FK Radnički Niš

FK Radnički Niš

Football club infobox
clubname = FK Radnički Niš
fullname = Fudbalski Klub Radnički Niš
(Фудбалски клуб Раднички Ниш)

nickname = "Real from Nišava"
founded = 1923
ground = Čair Stadium, Niš
capacity = 25.000
chairman = Goran Jovanović
manager = Slobodan Antonijević
league = Srpska Liga
season = 2007/08
position = Prva Liga Telekom Srbija, 14th

FK Radnički Niš (Serbian Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Раднички Ниш) is a football club based in the city of Niš in Serbia. The team is currently playing in the Prva Liga Telekom Srbija, Serbia's second division.


The club was founded on April 23, 1923, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. That same year, the club played its first unofficial games. Two years later, in 1925, it became a part of a professional league.

At the beginning of the Second World War in Yugoslavia, in 1941, the club had become inactive, only to restart activities in 1945. Radnički became better every year, and in 1962, they were promoted to the Yugoslav First League for the first time in their history. In 1975, they won the Balkan Cup and at the same time, won their first trophy of European importance.

In June 1980, thanks to a third place finish in the Yugoslav First League, Radnički won the right to play in the UEFA Cup, in which it play on two more occasions. In total, they played 22 games across Europe against teams of such high quality as Hamburger SV, Napoli, Dundee United, Grasshoppers and Feyenoord among others. They eventually achieved their greatest success in history by reaching the semifinals of this prestigious tournament in 1982.

In its rich history, Radnički has developed many players who got the chance to play for their national team. There are also many players who played more than 200 games for the club or that spent more than ten years there. Some of them successfully continued their career at clubs outside of their native land: Dragan Stojković - Piksi, Dragan Pantelić; Dejan Petković.

An important segment in the club's existence is its youth club, founded in 1963, through which many of the Radnički players went. The most important one is certainly Dragan Stojković, who is considered as one of the best players Yugoslavia has ever had. The youth club has proven its quality on the European scene winning the 1966 Paris tournament. In 1991, the youth club won the national title of Yugoslavia.

All the great success on football grounds has earned the club a great interest from the Niš population, and the club becomes the city's trademark in the world. This earned them the sponsorship deals of several companies from Niš and some from foreign countries, who invested in the club and helped in its fast elevation to the top and its professional club status.

Sadly, in the few last years, the club has been performing under expectations and is currently playing in Serbia's Second Division. That problem needs to be fixed so that the club can come back to where it deserves to be, in Serbia's top division, the Superliga.

The Fans

Since Radnički's entry to the Yugoslav First League, Čair has always been a tough ground for the opposition. The amazing atmosphere created by Radnički fans in a cracking stadium always gave hope to the team that they could overcome anybody.

Organized support, after 1984, even with excellent attendance statistics, has been absent until 1989. That year in September, against Red Star Belgrade, a decision was made that the club should have an organized fan group and that it should be shoulder-to-shoulder with the other fan organizations in Yugoslavia.

They accept all suggestions, but the name of Meraklije is chosen after a one-sided decision, as the group's name, mainly due to traditional reasons from the city of Niš.

The third generation of Meraklije, who is also the most recent one, made their appearance at Čair's stands in 1995. Since that day, the Meraklije are gaining more adepts and are also becoming more active in the club's operations. Already then, they are constantly refreshed by new, younger fans. When the competition started in 1996, Radnički was playing in the Second League "B" Division, but even if the club played in such a low-profile league, the Meraklije went to all games across Serbia. On every away game-day, a bus or two would take the fans to destination - Valjevo, Loznica, Smederevo, Subotica, Kragujevac ...

Time spent in the "B" Division was short and the club's promotion to the "A" Division meant that fans came in bigger numbers in the following seasons. The quality of football also brought younger fans to the stadium, as the Meraklije continued to grow and offered new jerseys and scarves to its members in a successful attempt to look better in the stands.

In 1999-00, the Meraklije reach their climax. After ten years of cooperation and living life together, their biggest honour is surely that the footballers and management are very proud of them. Thanks to good relations with the club's management, the Meraklije get their own center in the city, and no away game is left unattended.

The marketing is working very well and growing at a fast rate. This year only has sold more souvenirs than all the precedent ones together. The Meraklije, on all of their articles, have only one thing to say: "Nemoj da budeš stranac u svom gradu, oboji grad bojama svog kluba. Budi i ti Meraklija", which roughly translates to "Don't be a stranger in your own city, draw it into your club's colors. Be a Meraklija."


External links

* [ FK Radnički Niš] sr icon
* [ FK Radnički fans Meraklije] sr icon

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