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

SV Sillenbuch (Germany)

SV Sillenbuch is a sports club with an amateur football club from the German city of Stuttgart, a few hundred kilometres from the headquarters of Stuttgarter Kickers. The club were formed in 1892, with the football section beginning in 1920.

Emil Kraemer made a pasture available to the club, who took on their green and white colours from 1926. The club struggled financially in the years up to and around World War Two, until it was re-structured in 1947 with Willi Senn as head of the football department.

In 1950 SV Sillenbuch moved into their new Spitalwald home, with improvement work to the pitch being carried out in subsequent years as the team prospered on the pitch. The turning point came in 1956 following the appointment of new coach Siegfried Boll who arrived from PSV Stuttgart.

Boll took the team to the championship of the B-Class as well as lifting the cup competition with victory over SV Heslach. Unfortunately Sillenbuch’s second season in the A Class ended in relegation under new coach Eberhardt.

Coaches came and went in the early 60’s as the city council installed a 400m running track around the pitch at Spitalwald. Further works were carried out under the guidance of general manager Dieter Benk. The 1964-65 season saw the team end as league runners up along with victory in the District Cup Final over Weil im Schönbuch.

In 1970-71 SVS just missed out on promotion to the top amateur league. Sadly as the decade progressed Sillenbuch hit a slump and found themselves back in the Kreisliga in 1980. Under Edgar Short the team returned to the Bezirksliga following the lifting of the Kreisliga B title as the club’s youth development came to the fore.

Despite a further relegation the club climbed back once more in 1989-90. As ever, the success was celebrated wildly with a trip away for the squad. Membership increased as teams were added as the club embarked on much community work.

On the 18th June 1995 VfB Stuttgart visited Spitwald and attracted a crowd of 1,000 for a friendly game. The following season Sillenbuch reached the District Cup Final but went down 3-2 to ASV Botnang. This performance gave the club entry into the Württemberg Cup.

A new artificial pitch was installed at Spitwald in 1998 along with a brand new turf surface.

The club has sections for judo, boxing, handball, dancing, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, gymnastics as well as the football section. Sillenbuch promote fun for all their members.

The men’s first team were relegated from the Bezirksliga down to the Kreisliga in 2011, but they returned to the higher status within two years. The side looked for honours under the tuition of head coach Tim Schwab from 2014.

SV Sillenbuch will play in the Bezirksliga Stuttgart in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Sunday 16th August 2015

Although I had marked down a visit to Spitwald on my itinerary when I first left my hotel on a very wet Sunday morning, it was still in the balance. I’d gone back to get changed into dry clothes and was setting out for my afternoons entertainment in the Oberliga between Stuttgarter Kickers II and FC 08 Villingen.

As it turned out I arrived at Waldau station on the U7 tramline early so I stayed on for a couple of stops to Silberwald. Within a few minutes I’d walked up the footpath past some allotments to the gates of the ground.

A huge sports hall building was behind the near goal. The remnants of the old running track were down the near side touchline with a step of hard standing for spectators. A couple of attractively painted portable buildings in the club colours were just inside the gate. In all, it was a basic but neat venue with trees giving an enclosed feel around two sides.

I walked back to the tram and with ten minutes I was walking through the gates of my first game of the day.

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