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Tapiray no. 77 - Guinea (International)

Goal celebration from a game in 2008

The Guinean football team is the national side of the Republic of Guinea, a former French African colony on the north west coast of Africa. Nicknamed the 'Syli Nationale', Guinea have been a fairly strong force in African football in the past, and were beaten finalists in the African Nations Cup in 1976, but it's only since the late 1990's that they've begun to rediscover their credentials.

They reached the quarter-finals of the last three African Nations Cup competitions, with the formidable Ivory Coast blocking their route to the semi-finals in 2008, but despite this impressive form, they are still chasing qualification for their first ever FIFA World Cup.

Their most famous player in recent history is striker Titi Camara, who had spells at Liverpool, West Ham, RC Lens and Marseille, and is widely regarded as a key player in Guinea's return to form. More well known in Scotland is Celtic defender Bobo Balde, while veteran left-back Mo Camara has recently signed for St Mirren.

Links: none

Suggested by: Adam Lockyer.

Tapiray no. 78 - Kayserispor (Turkey)

Players celebrate (2008)

Kayserispor are a Turkish top flight club from the city of Kayseri in central Turkey. Founded in the mid 60's as Kayseri Emniyetspor, they've undergone various name and colour changes in their relatively short history. Somewhat confusingly, they also swapped names with another football club from the same area in 2004 to become Kayserispor, while the existing Kayserispor changed its name to Kayseri Erciyesspor.

They won promotion to the Turkish Süper Lig for the first time in 2005, and have exceeded expectations by finishing fifth three years in a row. They also progressed through the Inter-Toto Cup in 2006 to reach the UEFA Cup (the first Turkish team to qualify this way), and they defeated KF Tirana in qualifying before eventually losing out to AZ Alkmaar in the first round proper.

In season 2008/09 they qualified for the first round of the UEFA Cup thanks to winning the Turkish Cup for the first time in their history, only to narrowly lose 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain. But the cup win and their third season in Europe in only four years of top flight football has made them a force to be reckoned with in Turkish football in a short space of time, and in 2009 they will move into a new 32,000 seater stadium to give them a home to match their new-found success.

Links: Official site (Turkish)

Suggested by: Graeme Lauchlan, Martin De Cecco & Adam Lockyer.

Tapiray no. 79 - Pro Castel di Sangro (Italy)

2007/08 squad

Castel di Sangro are a lower league Italian side from the small town of the same name (population 5500) that famously had a book written about their improbable rise from the lower reaches of Italian football to Serie B, 'The Miracle of Castel di Sangro'. Founded in the 1950's they reached the dizzy heights of the professional ranks of Serie C2 in 1989, which was a feat in itself for a team from such a small town. And, although they generally struggled to stay at this level, in 1994 the miracle started to happen.

They astonishingly won consecutive promotions to reach Serie B in 1996, and the miracle continued as they managed to survive one season in Italy's Second Division, beating teams like Genoa, Torino and Lecce during the campaign. However, it was a tumultuous season which took it's toll and the following year they finished bottom and since then have fallen back to Serie C2 before having their league status cancelled in 2005.

The club has been re-established as Pro Castel Di Sangro and have already won promotion once and currently play in the 6th tier of Italian Football, the regional Eccellenza Abruzzo.

Links: None

Suggested by: Martin De Cecco & Adam Lockyer.

Tapiray no. 80 - Progreso (Uruguay)

2008 squad

Progreso, or to give them their full title, Club Atlético Progreso, are a Uruguayan team from the country's capital city, Montevideo. They play in the Second Division, 'Segunda División', which they've won three times in their history, and although they have also spent time down in the third division, they do also have a Primera División title to their name, and have twice been one of Uruguay's representatives in the Copa Libertadores.

However, they are very much in the shadow of Montevideo's two more successful clubs, Peñarol and Nacional, who have over 60 league titles between them and are the best supported sides in the country, indeed it's sometimes argued that the entire country is divided into two in their support of these two teams.

Links: Official site (Spanish)

Suggested by: Knut A. Berg.