Saturday, January 25, 2014

Yugoslavia, a bit in limbo – the new generation was not fully asserted. The cost was missing the World Cup finals and not entirely convincing clubs, but Crvena zvezda was almost ready for a big leap and Dinamo (Zagreb) was rapidly recovering the lost ground in the early years of the decade. Fairly competitive season, not unusual for this talented country, but parity existed mainly bellow 4th place. Some up, others down, may be not an exceptional season, yet, fairly interesting.

Second division football remained a local affair as everywhere, and it should be mentioned for two reasons only. The first is typical – clubs often playing top level football were now merely hoping to return to it. The bulk consisted of unknown outside Yugoslavia teams which rarely or never appeared in the premier league. The second reason was the strange rules, if such existed, about shirt sponsorship. The picture changed almost every year, some clubs displaying adds on their shirts, some not. But it was not necessarily the top clubs – often they had no sponsors, but clubs from second and third divisions had. Even some playing lower levels, which questions even consistent practices in different republics of the federation. Looked like clubs from Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina more often displayed sponsor's names, than those from Serbia and Croatia, but every year was different.
Sutjeska (Niksic), from Montenegro, had plain shirts.

Teteks (Tetovo), Macedonia, had shirt adds, however faint.

Still, not every Macedonian club used adds – Podeda (Prilep) had none. Standing from left: Ivan Mechev, Tode Todoroski, Laze Petreski, Vancho Drvosanov, Stevan Glusheski, Blagoj Mitev.

Crouching: Goce Maneski, Stojan Arsov, Risto Gligoroski, Jove Magdeski, Rubin Gjorgjioski.

Maribor, from Slovenia, used no adds too. Standing, from left: Simeunović, Đurić, Arnejčič, Samardžija, Karmel, Petrič, Fatur,
First row: Pirc, Horjak, Glišić, Prosen, Miljković

Neither Proleter (Zrenjanin), another club from Montenegro, which finished second in the Western Second Division.

Standing, from left: Dubljević, Šarenac, Glišin, Dimitrić, Zorić, Kosnić.

First row: Ivančević, Mišić, Tošić, Lukač, Škorić.

Proleter came close to promotion to the first league, where they played before, but lost to Zeljeznicar (Sarajevo). For the well known clubs from the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina the brief spell in second division ended – they were coming back to their usual league. No adds on their shirts either and a huge relief for the fans of perhaps the most popular Bosnian club.

Standing, from left: Ivan Radic, Hajrudin Durbuzovic, Ibro (Esad?) Ibrahimovic, Suad Karalic, Vlade Spasojevic, Nedim Dautovic, Zoran Culjak, Vlado Komsic, Rade Paprica, Ivo Cvitanulic (?), Josip Cilic, Mladen Maric.

Sitting: Dragan (Dragomir?) Vlaski, Milomir Odovic, Anto Zecevic, Nedzad Omerhodzic, Dragan (Dragoljub?) Galonja, Ranko Dordic, Milko Paunic, Ivan Lusic, Slobodan Kojovic.

Confusing names, but almost the same squad which was relegated the previous season. Now they were going up, meaning they were not all that weak after all. Not a single big star here, naturally.

The Eastern Second Division was won by another former member of first division, however, much more modest and younger club than Zeljeznicar – Napredak (Krusevac).

One of the clubs found after Tito's Communists took hold of Yugoslavia – in 1946. The name means roughly 'Progress', but there was no way a provincial Serbian club to be really true to its name in the presence of big Belgrade and Novi Sad clubs. Unless 'progress' meant climbing up to top flight.

No adds on the shirts and no impressive players. Unlike Zeljeznicar, expected to stay in First Division, the fate of Napredak was pretty much trying to survive.