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History of the Team
FROM A.O.X. TO SKODA XANTHI FC
Our story begins in 1967.
In Xanthi, the frontier city of Thrace, there are 2 teams known all over Greece, Aspida and Orfeas. Aspida was founded in 1922 and Orfeas 19 years earlier in 1903. It is normal, when two big teams of one city to play in the Stadium, too many fans to watch the match, since everybody wanted to watch the match live. The fights, always in the field, were legendary and the eldest remember that very well. The needs of that time, the change in the mentality of the administration of the clubs and the fact that the city of Xanthi should be representing from one strong team, capable to lead all over Greece, were the reasons of the birth of A.O.X., in 1967.
The re-organization of the Divisions was the reason that the new born club did not play in local amateur categories, but in B’ Division, which at that time, was separated in Groups. The beginning was hard, as expected, since there were plenty of difficulties, but the love of people for the city and football was enough, so they were able to come through. The first season 1967-1968 A.O.X. finishes in 15th place of the classification, with 24 points 46-59 goals and Antonis Antoniadis scoring the 24 of them. Normally the club should be degraded but the re-organization of football in Greece, keeps it in B’ Division. Next season Antoniadis leaves for Athens, but the club ends-up in 14th place with goals 36-61 and with Patiniotis to participate to all matches (34).
For many years A.O.X. was in B’ Division, 18 years actually, with the team ending –up in the middle places of classification. Without managing to clime high to the rank , A.O.X. was earning the respect of the opponents, since the team fought hard from the first until the last moment of the match.
During these years a lot of players played for A.O.X. as, Tsagalidis, Patiniotis, Lemonidis, Fotidis, Diamandis, Chaitidis, Fragakis, Barbalexis, Neochoritis, Tsouganatos, Kousis, Theodoridis, Georgakopoulos, Doumbas, Moumtzidis, Chatzitheodosiou, Kotzamanis, Navrozidis, Kiriklidis, Vasiliadis, Giannopoulos, Lambridis, Tourgai, Orchan, Bertos, Archondakis, Chatzomestis, Chatziefremidis, Tsetines, Panidis, Psomas, Nemzi, Soumbekas, Fotiou, Manoukos, Xanthopoulos, Ladopoulos, ane even more, who contributed a lot, so that A.O.X. could be one of the best teams in Greece.
DEGRADATION AND RETURN
The season 1984-1985 comes the degradation to the C’ Division, although this season there were dreams for qualification to A’ Division. Things turned out bad, and A.O.X. played in C’ Division for one year, but it came back stronger. This season the coach Yiannis Yiakoumis left unexpectedly to teach football away from Xanthi.
"THERE – THERE IN A’ DIVISION"
The season 1988-1989 the dream comes true. The time for celebration came, since A.O.X. finally took the ticket for A’ Division. The team of Xanthi entered to the top League determined to be established and stay there. The first place in the classification and the winning of B’ Division’s Championship took place rather easy, since A.O.X. made an extraordinary 2nd round, with Achilleas Adamopoulos being declared as top scorer with 30 goals. In the chart of scorers was also Vasilis Chatzopoulos with 12 goals.
People say that every beginning is hard and it was normal for A.O.X to have a hard time in its first season in A’ Division in 1989 – 1990, but finally it managed to stay there, ending-up in 11th place. Marcelo and Sandro were the first foreigners and every time they scored, Brazilian songs were heard from the Stadium’s speakers. Things did not come easy and the next season, but finally the team managed to stay in A’ Division in the last game. At the same time the club faced financial problems. This was a matter that urgently needed to be solved. It was necessary, a long term and credible solution to be found. And a “golden” solution was found.
THE “GOLDEN” SOLUTION
For the first time in the history of Greek football, a big company, took completely over the responsibilities of the club. Sponsor…. A new chapter not only for Xanthi, but for Greek sports in general, since they heard for sponsors in Europe, but they never saw something similar to happen in Greece. The company VIAMAR S .A. was a pioneer and took over the club. Now, there was no longer only Xanthi, but SKODA XANTHI FC. The historical agreement was signed on 10.10.1991 and a new page opened for the club. The results of this, innovate agreement for Greek football, were obvious pretty soon. The incoming of money in the club was more than refreshing. The financial problem was solved and the upward development started.
ONE LEVEL HIGHER
There was an excellent organization and great player’s transfers were done, since there were available money and this started to give good results. The season 1992-1993 SKODA XANTHI FC ended-up in the 8th place of the A’ Division’s ranking, having a remarkable course in the Championship. It was established in the conscious of fans as a great province club, as well as, a steady upcoming power in the Greek football.
At the same time, big clubs showed great interest for young players of SKODA XANTHI, who had a great talent.
Marinos Ouzounidis was transferred in PANATHINAIKOS FC in 1992, Nikos Kostenoglou in AEK FC in 1994, Christos Maladenis in 1995 and Triandafillos Macheridis in 1996 in AEK FC also, Zisis Vrizas in 1997 in PAOK FC. Suddenly everybody wanted to transfer a player from SKODA XANTHI. Kelvin Sebwe was transferred in AEK FC in 1998, Paraskevas Antzas and Luciano De Souza in OLYMPIAKOS FC in 1998 and Akis Zikos in AEK FC. In 1999 Stelios Venetidis was transferred in PAOK FC , Christos Patsatzoglou in OLYMPIAKOS FC and many more the years that followed.
ESTABLISHMENT AND DISTINCTION
The team being in a new level ,followed a great course, that a lot envied and plenty started to imitate. It’s “oxygen” VIAMAR S.A. is the best omen for the days that follow. Besides, the good course of the team during the last years, is not accidently. SKODA XANTHI FC was established in the 10 best Greek teams and the best place ever that ended-up was the 5th , in the season 2001-2002, when it achieved a great target , the participation to UEFA Cup, having as coach Nikos Karageorgiou.
Further that the good course in Championship, the team almost achieved to play in Final Greek Cup, but it lost from AEK FC in the semi-final. A few years later, SKODA XANTHI goes even higher and in the season 2004-2005 ends-up in 4rth place in Championship and reaches to the semi-final of the Greek Cup, but it’s eliminated from ARIS FC.
On 19.09.2002 SKODA XANTHI plays for the first time in its history in a European match. In Olympico in Rome , plays against Lacio and for the first half almost be ahead of its opponent with a shot of Ba. But in the second half could not resist the pressure of Lacio and lost with 4-0. The re-match in Xanthi ended with a draw 0-0.
Soon though, SKODA XANTHI returned in UEFA Cup for 2 more times. The seasons 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 ends-up 4rth and 5th respectively, having as a coach Yiannis Matzourakis. After Lacio in 2002, comes English Middlesbrought in 2005 against which makes a great appearance in England, but English team qualifies with score 2-0. Next year , in 2006 plays against Romanian Dinamo Bucharest, which has a winning serie of 11 continuously matches. Diego Quintana is the one who scores the first goal in Europe in the history of SKODA XANTHI, just a little bit before 10’. The rest of the game doesn’t go as the beginning, as Romanians win 3-4 in Xanthi and 4-1 at home and it is them, that qualify in UEFA Cup.