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Doxa punch above their weight

Published: Friday 16 November 2007, 17.23CET
Part of their name may translate as 'popular belief' in Greek, but the recent success of Doxa Katokopia FC has conversely confounded expectations in Cyprus.
by John Leonidou

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Published: Friday 16 November 2007, 17.23CET

Doxa punch above their weight

Part of their name may translate as 'popular belief' in Greek, but the recent success of Doxa Katokopia FC has conversely confounded expectations in Cyprus.

Doxa Katokopia FC's start to the season has even surprised captain Kyriakos Polycarpou, as the Cypriot minnows continue to defy the odds in Division A.

Surprise package
When Doxa finished third in the second division last season to gain promotion to the top flight, few believed the team would have any hope of competing against clubs boasting a budget up to six times that of Doxa's. But Pambos Christodoulou's side continue to surprise and lie eighth after nine matches, having already upset title-chasing AC Omonia.

Exceeding expectations
"To be honest, I didn't expect us to be where we are in the league table or to have the start that we have had," Polycarpou told uefa.com. "Our target at the start of the season was just to avoid relegation but our recent form has just gone to show what a fantastic job our coach has done. We don't have the same budget as other teams so to do this well is great for the club."

Finances
With an annual budget of around €600,000 and average attendances of 300 at the Makarios Athletic Centre, Doxa's finances are insignificant compared to those of many clubs. But despite the limited funds, a team mentality is fostering within the side's multinational squad which features two Brazilians, two Portuguese, three Greeks and a Belgian. "The coach brought in 13 new players who have turned out to be great signings, said Polycarpou. "The board have also done a good job of keeping the players happy and that is why we have such a food feeling within the squad."

'Proud' captain
Doxa means 'popular belief' in Greek though - a member of the side for six seasons - Polycarpou knows more than most just how much the club's recent success have confounded expectations. "It makes me particularly proud to be captain of the team and to see the team do so well considering some of the opposition in the league," he said. "Our target for this season remains survival. If we avoid the drop then we will have achieved something that many thought we couldn't."

Last updated: 16/11/07 19.23CET

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