Nogometni klub Osijek (English: Osijek Football Club), commonly referred to as NK Osijek or simply Osijek, is a Croatian professional football club from Osijek. They play in the Prva HNL, Croatia’s first division professional football league.
NK Osijek Youth Development System
THE YEAR OF ITS FOUNDATION IS CONSIDERED TO BE 1982 , WHEN THE LEGENDARY ANDRIJA VEKIĆ, AS AN IDEA OF CREATING HIS OWN PLAYERS AND COACHES, ORGANIZED AND FOUNDED THE YOUTH SCHOOL IN THE CITY GARDEN. IT HAS GRADUALLY GROWN INTO A RECOGNIZABLE FOOTBALL SCHOOL OF NK OSIJEK, WHICH HAS ITS OWN REPUTATION AND RATING FAR BEYOND SLAVONIA AND BARANJA, AND EVEN BEYOND THE BORDERS OF OUR HOMELAND.
Quality and systematic work has produced top football players such as Croatian national team players Davor Šuker, Goran Vlaović, Robert Špehar, Igor Cvitanović, Nenad Bjelica, Tomislav Rukavina, Petar Krpan, Jurica Vranješ, Marko Babić, Danijel Pranjić, Domagoj Vida, Borna Barišić…
It is worth mentioning many more who have had a beautiful and successful playing career, such as: Miroslav Žitnjak, Alen Petrović, Miroslav Bičanić, Ilica Perić, Ivica Kulešević, Saša Mišković, Dragan Vukoja, Stijepan Vranješ, Davor Rupnik, Damir Vuica, Davor Bajsic, Zoran Zekic, Ronald Grnja, Josip Balatinac, Mario Galinovic, Kresimir Brkic, Milan Pavlicic, Tomislav Mikulic, Goran Ljubojevic, Marko Dinjar, Karlo Primorac, Marin Skender, Josip Milardovic, Valentin Babic, Ivo Smoje, Milan Pavlicic, Aljosa Vojnovic, Josip Mišić, Josip Barišić, Tomislav Šorša, Josip Knežević, Vedran Nikšić, Vedran Jugović, Marko Lešković, Mile Škorić, Dino Perić, Mihael Žaper, Boško Šutalo … and many others …
The first trophy in the junior categories was won during the former Yugoslavia, when in 1988 the juniors convincingly celebrated in the Cup, whose finals were played in Belgrade. At the time of Croatian independence, we especially emphasize the year 2006, when the junior team, led by Goran Popović, won a double crown (Championship and Cup) as well as in 2019, when our pioneers, cadets and juniors became Cup winners. No club in the state had previously managed to win a trophy in that competition in all three categories in the same season.
NK Osijek Football School History
THE NK OSIJEK FOOTBALL SCHOOL GATHERS CERTAINLY THE MOST TALENTED YOUNG PLAYERS FROM THE AREA OF SLAVONIA AND BARANJA, BUT ALSO MUCH WIDER.
Talented boys and the slightly older ones come to the City Garden, and this selective process is current throughout the calendar year. In Osijek, promising football players from the surrounding countries are also looking for an opportunity to prove themselves, closely followed by people from club scouting. As far as the structure itself is concerned, there are 13 active categories in the School. These are: juniors, juniors II, cadets, cadets II, pioneers, pioneers II, pioneers III, younger pioneers, younger pioneers II, beginners, beginners II, pre-beginners and pre-beginners II. NK Osijek also has its own Open School, which consists of students of different ages, who do not primarily want to take sports seriously one day, but love it and practice it with socializing.
The goals of those in the competitive drive have always been and remain the same. Priority is given to the quality selection process, starting from the youngest to those who are slowly knocking on the door of the senior team. The development cycle is, therefore, the most important, which does not mean that placements and results are not important because children best acquire a winning mentality – success on the green. As far as the professional staff is concerned, more than 20 mostly young coaches are engaged in this segment of the Club, who must also take care of their training, ie taking the exams for obtaining licenses. NK Osijek, of course, has its scouts who regularly watch numerous matches and tournaments and propose to the sports sector to bring those young players who stand out in other areas, and are willing, with the consent of their parents, to come among the White and Blues. At the same time, their club
The best pioneers, cadets and juniors have the opportunity to prove themselves at the state level, as they play in the HNL for youth, in competition with the best football schools in Croatia. The others play in the I and II Quality League of Slavonia and Baranja. Working conditions, especially in terms of terrain, will be raised to the highest level with the construction of the Camp on the Pampas, and it is planned that this will be in the spring of 2021.
NK Osijek Recruitment Trials
At the time of this writing, there is no official publishing’s on NK Osijek trials. Please come back at a later date while we monitor this club or click here to visit their official news section.
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NK Osijek History
NK Udarnik, the forerunner of NK Osijek, was established on February 27, 1945, following in the tradition of the disbanded JK Slavija Osijek. JK Slavija Osijek was established in 1916 and participated in the first Yugoslav League on seven separate occasions between 1923 and 1941. Already in 1946, the club merges with another organization called Jedinstvo, and as a result, it becomes known as NK Slavonija.
Conventionally, the date that NK Slavonija and Nk Bratstvo merged to establish FK Proleter on February 27, 1947 is believed to be the club’s birthday. However, some people consider this date to be the actual birthday of the club. The first game ever played under that moniker took place on March 16 of that year, and it was a victory for Proleter over their rivals in the city, Mladost, by a score of five goals to none. The Osjeko Okruno Prvenstvo was the inaugural competition that the club took part in, and it did so alongside four other clubs. Shortly after that, the club was promoted to the second national division.
After claiming victory in what was then known as the Croato-Slovenian League in 1953, Proleter was promoted to the top level of the Yugoslav First League. The top players from that side were Andrija Vekić, Franjo Rupnik, Dionizije Dvornić and Franjo Majer. After competing in the First League for three consecutive seasons, the Proleter football club was demoted to the second level. NK Osijek advanced to the next round of the UEFA Cup by defeating Brndby 2–1 (2–1, 0–0) and Rapid Wien 4–1 (2–1, 2–0). Osijek won the third round match against Slavia Prague at home, 2–0, but they were defeated 5–1 in Prague.
Once again, Osijek came in third place overall in the league. Osijek advanced further in the UEFA Cup 2001–02 after beating Dinaburg on away goals and Gorica in the first round, but they were eliminated by AEK Athens in the second round with a score of 3–5. Pehar scored 18 goals for Osijek in the 2003–2004 season of the HNL, and Goran Ljubojevic scored 16 goals for the club during that same season. Pehar and Ljubojevic were Osijek’s first and second leading goal scorers, respectively.
After that, the club went through a protracted stretch of finishing in the middle of the table and producing unremarkable results. During the 2013–14 season, NK Osijek was dangerously close to being demoted. On the final match day, Josip Barišić managed to score and kept Osijek afloat against Hrvatski dragovoljac. During the course of the season, Osijek went through four different head coaches.
The season after that, Osijek once again finished one position above the relegation play-off berth, this time finishing ahead of Istra 1961 by one point. In September 2015, Zoran Zeki took over as the head coach of the first team after Draen Besek was let go from his position. Osijek entered into private ownership for the first time in its history in February of 2016, when the club was on the verge of going bankrupt. The Hungarian magnate Lrinc Mészáros and the Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Metrovi bought the majority of the club’s shares. The two individuals set towards restoring ambition to the city as well as the supporters and the community at large while also enhancing the club’s roster.
The majority of the debt was reorganized and paid off, which ensured Osijek’s financial stability both in the short term and the long term. At the theater in Osijek on February 27, 2017, the club celebrated its seventieth anniversary with a party. Osijek had its best finish in the league in over ten years as they came in fourth place during the 2016–17 campaign. Osijek was able to compete in the qualifying phase of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League because they finished in fourth position.
The club had an extraordinarily successful run to the play-off round, overcoming Santa Coloma, Luzern, and PSV, who were the past champions of Europe and won the 1987–88 edition. The club’s journey came to an end after they suffered a loss at home to Austria Wien by a score of 1–2, and despite the fact that they won the second leg by a score of 1–0, Osijek were eliminated because of the away goals rule. Osijek received a lot of praise and congratulations from the Croatian press, fans, and media for their historic run, despite the fact that they were eliminated.
Osijek once again finished in fourth position, which qualified them for the UEFA competition during the 2017–18 season. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg of the match in Moldova, Osijek defeated Petrocub Hincești by a score of 2–1 at home to advance to the second qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League and face Rangers. Osijek was defeated at home by a score of 1-0.
Ivica Kuleevic was relieved of his duties as manager of Osijek after the club’s dismal start to the 2020–21 campaign, in which Osijek failed to earn a single point through the first three matches of the season. On September 5, 2020, Osijek announced that Nenad Bjelica will be taking over as the club’s next manager.
The private investment fund BETA took over Lrinc Mészáros’s shares in NK OS d.o.o., and on September 9, 2020, it was stated that Lrinc Mészáros was no longer the formal co-owner of the club. This change took effect immediately. The reason for this was due to the fact that Mészáros was also the owner of Puskás Akadémia FC, and the rules of UEFA stated that two clubs owned by the same individual were not permitted to compete in European championships even if both clubs had qualified for the tournament.
NK Osijek Stadium
Gradski vrt is the venue for all of NK Osijek’s home games; the club’s inaugural match took place there on September 7, 1958, when they faced off against Sloboda. 1980 was the year that marked its formal debut. 1979 was the year that saw the creation of the current layout.
The construction of the upper western tribune has not yet been completed. At this time, there are 18,856 seats available for spectators, with 980 of those spots reserved for standing audiences. Osijek used to play their games on a pitch that was located adjacent to the river Drava before the club moved their games to Gradski vrt.
Ivan Metrovi, the president of NK Osijek, revealed the stadium renovation plans for the new Pampas Stadium in April of 2018. As part of the new NK Osijek training center, a brand-new stadium that has the latest in technological advancements will be constructed in the Pampas neighborhood of Osijek. The new stadium will have a capacity of 12,000 people, and there will be roofs over each of the seats.
The stadium is scheduled to be completed in June of 2021 and will have a UEFA category four rating. During the time that the new stadium is being built, NK Osijek’s home matches will be played at the Gradski vrt stadium, which will eventually become the primary venue for matches involving the NK Osijek B team.