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Nov 19, 2019

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The European Community Club Tournament Preview!

The SD Europe network is international, connected, and constantly coming together to celebrate supporter involvement. 

Israfans, SD Europe’s Israeli members, is a supporter network having a second community tournament for supporters of various clubs within their membership. 

In this edition of the tournament, Israfans invited AKS Zly and HFC Falke from Poland and Germany respectively, to fly to Israel and participate. This is an exciting development as it is the first time the tournament will involve fans of clubs outside of Israel. Before the tournament begins, the participants will recognise the guests from Falke and Zly, while mentioning the various community efforts internationally. 

Shay Golub, Israfans Chair and SD Europe Board member was thrilled at the prospect of this tournament: “It is truly amazing to see Falke and Zly fly out to partake in this tournament. We will further our best practice, shared experiences, and bonds between all of our clubs, and be able to continue to utilise the SD Europe network to grow the movement.” 

In this preview of “The European Community Club Tournament”, we will describe a bit about each club participating, giving background information about each team playing. 

AKS Zly:

Fresh off their UEFA Grassroot club award, AKS Zly have modeled impressive community activities and initiatives. They have both a men’s and women’s team, and the Warsaw based club is in the 7th division in the Polish football pyramid and have a membership of about 200. 

HFC Falke:

HFC Falke are no strangers to shared experiences with the SD Europe network, as the Hamburg based clubs first team played a pre-season friendly against Belgian members, YSK Beveren. Currently Falke are in the 7th division and started their season strong. With a membership of about 400, they are sending 4 fan representatives to participate in the tournament. 

Hapoel Katamon: 

Hapoel Katamon are playing in the second division of Israeli football and are seen as pioneers with their community activities, while they also ensure they give supporters a voice in decision making at the club. Katamon supporters were the champions in the previous Israfans tournament in June! The neighborhood league that attracts minorities from across Jerusalem, the joint team of disabled and non disabled supporters, and their 730 members give a good idea of the state of Hapoel Katamon.

Beitar Nordia:

Started as a group of unhappy Beitar Jerusalem supporters, Nordia have progressed through the divisions and placed themselves as an innovator and thoughtful group in fan-owned Israeli football. They currently play in the 3rd Division South, of Israeli football (3rd division). Nordia has 320 members, and their impressive media team disseminate their activities that include sending coaches of the club to partake in community training/work. 

Hapoel Rubi Haifa:

Rubi’s impressive community activities lead an up and coming club in northern Israel. They currently play in the 3rd Division North, of Israeli football (3rd division). The 200 member owned club, has a fantastic youth league that portrays the good work happening in Haifa. 

Maccabi Kabilyo Jaffa:

Based in the unique community of Jaffa in Tel Aviv, the club is 100% fan-owned with nearly 150 members. They currently play in the 3rd Division South of Israeli football (3rd division). They recently started a supporters league for a diverse set of fans. 

Hapoel Kfar Saba (Minority stake):

Hapoel Kfar Saba supporters own a minority stake in the first division club. They have 250 members, and an active community strategy highlighted by helping disabled supporters. 

Hapoel Rishon Lezion (Supporters Trust):

Though the trust does not have any ownership of the club, the 50 members just had a big event to relaunch their trust, and a recent campaign to change the clubs owners. 

Ironi Ashdod: 

The tournament hosts, Ironi Ashdod achieved promotion last season to the 3rd Division South of Israeli football (3rd division). The team has an impressive media department for its 240 members, with a popular podcast about the club. Ashdod just formed a female senior team senior, and have a joint team for both disabled and non-disabled supporters.

Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatim:

The basketball club plays in the second division of Israeli basketball and is 100% fan-owned with 150 members being represented at this exciting team. A recent community activity had players taking pictures with animals at a local shelter.  

Hapoel Petach Tikvah:

At the end of last season, Petach Tikvah supporters took 100% control of the club. Currently Hapoel has 1074 members and play in the second division. 

SD Europe CEO, Antonia Hagemann, commented: “Whether in Poland, Germany, or Israel, community clubs are special. The tournament this coming weekend is a true celebration of football’s importance to communities across Europe. It shows the power of passion!”

Each community has its own story, and comes from the core value of the right of supporter participation in their club. Pain, celebration, and passion will keep that value going. 

Stay tuned to the SD Europe channels for full updates on the tournament!

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