Indoor champions

Last Saturday, the NOFV held its annual Indoor Championship at Riesa in Saxony. This is indoor footy, not futsal, of course. All Regionalliga teams from the NOFV territory were „invited“ to participate (there’s not really a way not to take part…) and so six teams competed in two groups of three: Cottbus II, Rot-Weiß-Erfurt and 1. FC Magdeburg in one, SV Babelsberg 03, Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden in the other group. To add some spice to it, Magdeburg had lost to both Erfurt and Cottbus only recently.
In the first match, Magdeburg struggled, but was able to come away 4-3 winners over Cottbus‘ reserves. Yet a 0-2 loss to Erfurt meant that all hinged on the Cottbus-Erfurt match, and Magdeburg fans were treated to quite some drama, as Cottbus took a quick 2-0 lead. Erfurt, however, managed to equalize and eventually even win the game 4-2. This meant Magdeburg would face Union Berlin in the semi-final, while Erfurt met Dynamo Dresden.
The semifinal was a close call that had to be decided by spot kicks from 9 meters. Here Magdeburg’s goalkeeper saved some spot kicks and Magdeburg were through to the final where they once more met Erfurt. This time, Magdeburg didn’t go down easily and the match went to spot kicks as well. Again Marian Unger came to the rescue and for the first time Magdeburg were crowned NOFV Indoor Champions. Of course, indoor football is not a very good indicator for the quality of any team, as evidenced by the fact that Magdeburg’s Danny Kukulies became best goalscorer of the tournament, a player who couldn’t do anything in the open air season.
Impressions from training show that since the arrival of Paul Linz the team has trained with more concentration and also with increased intensity. Understandable, as with a new manager nobody can rely on previous merits so everyone has to prove his worth. Beginning in January, Magdeburg will play several friendlies, the highlight being the match against Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 (January 19). Other opponents include Sachsen Leipzig (January 13) , Hessen Kassel (January 16) and Czech first flight team FK SIAD Most (not fixed yet, probably February 2).As training restarts on January 7, there are only a small number of days of training before the first match, but with the intensity of training shown so far, they should suffice.
In terms of transfer news it looks like Danny Kukulies will leave for tier IV side Tennis Borussia Berlin, and Tornieporth looks to be out of the door as well, despite hopes of getting a fresh start after Heyne had taken him out of the team for disciplinary reasons. No news regarding incoming players as of yet, only a plain denial of interest in Erfurt’s Kumbela who has been suspended by his club for disciplinary reasons (hitting his pregnant girlfriend in a nightclub, apparently).

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