Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

FC Emmendingen (Germany)

FC Emmendingen (Fußball-Club Emmendingen 1903 e.V.) is an amateur football club from the town of the same name located around eight miles north of Freiburg im Breisgau.in the German region of Baden-Württemberg. The football club was formed in 1903 as FV Emmendingen.

In 1956 FV Emmendingen joined forces with another local club SV 1921 Emmendingen to produce FC Emmendingen. Within a year they had progressed to the Amateurliga Südbaden before going on to further success in the 1960’s by becoming league champions in 1963 and 1964.

The second victory led to promotion to the second tier of German football in the Regionalliga Süd via the play offs. However, the team struggled massively and went straight back down to the Südbaden.

Emmeningen lifted the Südbadischer Pokal (South Baden Cup) in 1966 as they went to a couple of runners-up league places before the decade was out. Their third championship was added in 1971 as they went on to lose in the play off final to reach level two once again.

As the 70’s progressed the clubs performances were less predictable. In 1979 they were relegated to Verbandsliga Südbaden. A further demotion came to Landesliga Württemberg before they returned to the fourth tier in 1985.

A second Südbadischer Pokal was lifted the following year leading to Emmeningen’s first ever appearance in the DFB-Pokal. 1. FC Köln won the first round clash 4-0 at Elzstadion. A third cup win in 1988 gave another go in the DFB-Pokal. This time the reward was a trip to Berlin to face BFC Türkiyemspor 1978. Emmeningen won 2-0 but the run ended with a 3-1 home defeat to SV Wehen in the second round.

The Verbandsliga Südbaden title was collected in 1989 leading to promotion to Oberliga Baden-Württemberg. After several season at the new level Emmeningen finally succumbed and went back down to the Verbandsliga before climbing back to the Oberliga in 2005-06.

Unfortunately the team suffered consecutive defeats to find themselves in the Landesliga in 2009. Promotion was sealed in 2011 but Emmeningen were went straight back down after a last place finish.

FC Emmeningen will play in the Landesliga Südbaden in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Saturday 15th August 2015

One of the reasons I chose the lunchtime game at nearby SC Freiburg was that I could perhaps take in a tea time Bezirksliga game in Emmeningen on the way back to my base in Stuttgart. Whilst researching on Google Maps I also noticed a fine looking venue apart from where I intended to watch my match.

The game I was going to attend was between SG Wasser/Kollmarsreute and Neuenburg. There seemed to be some confusion over where the match was played. I decided that it was likely to be at a venue I spotted on Am Sportfeld.

Train booked for 6.40pm to Stuttgart I set off on a packed train with my rucksack from Freiburg. I was not upset when we pulled into the station at Emmeningen. Many other got off including many fed up Freiburg fans.

I headed under the railway and to my match destination, only to find nothing more than an open playing field, which was totally deserted. The block I saw on the maps turned out to be a church hall rather than the changing rooms and bar. The match was taking place at the other ground I’d spotted back in Kollmarsreute. I could have got there with a stiff walk down the pleasant looking path by the bank of the River Elz, but I was starting to ache. I’d had a good day. It was nearly time to kick back and relax.

I continued up Am Sportfeld past the very classy looking Grun Weiss Tennis Club who were advertising an open bar and Sky TV. Further on was an open air swimming pool and just past the car and camper park on the other side of the road I found Elzstadion.

Immediately it was easy to see that the club had played at a good level even though the metal gates were locked. I still got a good view inside.

The near end was grass banking. The nearside had a few steps of open terracing with a large gazebo towards the far end for fans wishing to take cover while enjoying their traditional matchday fare. A few steps of wooden benches were built into the banking behind the far goal while the far side had a fine Main Stand with a raised seating deck flanked by open standing. The clubhouse was just past the entrance at the top end.

It nearly drew me in. I was on the steps about to venture into the bar, but realising my tiring state and the distance to the station I decided to head back to the town centre. It had looked decent on the brief look I got from the train. It turned out to be an inspired choice.

The Fux’ N bar was advertising live Bundesliga and they had a choice of local beer. I ended up with a wheat beer and settled down to the German version of Soccer Saturday where live football is shown but in two minute slots as it switches around the grounds, before heading back if there’s a goal in another game. It’s a bit confusing if you’ve never seen it before.

The market square looked like it was gearing up for some kind of festival as a stage and sound system was being put in place. Several stalls selling food and different drinks were on the cobbles, while the neat streets leading to the square also had stalls including the old fairground favourite games for the kids.

With  time still to kill I wanted to be a bit closer to the station. I found a perfect bar who were showing the build up to the evening game between Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach with the familiar face of Dietmar Hamman as one of the pundits.

After three swift refreshing beers it was time for some food. I had one of the best frikadellen I’d ever tasted. The spicy meat burger had been fried to perfection.

I left Emmeningen both full and happy. I was happy that my train was terminating in Offenburg where I had to change as I enjoyed a little nap. It was around 9.15 when I eventually reached the Attimo Hotel in Stuttgart. I arrived thirty hours later than I had planned but it was worth every minute of an unexpected detour.


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