Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pirin (named after the mountain) hails from Razlog, a small town, bringing bottom football up a notch. In 1973 they played in the same 4th Division with Sokol (Zheleznitza), but they represent a fine difference: village clubs hardly ever consider promotion. Small towns are more serious – having some money, they resemble normal football club. There are some constant players, there is some training, and there may be some ambition. Usually, they are much better than the village rabble and less violent. They face less violence too, for they are not immediate longstanding enemy. As a rule, small town clubs do not last very long in a county division – unless they are very short on cash, they tend to go up. And Pirin is not typical 4th Division club – their normal habitat is 3rd Division. They even played in the Second Division – once! Currently they are in the middle of the tough 20-team strong South-Western 3rd Division.

Posing in 1973, when 3rd Division was a dream, and Sokol (Zheleznitza) – the gruesome reality. Well, if one manages to escape the village clubs, one goes out of one’s way not to return to the murderous realm. Which makes 3rd Division pretty vicious environment. Wise small town clubs stay in 3rd – the stupidest mistake is to get big ideas and move to the 2nd Division: money dry up immediately, and the club plummets straight to the barbaric villages.