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

London

September 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

SC Freiburg (Germany)


SC (Sportclub in full) Freiburg is a professional football club from the Baden-Württemberg region of southern Germany, whose history can be traced back to 1904. It was in that year that Freiburger Fußballverein 04 were formed.

Two months later FC Schwalbe Freiburg was born. They changed their name to FC Mars in 1905 and then Union Freiburg in 1906, while FV 04 Freiburg became Sportverein Freiburg 04 in 1909. The two separate clubs merged together in 2012 to form Sportclub Freiburg.




After World War One the club met an arrangement with Freiburger FC to play under the name KSG Freiburg to be able to field a full team. In 1919 SCF made an association with another local club FT 1844 Freiburg until 1928 when they left to enter a ground share arrangement with PSV (Polizeisportvereins) Freiburg 1924.

Two years later SCF were back with their old allies FT 1844 as PSV disbanded. In 1928 SC Freiburg reached the Bezirksliga Baden at their first home of the Winterer-Stadion and then the Gauliga Baden, which was one of sixteen top level leagues introduced by the ruling Third Reich. However, SCF were relegated in 1934. Two years later the club had to abandon their stadium as it was required for an airstrip for Luftwaffe.




Following the end of World War Two the club were forced to change their name to remove any connection to the Nazi era. SC Freiburg became VfL Freiburg until 1950, when they were permitted to reclaim their identity. Two years later the club cut its ties once again with FT 1844 Freiburg as they played their football in the Amateurliga Südbaden.

In 1954 the club was given some land to the east of the city where they settled with the ground being named Dreisamstadion. Stands were erected on the south side in 1970.

Although the lesser club to neighbours Freiburger FC, SCF continued to build momentum and by 1978-79 they had reached 2. Bundesliga. A new Main Stand and expansions were added to celebrate to take the capacity of Dreisamstadion up to 15,000.




The 1992-93 season saw SC Freiburg promoted to the top flight for the first time as champions of 2. Bundesliga under head coach Volker Finke. After a close shave with relegation in their first season, they finished third in their second attempt. The club gained the nickname of Breisgau-Brasilianer (the Brazilians of Breisgau) at that time. 

In 1995 SC Freiburg played in Europe for the first time as they qualified for the UEFA Cup. However, they went out in the first round to Slavia Praha. Within two years the team were relegated, but fought back at the first attempt. A new South Stand was erected to the stadium at the same time.




In 2001 the club had another taste of the UEFA Cup. This time they defeated MŠK Púchov and St Gallen before bowing out to Feyenoord in the third round. Unfortunately once again this led to relegation the following campaign, but once again they retained their status at the first attempt.

SCF continued in the top flight until 2005-06. On 20 May 2007, Volker Finke resigned as the club's coach after sixteen years in the job. Robin Dutt was the new incumbent into the job. Promotion was secured once again in May 2009. Christian Streich took over first team duties in 2012 as relegation looked on the cards.




SC Freiburg finished the 2013-14 season in fifth place to qualify for the Europa League. Had they beaten FC Schalke 04 on the final day of the season they’d have made the Champions League places. As it was their continental soiree ended with a third place in the group stage against Estoril, Slovan Liberec and Sevilla.

In February 2015 the citizens of Freiburg were asked to take place in a referendum to decide on whether the club should move to a new stadium. The vote was in favour of a new stadium at Wolfswinkel near to Freiburg's municipal airport.





A final day defeat at Hannover 96 in May 2015 relegated SC Freiburg once more with Streich’s side finishing in seventeeth place.

SC Freiburg will play in 2. Bundesliga in the 2015-16 season.


My visit

SC Freiburg 1 VfL Bochum 3 (Saturday 15th August 2015) 2. Bundesliga (att: 23,700)




It wasn’t always in my plans to include a game at Freiburg in my footballing jaunt in Baden-Württemberg. Originally I marked down the opening Bundesliga clash between Augsburg and Hertha BSC. However, travelling time and the potential of a later game on Saturday tea time along with a far better ticket price tempted me to Freiburg, as they were only charging €10.50 for a standing place on the Nordtribune.




The train from Karlsruhe arrived a couple of hours before kick off, so I filled in some time by going to have a look at the homes of SF Eintracht Freiburg and Freiburger FC. I caught the U3 tram from Rohrgraben, which had several SC clad fans on board. I followed their lead and jumped off at the next stop; Bissierstraße.

Within minutes an empty football special tram had arrived so I got a seat on the journey of nearing forty minutes. The line ran right through the centre of the old town with many narrow streets and congested traffic. Freiburg was not unlike the centres of York or Chester. Eventually we arrived at the Römerhof stop.




The walk up to Schwarzwald-Stadion as the stadium was now called under a sponsorship deal was through narrow residential streets. I could see why the club may want a move. My gate was at the far end. I managed to get through the narrow gap left by the police vehicle cordon and went down the passage behind the Osttribune.

Within a minute I was frisked and inside with time to buy myself a sausage and a beer. It only came to €5.40 with €1 being a deposit on the hard plastic cup. I wandered round to the front of the Stehplatze Nord to take in the view.




My terrace was one steep block of medium size and was already very busy. The opposite end Sudtribune had seats upstairs with seating below, not unlike a stand at Loftus Road. The visitors of Bochum were in the left corner in their blue and white finery. The left hand side Osttribune was a large single seating block slightly raised above pitch level and stood back from the touchline. The final main side Haupttribune was also a single tier of raised seating, but a bit smaller than its opposite. It contained the offices and the facilities.

With another beer in hand I set about finishing a decent vantage point. I was moved from an aisle position near the back so I went near to the lower corner. I was moved by a helpful steward who spoke perfect English and I ended up on the back of the wide second step so I didn’t obstruct anyone else’s view but I could also see. The high fences at the front weren’t a major help but it was compensated by the super atmosphere.




The first half of the game was a tight tactical battle between the top two sides in the division. Both were nullifying the others attacking moves with defenders in control. As the half time board was displayed by the forth official I headed to the back of the stand for another beer and more wonderful sausage.

I just had the impression as the second half got under way that Bochum looked just that little bit more incisive and physically stronger. They had an extra half yard in their step. The turning point of the game undoubtedly came on fifty seven minutes when Mensur Mujdža the Breisgauer centre back was adjudged to have used his elbow on Bochum forward Simon Terrode when challenging for a header by referee Peter Sippel. He decided it was a yellow card offence, and with Mujdža already cautioned he had to take an early bath. Terrode rapidly recovered.




Within five minutes the visitors from the Ruhr were celebrating as Onur Bulut cleverly lobbed home as the ball bobbled around the Freiburg area. With twenty minutes left on the clock a textbook goal put Bochum in total control. Marco Terrazzino countered down the left flank and crossed to the far side of the area, where Bulut controlled and set up Terrode who slotted home.

Although the home fans kept up their excellent support throughout but Terrode went a long way to quietening them down with eight minutes remaining when he smashed home from outside the box. I thought it a good shot. Many home fans seemed to be of the opinion that their goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow should have kept it out. Some headed for the exits, but those remaining loyal were given hope a minute later.




Full back Marc Torrejón scored with a fine effort from twenty yards into the top corner. Suddenly the home side looked like they may break down the tight Bochum rearguard. Substitute Karim Guédé was causing problems with his movement.

However, the task was made much harder as Torrejón received a straight red card for raising a foot going for an areal challenge. I’m not sure it was worthy of a sending off, but the visiting players and bench and reaction surely helped the referee make up his mind.

Freiburg tried until the end but Bochum ended as deserved winners. I headed off as quickly as I could behind the stadium as I still wanted to look at another couple of nearby venues before my train out of town.

To see a clip from inside the ground prior to kick off, go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT_eTss992M












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