. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Celjski rokometaši 14. osvojili slovenski pokal" [Celje have won their 14th cup title] (in Slovenian). Slovenian Press Agency. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  5. ^ M. L. (2 December 2012). "Tudi Mariborčani bodo igrali v skupinskem delu Pokala EHF" [Maribor will play in the group stage of the EHF Cup] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  6. ^ R. K. (6 December 2012). "Koprčani in Mariborčani dobili nasprotnike" [Koper and Maribor get their opponents] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  7. ^ Da. B. (23 March 2013). "Branik kljub porazu v četrtfinale pokala EHF" [Branik qualified for the EHF Cup quarterfinals despite defeat]. (in Slovenian). Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  8. ^ A. V. (27 April 2013). "Drama: Mariborčane v zadnji sekundi pokopal Rnić" [Rnić eliminated Maribor in the last second of the game] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  9. ^ A. V. (24 June 2014). "Slovencev ne bo v Ligi Seha" [SEHA League without Slovenian clubs] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ Dolores Subotić (16 April 2017). "Foto: Novi stari zmagovalci – Celjani do 20. pokalnega naslova" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. ^ Uredništvo (15 June 2017). "Mariborska dvorana Tabor še ne bo dočakala obnove" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Športna dvorana Ljudski vrt – Lukna". (in Slovenian). Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  13. ^ a b "PODATKI EKIPA: 2022/23 RK Maribor Branik" (in Slovenian). Handball Federation of Slovenia. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e Bauman, Bojan (18 February 2012). "Kam so se odpravili mariborski supportersi?". Večer (in Slovenian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.[dead link]
  15. ^ a b T. O. (13 February 2012). "Video: Nekaj nevzgojenih fantov pokvarilo tekmo v Mariboru" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Nepopisna sramota: Mariborski navijači žalili žrtve genocida v Srebrenici". Dnevnik (in Slovenian). 13 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  17. ^ D. Brkić (13 February 2012). "VIDEO / Navijači Maribora skandirali "Nož, žica, Srebrenica"". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  18. ^ Ž. K. (27 February 2013). "Štajerski derbi navdušil, zmaga Celjanom" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  19. ^ J. P. (13 April 2014). "Štajerski rokometni derbi po notah Celjanov". Delo (in Slovenian). Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  20. ^ Fišter, Manja (9 March 2019). "Štajerski derbi dobili Mariborčani". (in Slovenian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  21. ^ Pekeč, Dominik (18 November 2018). "Mariborčani na krilih sijajnega Đurice dobili štajerski derbi". Športno društvo Šport (in Slovenian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  22. ^ G. L. (13 December 2015). "1. SRL: Mariborčanom napet derbi z Ormožem". Delo (in Slovenian). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Celjani in Velenjčani brez težav, Ormož grozil Mariboru" (in Slovenian). Siol. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Pokal Slovenije: RK Klima Petek Maribor vs RK Gorenje Velenje". Sportida Photo Agency. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  25. ^ "Zgodovina klubskega imena Branik". (in Slovenian). Šahovski klub Branik. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  26. ^ Mastnak, Maja (8 September 2011). "V vijoličnem naskok proti vrhu" (in Slovenian). Siol. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Rokometni klub Maribor Branik – dresi za sezono 2021/22" (in Slovenian). RK Maribor Branik. 11 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021 – via Facebook.
  28. ^ "Rokometna sezona končana, Celjani prvaki, na vidiku spremembe". Dnevnik (in Slovenian). 27 March 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  29. ^ "European Handball Federation – RK Maribor Branik". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 26 April 2013.

External links edit