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

Freiburger FC (Germany)

Freiburger FC is a football club from the city of Freiburg im Breisgau in southern Germany, who were one of the founding clubs in the DFB (German FA) in 1900 after being formed in 1897.

By 1898 Freiburger were already Süddeutsche Meisterschaft (southern German champions). This feat was repeated in 1907 with the team then going on to the national finals where they defeated VfB Leipzig before beating Viktoria 89 Berlin 3-1 in front of 3,000 fans at the Stadion am Kanal in Frankenthal to be crowned as champions of Germany.

The club also went on to play in The Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva the following season. This was one of the first ever international football clubs. It also featured Piemonte F.C, Juventus, FC Servette, Torino, FC Ausonia Milano and US Parisienne.

These achievements were to be the highest point in the clubs history, even though they were the dominant club in the city for a couple more decades. In 1916 the Kreisliga Südwest was won, but the season was localised and affected by the outbreak of war. Another championship was collected in 1920.

From 1923 to 1933 FFC belonged to the Bezirksliga Baden, with a tile in 1930. Freiburger were moved to the Gauliga Baden, one of sixteen top grade leagues introduced by the Third Reich. Following the end of World War Two they joined 2. Oberliga Süd; which was one of the second tier divisions in the newly formed state of West Germany. FFC were champions in 1956 in the season that they attracted the attendance record on the  of 9th December, when the match between the Freiburger FC and 1. FC Nürnberg attracted 25,000 spectators.

The Bundesliga was introduced in 1963 and FFC were placed in the second tier Regionalliga Süd, while SC Freiburg were still down at the Amateurliga Südbaden level. Between 1974 and 1977 successive relegations would find FFC at that same division.

The club fought their way back and won promotions to 2. Bundesliga but they suffered from poor attendances. Relegation to Amateur Oberliga Baden-Württemberg came in 1982 while fans rallied round to save the club from bankruptcy. Local rivals SC Freiburg were heading in the opposite direction in 2. Bundesliga and drawing in new support. A league title cheered the faithful at Möslestadion in 1984.

In 1994 a further drop came about with Freiburger finding themselves consigned to Verbandsliga Südbaden; one of several sixth level leagues in the German league set up, where the title was lifted in 1991.

Even worse came with a one season stay in 1999-2000 in the Landesliga and the sale of Möslestadion to SC Freiburg. FFC were forced into a groundshare with another local club; SV Blau-Weiss Wiehre Freiburg.

The decline continued in 2009 with a more permanent Landesliga stay. At the third attempt FFC finished as runners up in 2011-12 and a place in the qualifying round to the Verbandsliga. The move up was secured following a 5-1 victory over SC Offenburg. The club also secured a move to a new home of their own; the Stadion im Dietenbachpark around this time.

It was celebration time at the club at the end of the 2013-14 season as promotion was secured to Oberliga Baden-Württemberg for the first time in twenty years.

Freiburger FC will play in Oberliga Baden-Württemberg in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Saturday 15th August 2015

While heading to the lunchtime kick off in 2. Bundesliga between SC Freiburg and VfL Bochum I ensured I arrived early so that I could call in a couple of local grounds. Freiburg seemed a neat enough city from what I’d seen in calling in at the home of SF Eintracht Freiburg.

The U3 tram took me from Runzmattenweg to Rohrgraben where I walked down the street and into the vast Dietenbachpark. This really was a beauty of a park with nice walks, a small allotment, small rivers and a large lake Dietenbachsee.

Although I’d forgotten to jot down directions I did remember to walk to the left of the BMX Bahn to find my destination. Fortunately this came into view just as I was about to take a long pretty but fruitless walk around the lake. I was soon back on track with a football pitch in view.

The first pitch I saw was the training ground with an artificial surface, which turned out to be alongside the main pitch. I crossed a brook and found a gate open to the FFC complex. The smartly red painted clubhouse was on top of a small hill with a beer garden at the rear.

Walking towards the main pitch, a couple of marquees were erected to offer cover. There was a catering outlet and club shop, with the changing rooms underneath the club rooms. Between the two pitches was a basic style cover on the half way line for spectators. There was also a small open flat area around the pitch for fans between the perimeter fencing and pitch railing.

I headed back in the same direction to leave the groundsman to get on with cutting the pitch. It seemed a lot quicker to the tram now that I knew exactly where I was going. I would certainly return to the venue, hopefully with added spectator facilities as the fine old club carries on its fight back up the leagues.

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