Sunday’s stream against 1FC Kaiserslautern

Moinsen!!

Sorry we’ve been away for a while, but we just wanted to quickly tell you about this Sunday’s (30th Nov) stream against the Red Devils, 1FC Kaiserlautern. We are hoping for a big turnout to show defiance that supporting FC St Pauli is about much more than results on the pitch (Gott sei dank!). This Sunday Mick YSP is organising a scarf donation for the besieged people of Kobane as winter closes in. So if you have any spare scarves – maybe an old English footy scarf of a team you used to support before you found the Magical FC – or any old scarf, they would be appreciated. Any larger items of warm clothing are welcome too and will be donated to PAFRAS, helping destitute
refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire. Before the game we will hold the scarves aloft with pride as our team enters the field, then donate to a great cause. So get yersens down to Wharf Chambers in Leeds at 3pm this Sunday! Hope to see you there! St Pauli is the only option! (Rob)

Matchday 07: FC Sankt Pauli – Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0!

Originally posted on FCSP Athens South End Scum:

That’s better :-)

pauli_braunschweig_1415_01

The Boys in Brown (wearing white tonight actually) left us speechless for a second consecutive week. On Friday we watched in silent pain an FCSP out of our worst nightmares becoming a toy at the hands of, pointless until then, Erzgebirge Aue. Tonight, only 4 days later, we (I, at least) watched stunned a completely changed team getting a well deserved victory over the theoretical favorites, Eintracht Braunschweig (who are slowly but steady becoming one of our most loyal Millerntor customers!). No spectacular high class football, actually more like a constant retreat during the 2nd half but performed by a squad disciplined, focused and… somehow solid at the back :-) Don’t ask too much, these look more than enough for the moment :-)

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Upcoming Screenings

After YSP’s jaunt to Hamburg this weekend without me (!)  and a run of fixtures that make streaming impossible, I’m pleased to announce the next set of Yorkshire St. Pauli screenings are at our home, Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club in Leeds. We’ve decided to go old school and kick off on Saturday afternoons at 3pm!

Saturday 4 Oct FCSP v 1FC Union Berlin (“we’ll beat the fakking onion”)
Saturday 25 October v Karlsruher SC (erm, not much I can say about Karlsruhe)
Saturday 8 November v 1FC Heidenheim (1FC? The first football club of Heidenheim? Is there any other club in Heidenheim? Actually, where in blinking ‘ell is Heidenheim?!)

I have consulted the official Yorkshire constitution and the Bundesverfassungsgericht (ah yes, Karlsruhe!) and I can confirm that we will endeavour to have as much fun at the streams as is legally allowed in Yorkshire. If you think a ‘who can hit a nail into a piece of wood’ competition was the zenith of excitement, you’ve seen nowt yet! More details to follow…

A guide to Bundesliga scheduling.

German football is awesome, but it can also involve spending countless hours refreshing kicker’s Matchkalendar and sounding out various eight-hour Regionalbahn journeys on bahn.de, only to find out your away in Aalen is on a Friday at 6pm. For fans travelling from the UK, this can be even more frustrating and sometimes the only option you’re left with is to give Michael O’Leary’s firm rather more coin than you had planned on doing.

Over the years I’ve been following German football, the DFB and DFL have got better when it comes to announcing kick-off times (believe it or not). I’ve identified a few common patterns that I want to share here to ease the pain of waiting for something you feel is never going to arrive. So here we go:

First things first, organising fixtures and kick-off times is ridiculously complex – obvious things like 1860 and Bayern not being at home on the same weekend are combined with less obvious pairings (like the Mainz-Kaiserslautern-Frankfurt triumvirate, in which only one side can play at home at any given weekend) European competition and completely separate issues like athletics at the Olympiastadion or something.

Season frameworks vary, so this should be seen as a rough guide for the 2. Bundesliga.

The fixtures for the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga are announced at the beginning of the last week in June. For the last few years the dates have been 23 June (2014), 21 June (2013), 22 June (2012), 21 June (2011), so you can be fairly sure of this one.

First up – the final two matchdays of the season in both the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga are already fixed, as every team is required to play at the same time (once at home, once away). So feel free to whip out Skyscanner and stick Aue into Google Maps for that final away match of the season. Joy of joys.

Matchdays 1 and 2 are usually before the first round of the cup, and in most cases the kick-off times are announced by the DFL relatively swiftly after fixtures are announced. This year, this happened one week later on 30 June 2014.

Kick-off times for the first round of the cup then follow, again relatively quickly after MD 1 and 2 have been announced. These are announced by the DFB, though, and there are about a million different potential kick-off times (ideal for a weekend of hopping). In 2014, these were: Friday 6pm & 8pm, Saturday 3:30pm, 6pm and 8:30pm, Sunday 2:30pm, 4pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm and Monday 6:30pm and Monday 8:30pm. It’s important to be aware of that when planning flights, especially those awful Monday 6:30pm ones.

The next major milestone are the draws for the playoff rounds of the Champions League and Europa League, which usually take place at the end of August. The draw for these is in late July, so expect the matchdays directly after this week – as a rule, from the end of August to mid-/late September – to be announced in early August.

Again, the Europa League (and to a lesser extent the Champions League) dictates kick-off times through the autumn. If Mainz 05 were to qualify for the Europa League group stage, that means they play every home match following a Europa League matchday on a Sunday, meaning that Eintracht Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern have to play away, and probably on the Friday and Saturday respectively. The Champions League and Europa League draws usually take place in the final week of August, giving the DFL a clear structure for midweek games through until mid-December. As a result, expect matchdays in October and early/mid-November through until/just after the second round of the cup (midweek, usually in the final week of October around Reformation Day [31 October] and All Saints Day [1 November]) to be announced approximately one week after the Champions League and Europa League draws.

This season (2014/15), the kick-off times for the rest of the matchdays from mid-/late November to Christmas have not been announced with the rest of the autumn fixtures, which is odd, as there don’t appear to be any other variables in autumn that would influence decisions. My guess would be that they are holding fire for TV (Sky/Sport1) to decide which matches are Topspiele and which aren’t. In 2012, the DFL announced kick-off times for all matches through to Christmas in early September. In 2013, the announcement came on 14 October.

Before Christmas, the Champions League and Europe League knockout rounds are drawn so the DFL usually announces the kick-off times from after the winter break (early/mid-February) through to mid-March before Christmas. You can be relatively sure on that.

From now on, a lot depends on when Easter falls. Watch out though: By law, no Bundesliga matches can be held on Good Friday – so all 2. Bundesliga/Bundesliga matches that would normally be played on the Friday evening that weekend take place on the evening of Maundy Thursday. Easter Sunday is fine though, strangely.

As at the start of the season, kick-off times for the rest of the season are dictated by the draws for the Champions League, Europa League and DFB-Pokal. If you are wondering when one particular fixture is going to be announced, my tip would be to check whether there are midweek European matches directly before or after and assume that the kick-off time/date will be announced shortly (usually one week) after the respective draw. As I mentioned earlier, this has been improving over recent years. As a guide, in the 2013/14 season the DFL announced the kick-off times for all remaining matches on 17 March.

David
@valedave

The new face – a familiar one.

 

Training-FC-St
Photo taken from http://www.abendblatt.de/

After the disappointing 3-0 defeat in Fürth on Monday night, it was little shock that the club decided to part company with manager Roland Vrabec after picking up only 4 points in the first 4 games of the season. But the problems with Vrabec went back longer than the  start of this season, with only 4 wins from the 15 games after last season’s winter break.

And yet, Vrabec’s tenure at St. Pauli got off to a fantastic start. He was appointed interim manager following the dismissal of Michael Frontzeck, and won 4 of his opening 5 games as interim boss. By the time St. Pauli faced Karlsruhe ahead of the final weekend before the winter break, the appointment of Vrabec was a mere formality, and the club were talking about the possibility of promotion – such was the impact of Vrabec. In his time as interim manager, the team had looked rejuvenated, exciting and the tactics employed by Vrabec were a key in that. The defeat against Karlsruhe at home just before Christmas was disappointing, but it did nothing to change the club’s mind on Vrabec. The only other blip on his record had been an understandable 3-0 defeat at home to FC. Koln, whose superior quality eventually saw them walk the league.

Away from home during his interim spell, Vrabec had worked on the shape of the side – making the defence more resilient and playing counter attacking football with some fantastic results. He employed Fin Bartels as a striker, and Bartels was key in the weeks leading up to the break – in particular instrumental in the wins at 1860 Munich and Aue.

But the winter break came at the wrong time for Vrabec and the club, and the momentum built up was soon lost after the return to the league in February. The tactics that had worked so well before the break were no longer employed, Bartels was no longer instrumental (notable that he’d already agreed a deal with Werder Bremen by this point) and the wheels on Vrabec’s promotion push quickly fell off in dramatic fashion. Since taking over the job full time, Vrabec won 25% of the club’s competitive matches – and one of those was in the DFB Pokal against Optik Rathenow. In contrast, 8 losses in 20 games was the telling statistic, and the defeat in Fürth left the majority of St. Pauli fans (81% of a Hamburg newspaper poll) thinking it was time for him to go.

After holding talks with Michael Büskens, the former Greuther Fürth manager who had worked with sporting director Rachid Azzouzi before, the club opted to look closer to home for Vrabec’s successor. And you don’t get much closer to St. Pauli than Thomas Meggle. The 39 year old former St. Pauli player had 3 separate spells at the club, playing 133 times in total. He had then worked as assistant manager during the spells of Holger Stanislawski, André Schubert and Michael Frontzeck, and was previously in charge of the U23 side – a position he had taken with the club seemingly intent on one day making him manager of the first team. Perhaps though, it happened sooner than he expected!

The message from Meggle is simple. “Hard work, coupled with lots of fun, is the key to success. Football is a game, and a game should be fun in the first place. But the basis is hard work. Then the success will come. Whether it’s short, medium or long term remains to be seen”. As for Meggle’s ethic, “now i purely jump into the deep end and work like a madman, trying to make the most of every day”. What Meggle lacks for in managerial experience, he makes up for in his knowledge, understanding and passion for this club. Which counts for a lot when it comes to St. Pauli.

Good luck, Thomas!

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