Founded In
AĆĄdod (Ashdod), Israel

About Ashdod

Moadon Sport Ashdod, also known as FC Ashdod, was founded in 1999, as a result of a merger between Ashdod's two major teams, Maccabi Ironi Ashdod and Hapoel Ashdod. Their year of foundation is often said to be 1961, the year that Maccabi Ironi Ashdod was first established, and the club have also adopted Maccabi's nickname, 'The Dolphins'. Ashdod are known for operating on a limited budget and for their localised fanbase.

Prior to the merger, Hapoel Ashdod spent most of their time in Israel's second division, were unable to achieve major success, and experienced financial difficulties in their later years. Although Maccabi Ironi Ashdod were also unable to win major honours, they were slightly more successful, reaching the country's top tier for the first time in 1993 and returning to the top division in 1997. They remained a Premier League side in 1999, when the merger took place.

Initially, the combined team struggled to gather support from the fans of the two previous clubs, but gradually their fanbase grew. While they are still yet to win a major honour, Ashdod have come close on several occasions, finishing as runners up in the Toto Cup on four occasions, with their 2004-05 penalty shootout loss perhaps their closest brush with success. The 2004-05 campaign was also notable for bringing about their best ever league finish, as they ended the year in third place. As a result, they gained qualification to the following season's UEFA Cup.

During his time with the club, Shay Holtzman was the Israeli Premier League's top goalscorer for the 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons. Other notable former Ashdod players include Yaniv Azran and the Israel international, Haim Revivo.

The team's home matches are held at Yud-Alef Stadium, which opened in 1966. The venue, which was previously used by both Maccabi Ironi Ashdod and Hapoel Ashdod, is currenntly able to hold 8,200 people.

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