Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona F.C.
Found in: Israeli football clubs
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona F.C. is an Israeli football club based in Kiryat Shmona. The club is currently in the Israeli Premier League and plays at the Ironi Stadium. The club plays in blue shirts and shorts and white socks.
The club was founded in 2000 by a merger of Hapoel Kiryat Shmona of Liga Alef and Maccabi Kiryat Shmona of Liga Bet, and took Hapoel Kiryat Shmona's place in Liga Alef, as well as playing at Hapoel's stadium. The merger was initiated by businessman Izzi Sheratzky.
In the new club's first season they won the North Division of Liga Alef and were promoted to Liga Artzit. In 2002-03 they finished as runners-up to Hakoah Ramat Gan and were promoted to Liga Leumit. In their first season at the second level they narrowly missed out on promotion, only finishing below runners-up Hapoel Nazareth Illit on goal difference. They finished third again in 2005-06, but won the league in 2006-07 to earn promotion to the Israeli Premier League, the first time a club from the town had played in the top division. In the same season they also won the Liga Leumit Toto Cup.
The club's first season in the Premier League saw them finish third and qualify for the UEFA Cup. In their first season in Europe, home matches had to be played at the Kiryat Eliezer Stadium in Haifa. After knocking out FK Mogren, they lost to Litex Lovech in the second qualifying round.
As of February 2008
*North Division champions 2000-01
*Liga Leumit winners 2007