GGOA has in recent weeks been in touch with fans of NK Rudar Trbovlje, a team playing in the Ljubljana section of the fourth division in the Slovenian league. Rudar is the home town club of Ardija's striker Klemen Lavric, who took his first steps as a footballer with them at the age of ten in 1991. He went on to play several matches for the first team, scoring a number of goals at a time when Rudar were a second division side.
NK Rudar Trbovlje were formed in 1922 and in the 80s reached the second division of the league in what was at that time federal Yugoslavia, having on three occasions been local champions in Slovenia. The club's decline began in 1992 when they were relegated out of the Slovenian first division and they have since 2002 been playing in Division 4.
As well as Klemen, Rudar is also the home club of fellow international Miso Brecko and they have a reputation for bringing on young players, with over 150 youngsters currently on their books. Over the winter the club redeveloped their ground, Stadion Rudar, which has a capacity of 2000 (1100 seats) and they are aiming for promotion to the third division in the forthcoming season.
They have a new stadium, too
Rudar's predecessor club, ŠK Zora
Klemen Lavric in 1991/2, in the middle of the back row
With thanks to Tito at NK Rudar Trbovlje.si for his help in providing information and for permission to reproduce the photos that accompany this article.