|Full name||Grijzestad Strijders FC|
|Stadium||Sint-Genis Stadium (capacity: 44,600)|
The Grijzestad Strijders (Grijzestad Warriors) is a football team playing in the 1st division of the AFC. It plays at the Sint-Genis Stadium (formerly at University Park), which is shared with Grijzestad University S.C. (of the Grijzestad University). They have won the 1st league 17 times, which is the second highest. FC Grijzestad B is the team's reserve side.
It was founded in 1898 in Grijzestad (as Grijzestad Foot-Ball Club) and participated in the inaugural AFC league in 1908, becoming the first club to win it. They were founded by two Englishmen who had come to Charles Town with the hope of setting up a team there, but eventually decided on Grijzestad. Grijzestad became one of the top teams in the AFC and were widely supported in the Chester Valley.
First league dominanceEdit
In the 1950s, Grijzestad Strijders was at the time the best football club in the country (as many of their players participated in the 1954 World Football Championship, where Brunant finished second). They dominated the 1. Liga,which they won in 1954. In 1956 the club acheived the first treble in Brunanter history; they won the 1st league, defeated FC Donderar 3-1 in the Cup final and then defeated Real Koningstad in the Supercup (a 2-0 win).
In 1957 Grijzestad won the league again and were the undisputed top team in Brunant. In late April, the team organized a match in France to play French champions AS Saint-Etienne and see which titular club was the best. A lot of hype surrounded that match, with the veteran Grijzestad team tipped by many to win the match.
1957 air accidentEdit
On 16 May, the whole Grijzestad team, the coach and assistant, plus their wives and a trio of news reporters took off on an Ambassador Air flight. That day, the weather was stormy, but they were cleared to fly. Just a few short minutes after takeoff the plane encountered some issues and in the midst of the storm it quickly crashed into a field. The coach, assistant, club physician and secretary, plus fifteen team players (the whole team) were among the 26 dead. Only one player (the reserve keeper) survived the crash.
Following the tragic accident, Brunant's superstar club lost everything. The owners had to quickly bring in other players to replace their dead and would not maintain such dominance until the late 1970s.
The Strijders would develop an intense rivalry with St. Marks Koningstad (the "Eternal Rivals") and any match between these teams is known as the Eternal Rivalry. The team was bought in 1969 by the Spatola Family who made it better and signed good players and even Miguel Pinto in 1983. Notable players include Willem Dernamont, Harold Wolstone, John Adler and goalkeeper Amadeus Kunter. James Giggs was the keeper from 2007 to 2011 but now it's Amadeus Kunter.
For the 2012-13 season, owner Mikhail Prokhorov brought in Italian coach Nevio Scala. The Russian billionaire expected a top 3 result for the club. Goalkeeper Kunter was sold and replaced with Adam Marczak and and Ali Poelstra was brought in from Magnus Réal Sportas. The season started off with an easy 0-2 win at FC Donderar. But, the next four games were all successive defeats, including a loss to Charlestown FC, the "eternal rivals" St. Marks Koningstad and two own goals in a shocking loss to Mediterranean FC. But, they then embarked on a five match winning streak, including a 5-3 win against Dortmund SFC, a 6-2 thrashing of Chester FC and a 4-0 win over Cape Cross. In March Scala was fired following bad results and replaced with the Portuguese Domingos Paciência.
Paciência started off his tenure with a vital 2-3 away win at Dortmund. Despite marking only three wins in his eight matches, he impressed the owner enough to stay on for another season.
Grijzestad participated in the Leaders League for wikination football clubs. In the round of 16, the warriors beat Contra United (of Libertas) 3-2 in the first leg. Grijzestad defeated Lovian team Athina Sofasi 5-0 o aggregate in the semis to advance to the final versus Skeend of Libertas. On 12 May, a lone goal by Ali Poelstra in the 83rd minute was enough to win the championship for Grijzestad.
Grijzestad had a difficult start to the 2013-14 First League, and after seven matches have been sitting in 11th in the table. Paciencia was released in December 2013 after a shaky few games, replaced with his assistant David Salman. In the 2013-14 Johan II Cup, they got a massive 1-8 win at Sterren Koningstad, one of the largest in recent years. The team has not been at its best form, especially with the loss of Gigo and are looking at a few forwards for the winter transfer windos, notably Antonio Florente and Hamid Asma, though none were eventually bought.
Grijzestad present sit in third position, having played 30 matches. Under Salman's temporary tenure, the club are significantly improved, with the club looking to win a record 16th title the King's Cup final, though they lost 1-3. The club brought in experienced manager Roberto Bracciale to the club for 2014-15 and are planning to build a new stadium in the coming years.
Grijzestad is one of the best supported teams in Brunant.
Notable former playersEdit
See List of Grijzestad Strijders players for a full list.
- Esteban Rosielo (1955-1957)
- Karim Zenadi (1995-2000)
- Rodri (2001-2005)
- Marc Le Tissey (2002-2006)
- Gigo (2008-2013)
Kits and logosEdit
Grijzestad has used a striped blck and white kit since before their league debut in 1908. Up to 1900 the team used a variety of kit designs, though all featured black. In 1983 the club was the first in Brunant to feature advertising in its shirts when they signed a deal with Opel. Subsequent advertisers included Maxi (1988-1998), Grand Dame (1998-2003), Lion Group (2003-2008), Coca-Cola (2008-2015) and currently Memo, starting in the 2015-16 season.The club used the Van Draak dragon as their crest for many years, as that was a symbol for Brunant during the early 20th century. In 1973 they introduced the current black and white shield logo though the dragon continued to be used some season until 1978.
AFC Champions: 1908, 1919, 1927, 1933, 1939, 1948, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1963, 1978, 1983, 1992, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010
AFC runners-up: 1916, 1922, 1924, 1929, 1931, 1965, 1999, 2012
Johan II Cup: 1931, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1950, 1956, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1984, 1990, 1993, 2007, 2009
Brunant Supercup: 1952, 1956, 1968, 1972, 2005
WNFA Leaders League: 2004, 2011, 2013
|2015-16 First League|
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