Pafos FC’s pursuit of success has gained momentum in recent months, and they should now be taken extremely seriously.

Henning Berg’s departure in April 2023 caused a stir, given that many saw him as the one to lead the club to silverware, especially after his title victory at Omonoia Nicosia, the club’s first in over a decade.

Berg’s appointment at Pafos was logical. He was well-versed in the league, understood the culture, boasted top level experience, and could handle intense pressure. However, Pafos differed from clubs like Omonoia Nicosia, APOEL, Apollon, or Anorthosis, which have large fan bases and high expectations. Nevertheless, Pafos possess financial resources that few clubs in Cyprus can match, yet, akin to their rivals, they had a history of questionable managerial dismissals.

Despite the reported €2 million investment in Croatian goalkeeper Ivica Ivusic, which seemed to signal the club’s ambition, the 2022-2023 season concluded disappointingly with Pafos FC failing to secure a European spot.

Following their elimination from the Cypriot cup at the semi final stage, interim coach Michel Salgado resigned. He was succeeded by fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Carcedo, who had previously served as Unai Emery’s assistant at Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal.

Pafos started the season impressively, securing 9 victories in their first 13 matches while netting 26 goals and conceding only 4. However, a downturn followed with 3 losses in the subsequent 5 games, prompting doubts about Carcedo’s future as head coach.

Credit goes to the club for maintaining faith in the Spaniard. Subsequently, they have progressed to the Cyprus Cup final for the first time ever and still have an outside shot at clinching third place in the league.

Beyond the field, Pafos demonstrates remarkable strategic initiatives. Its social media engagement and marketing strategies consistently impress, reflected in the accelerated growth of followers and engagement. These efforts culminated in the club’s nomination for the “Best Fan Engagement By A Club” at the 2024 Football Business Awards. Furthermore, Pafos has garnered acclaim for its merchandising campaign “Growing Together,” earning the club another nomination for the Football Technology Award.

In March, Pafos hosted the Total Sport Summit, a two-day networking event featuring esteemed guest speakers such as Marcos Motta, Fabio Cannavaro, and Sevilla’s Sporting Director, Victor Orta. Former Pafos and Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon and Brentford coach Neil MacFarlane were also in attendance.

This month, Pafos made waves in the Cypriot league by announcing ground breaking partnerships with Watford and Sevilla. These collaborations involve player and staff exchanges between Pafos and the two clubs, as well as potential business ventures on the horizon. The strong connections among Pafos’ personnel are evident, with Sporting Director Cristiano Giaretta having held similar roles at Watford, CSKA Sofia, and Udinese, and Chief Scout Rodolfo Vaz boasting four years of experience at Benfica.

The partnership with Watford has commenced, with Pafos’ U19 top scorer Glebs Patika set to join the Hornets in the upcoming summer. Patika’s impressive tally of 25 goals played a pivotal role in Pafos’ securing their second consecutive U19 title victory. They finished the season a remarkable 20 points ahead of second placed APOEL, netting 98 goals and suffering only one defeat.

The club’s announcement of plans to transform the Stelios Kyriakidis Stadium into an 8,000 seat venue, coupled with a 3,000 seat indoor arena for various sports, marks a significant leap forward for Pafos in their quest to establish dominance in the Cypriot league. Securing victory in the cup in May would undoubtedly expedite their goals and aspirations.