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Tapiray no. 49 - Nesna I.L. (Norway)

One of the most obscure teams ever to feature in TAPIRAY, Nesna I.L. are a northern Norwegian amateur side. The town of Nesna is a fishing and farming community with a small college, the 1913 inhabitants share the 202 square kilometers municipality close by the polar circle.

The team was founded in 1931, and in the eighties they played in the depths of the 5th and 6th divisions, but since 1995 they have been a fixture the 3rd division, that is the 4th division from the top, Helgeland and Salten district (HeSa).

Thanks to: Knut A. Berg

Tapiray no. 50 - Göztepe GK (Turkey)

Goztepe in action from 2004 (L) and 2006 (R)

Göztepe are a club from the city of Izmir, the third biggest city in Turkey where they have a massive rivalry with Karsiyaka SK. It really is a city divided, and although both clubs play their home matches in the 16,000 capacity Alsancak Stadium, their rivalry is so fierce that their derby matches have to be moved to the Atatürk Stadium (built for the 1971 Meditterranean Games). The 67,500+ capacity crowd that watched their derby game there in 1981 is still a world record for a Second Division league match.

Founded in 1925 their hey-day was in the late 60's when they were the first Turkish side to reach a semi-final in a European Club Competition (losing out to Ujpest Budapest in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in season 68/69) and the following season Roma knocked them out of the competition at the quarter-final stage. They also won the Turkish Cup in 1969 & 1970.

Those days are little more than a distant memory, as although they've spent much of their history in the second tier of Turkish football, they are currently in the doldrums down in the Third League, which is three below the top flight, following THREE consecutive relegations from the Turkcell Super League in 2003 - and we thought it was a hard life following Thistle!

Links: Official website, Supporters Website

Thanks to: Knut A. Berg and Niall MacTaggart

Tapiray no. 51 - New England Tea Men (USA)

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Like fellow US side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (TAPIRAY No.10), the New England Tea Men are no longer in existence. They played in the long-since-defunct North American Soccer League from 1978 to 1980 in Foxboro, Massachusetts (near Boston) and were founded by the Lipton Tea company.

Their first year saw home attendance averaging 12,000 per game and they won their conference, losing the overall championship 1-3 to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Top scorer and star player Mike Flanagan left after the inaugural season, and so did the fans. The Tea Men were league bottom dwellers for the next two years and attendances halved. They were then moved to Jacksonville in Florida, keeping the Tea Men name despite it having nothing to do with Florida, and were shut down along with the league in 1984.

Written by Andrew J. Lyons

Tapiray no. 52 - US Poggibonsi (Italy)

2003 squad

Poggibonsi is a town of about 10,000 people just outside Florence in Tuscany. Apparently it's a picturesque ancient town blighted by modern industrialisation, as is the case all over the world it seems. The football club, was formed in 1925 and they play in the 3600 capacity "Stefano Lotti" stadium.

Previously known as Poggibonsi Valdesa and nicknamed Leoni (Lions) or Giallorossi (Yellow-Reds), they are a lower league Italian side who, in 2003, were demoted from the professional leagues (they were in the Italian 4th division, Serie C2, at the time) because of financial problems. However, they have since worked their way back up through the non-league ranks are now back in Serie C2B, and in 2006/07, their first season back in C2, finished a point clear of the relegation places.

Links: Official site

Provided by Scott Torrance