Schlagwort-Archiv: Preview

Fighting relegation on all fronts

Wow. I last posted in October. A number of things happened at 1. FC Magdeburg, but few of them were positive.
After a decent start to the season with 10 points from the first four matches, the team went into a slump that saw the relegation spots creep closer and closer.
In November, a good thing happened – the board stepped down, but unfortunately they are still in charge…interim, until April 15th. Very strange all that. In addition, the chairman of the supervisory board stepped down as well, but unfortunately only after a new president had been selected (albeit not announced officially), so that there is still a lingering mark of the incompetent leadership of the past few years at the club.
Today, however, Magdeburg played RB Leipzig, the team against which the slump had begun with an unlucky 1-2 loss. Although Leipzig are by far the superior team, Magdeburg ran out 2-1 winners today, a small silver lining amid the overall bad situation at the club.
The first team is not at all clear of relegation, the U23 team are second-to-last in tier 5, the Under 19 are 5 points behind a safe spot in the Under 19 Bundesliga and the Under 17 side are not safe yet either.
One can only hope that relegation can be avoided for the first two sides, everything else is a bonus. Oh, did I mention, there is 200k€ hole in the budget? Same amount as had been there at the end of the last season, despite the club cutting costs radically. Kinda tells you all you need to know about the leadership in the past few years.

Well, so much for a quick update on the situation.

Home premiere

After two more test matches in Schönebeck (6–0) and in Brandenburg (3–1), the new team was presented to the home fans on Friday. Opponent was Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg, but to be honest, it might have been better to play an opposition who actually had any intention of putting up a fight.
In front of about 3,000 spectators, 1. FC Magdeburg dominated the first half and should have scored at least three times, but a combination of good saves and ineptness prevented that. Wolfsburg did not really produce anything, despite having Bundesliga topscorer Edin Dzeko with them.
After the break things changed a bit, Magdeburg scored off a corner, when a deflected ball reached Maik Georgi (who miraculously has convinced yet another manager of his value). However, Wolfsburg struck back immediately, when Magdeburg cleared a corner into the center and the Wolfsburg player who conveniently stood there fired a shot in from 20 yards.
Magdeburg still should have won the game as Wolfsburg did not change their passive attitude, but Eddy Vorm’s 35-yard lob missed the goal by two feet.
In all the spectators saw a performance that offers some hope for the new season, as the team produced some good passing display and did create danger up front. All of this must of course be seen in the context of ongoing pre-season training and the fact that these players mainly have met for the first time only two weeks ago – there should be improvement until the first Regionalliga match in Lübeck.

In other news, Magdeburg have a new shirt sponsor who apparently pays between 300k and 500k euros per season in the next two seasons. The old shirt sponsor also stays with the club as sponsor, ony „slightly reducing“ their commitment.

Some new season, same old league

The things we do for love…like spending half an hour to get to the stadium to attend the press presentation of the new 1. FC Magdeburg senior squad – despite temperatures way beyond anything that can be called comfortable.
But after last years fiasco, the club took the path of complete reconstruction, letting go 14 players while signing 12 new ones. Among the victims of this change were also Magdeburg veterans, such as Marcel Probst who had been at the club since 2002. Others, like Christian Prest, took the opportunity and retired from competitive football.
This is the new Magdeburg squad:

No. Position Player
1 GK Matthias Tischer
2 DF Rainer Müller
3 DF Sebastian Sumelka
4 DF Daniel Halke
5 DF Philipp Saalbach
6 DF Tobias Becker
7 MF Denis Wolf
8 MF Manuel Stiefel
9 FW Marko Verki?
10 FW Marvin Wijks
11 FW Guilherme dos Santos
12 GK Christian Beer
13 MF Moritz Instenberg
14 FW Maik Georgi
15 MF Tobias Scharlau
18 MF Tim Girke
19 MF Stephan Neumann
20 MF Daniel Bauer (Captain)
21 FW Eddy Vorm
22 FW Patrick Bartsch
23 DF Tobias Friebertshäuser
30 GK Franko Flückinger

Of particular interest are Wijks and Vorm, both of which have already played in the Dutch Eredivisie, even if only for a low number of minutes. The squad that the new manager and managing director have assembled is comparatively young, with Christian Beer the oldest player at 29 (Beer has ruptured his cruciate and will be out of action for the first half of the season) and fellow goalkeeper Franko Flückiger (4 caps for the national Under-19 team) the youngest at 19. As of July 1, the squad has an average age of only 23,2 years and is one of the youngest teams to represent the club.
It remains to be seen how they fare in the league, manager Kaiser has until 6 August to form a team from these 22 players.

In other news, the Under-23 team has won promotion to the fifth-tier Oberliga Süd, allowing the players to gather experience in a more competitive environment than before. The Under-19 team won promotion to the top-flight Under-19 Bundesliga. Both teams will be fighting relegation.
The senior team will be given no precise task in terms of a position to finish in, instead the team is expected to improve over the whole season. Here’s hoping that this works well and the fans reward that, too.

P.S. To signify a new start, I have changed the looks of the place. Hopefully I can changed the general tone of the posts too.

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).