- Hapoel Be'er Sheva F.C.
Infobox Football club
clubname = Hapoel Be'er Sheva
fullname = Amutat Hapoel Be'er Sheva עמותת הפועל באר שבע
Vasermil Stadium, Be'er Sheva
capacity = 13,000
mgrtitle = Manager
season = 2007-08
position = Liga Leumit, 4th
Hapoel Be'er Sheva ( _he. עמותת הפועל באר שבע, "Amutat Hapoel Be'er Sheva") are an
Israeli football club from the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The club plays in an all red strip and are currently in Liga Leumit, the second tier of Israeli football. Home matches are played at the Vasermil Stadium, which has a capacity of around 13,000.
Founded in the year after Israel's establishment, the club first came to prominence after promotion to the top division (then known as Liga Leumit) in 1965. However, they failed to make much of an impact, finishing one place above relegation in 1968-69 and were relegated back to the second tier in 1969-70 despite winning 10 of their 30 matches (they had, however, lost 15 of the other games).
Hapoel were promoted back to the top division after one season, and after slow progression, the mid-1970s became the club's golden period. Back-to-back championships were won in 1974-75 and 1975-76. However, due to Israel's expulsion from the
Asian Football Confederationa few years earlier and the fact that the Israel Football Associationdid not join UEFAuntil 1994, the club did not participate in any international club competitions. In the season after the second championship, the club returned to its previous form, finishing one place above relegation. The early 1980s saw a small revival in fortunes, with a third-place finish in 1982-83 and a State Cup final in 1983-84 (though they lost 3-2 on penalties to Hapoel Lod after a 0-0 draw), though the club was almost relegated the following season. They reached the Toto Cupfinal in 1983 and 1984, but lost both matches (3-1 and 3-2 respectively) to Maccabi Netanya.
After that came a period of relative success. Third-place finishes were achieved in 1987-88, 1993-94 and 1994-95 (though relegation was narrowly avoided (by one place) in 1991-2). They also won the Toto Cup in 1989. The third place finishes of 1993-94 and 1994-95, combined with Israel's new membership of UEFA, allowed the club entry to the
UEFA Cup. Their first outing was not a success, losing 5-2 (3-1, 2-1) on aggregate to Aris Salonika of Greecein the preliminary round. However, in 1995-96 competition, they beat KS Tirana 3-0 (1-0, 2-0) in the preliminary round, and qualified for the first round. Drawn against Barcelona, the club lost both legs heavily (5-0 and 7-0) leading to a 13-0 aggregate defeat.
In 1996 the club won the Toto Cup for a second time, again against a second division team, Hakoah Ramat Gan. A year later, Hapoel picked up their fifth piece of silverware and qualified for the
Cup Winners' Cupby winning the State Cup final, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0. Their third season in Europe started successfully, beating Lithuania's Zalgiris Vilnius2-1 (0-0, 2-1) in the preliminary round, before being thrashed 14-1 (4-1, 10-0) by Roda JCof Hollandin the next round. The club were also relegated in the same season and did not return to the top division until 2001-2.
In 2002-03, the club become the first top division team beaten by a lower division side in a State Cup final, losing 5-4 on penalties to second division Hapoel Ramat Gan after a 1-1 draw.
At the end of the 2004-05 season, the club were again relegated to the second division, resulting in the ignominy of playing in the same league as Maccabi Beersheba, the city's second and much smaller team, for the first time during the 2005-06 season.
The 2006-07 season started well for Hapoel, but several players were accused of match fixing. A loss of form saw the club miss out on promotion. In 2007 chirman Eli Ziono sold the club to a young businesswoman,
31 January 2008"
Notable former players
Academy Coaching Staff
*Director of Youth Academy: Haim Schwartz
* Liga Leumit (top division)
**Champions 1974-75, 1975-76
* State Cup
**Winners 1988-9, 1995-6
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