Inter Zapresic

Nogometni klub Inter Zapresic is a professional Croatian football club based in Zapresic, a town northwest of the capital Zagreb. They play in the Druga HNL after they were relegated from the Prva HNL at the end of the 2019–20 season.

The team are nicknamed Keramicari (The ceramics makers), because they were sponsored by a ceramics factory through much of their history) or Div iz predgrada (The giant from the suburb). The team's colours are yellow and blue. Home games at Ivan Laljak-Ivic Stadium.

History

The club was originally established in 1929 as NK Sava. In 1932 the name was changed to NK Jelacic. After the end of WW2 the club was renamed NK Zapresic. The club kept that name until 1962, when they were renamed Jugokeramika, after their main sponsor, a local ceramics factory. That same year the club's ground, SRC Zapresic, was built and opened. The club's first notable success came in the 1980s under the tenure of manager Zorislav Srebric (1985–1990). Up until then the club had spent their entire existence in lower level leagues, but in 1987 they managed to reach the finals of the qualifying playoff for promotion to the Yugoslav Second League (which they lost against fellow Croatian side Sparta from Beli Manastir). In 1987 the east stand of the ground was built, and Jugokeramika's home served as one of the venues for the 1987 Summer Universiade football tournament.

Following Croatia's independence in 1991, Jugokeramika (the factory) changed its name to "Inker" (an acronym for Industrija keramike, Eng: Ceramics Industry) and the club followed suit, adopting the name NK Inker Zapresic. The club participated in the inaugural season of the newly established Croatian championship and finished fourth, but more memorable was their 1992 Croatian Cup win. The team was managed by Ilija Loncarevic and notable players of the cup-winning squad included Croatian internationals Ivan Cvjetkovic, Krunoslav Jurcic and Zvonimir Soldo. Although this meant that Inker had qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA didn't let Croatian clubs to participate in European competitions due to the ongoing war, so Inker missed out on their first ever chance to participate in continental competitions. However, the club holds the distinction of playing the first ever international club match hosted by a Croatian club since Croatian independence, a friendly against Sturm Graz played in February 1992, and they were also the first Croatian side to play abroad, when they played a friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion in England in the summer of 1991.

In the following years the club's performances rapidly declined and in 1997 they were relegated to 2. HNL, and in 1999 further down to 3. HNL. The year 2000 proved to be a turning point, and in 2001 they bounced back to second level and in 2003 got promoted back to top level after six years of absence. In 2003 their main sponsor the ceramics factory Inker ceased sponsoring the club, so the club was renamed once again, to Inter Zapresic. In the 2004–05 season they finished runners-up in the league, which is still their record-high finish. The following season Inter finally debuted in European competitions, but were knocked out in their first tie by Serbian side Red Star 7–1 on aggregate in the second qualifying round of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup, with Srdan Pecelj scoring Inter's only European goal to date. Inter's success between 2002 and 2005 was largely helped by players who were loaned from Croatian powerhouse Dinamo Zagreb (such as Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka and Eduardo), so Inter's fortunes changed again once again after they were recalled to Dinamo. They slipped down to second level again in 2006, but managed to win promotion immediately in the 2006–07 season. The following years were a struggle and the main goal was to preserve Prva HNL status except in 2010–11 when the club surprisingly finished 5th overall. In 2013, they slipped down, for the third time in their history, to Druga HNL. As of 2015–16 season they play in Prva HNL again.

Name changes

  • NK Sava (1929–1932)
  • HSK Jelacic (1932–1945)
  • NK Zapresic (1945–1962)
  • NK Jugokeramika (1962–1991)
  • NK Inker Zapresic (1991–2003)
  • NK Inter Zapresic (2003–present)
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This page also has a version in other languages:  Интер (Запрешич) (русский)

Inter Zapresic