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

Friday, May 5, 2017

SG Dynamo Dresden (Germany)




Sportgemeinschaft Dynamo Dresden e.V, or SG Dynamo Dresden or plain Dynamo Dresden, as they are more commonly known is a professional football club from the city of Dresden, which is located in the southern German state of Saxony.

The club was formed in 1953. Dresden had previously been a prominent city in German football before World War Two, with Dresdner SC being champions on a couple of occasions during hostilities.


The occupying Allied forces disbanded all former sports clubs in 1945. Dresdner SC were reformed as SG Friedrichstadt, but were disbanded in 1950 so the city needed a new representative in the new East German republic.

A new club came about as part of the police SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden. Players were brought in from other police forces around the state. They won the FDGB-Pokal East German Cup in 1952 with a 3-0 victory over Einheit Pankow.


The new central sports society SV Dynamo was formed in April 1953. Volkspolizei were affiliated to the society and took up the name SG Dynamo Dresden with the team being crowned as East German DDR-Oberliga champions in 1952-53.

The title win was an embarrassment for Erich Mielke, head of the Stasi who wanted East Berlin to have the dominant team in East German football. Under his orders, the Dynamo team including internationals Johannes Matzen, Herbert Schoen and Günter Schröter were moved to the capital to form Berliner FC Dynamo.


SG Dynamo Dresden were left with a squad of youth and reserve team players having to regroup in the second tier DDR-Liga. By 1957 they had been relegated to the fourth tier local Bezirksliga. By 1962 they had climbed back to the DDR-Oberliga, but their spell in the top flight lasted just one season.

Once again the club fought back and won promotion straight back to the Oberliga. Another demotion came at the end of the 1967-68 season, but once again top division status was regained at the first attempt.


Walter Fritzsch took over as team manager in June 1969 as Dynamo embarked on a successful era. They were crowned as champions in 1970-71 thanks to the goals of Hans-Jürgen Kreische before completing the double with a 2-1 victory after extra time against Berliner FC Dynamo.

Wins over SK VÖEST Linz, Ruch Chorzów and F.C. Porto saw Dynamo reach the quarter final of the UEFA Cup in 1972-73 before they went out 3-0 on aggregate to eventual cup winners Liverpool before going on to lift the league title at the end of the season.


Following a couple of third place finishes and final appearances in the Pokal, Dynamo were crowned as champions once again in 1975-76. Wins over ASA Târgu Mureş, Budapest Honvéd FC and FC Torpedo Moscow saw the team reach the last eight of the UEFA Cup once again before Liverpool once again ended the run.

Dynamo retained their league title in 1976-77 as well as defeating Benfica and Ferencváros before going out to FC Zürich at the quarter final stage of the European Cup. A 3-2 victory over FC Lokomotive Leipzig in the final of the FDGB-Pokal completed another double as attendances around 27,000 continued to flock to Dynamo-Stadion.


Fritzsch’s successful reign came to an end as Dynamo completed a hat trick of league triumphs of 1977-78. He was replaced by Gerhard Prautzsch who led the side to the last eight of the European Cup in 1978-79 following wins over Partizan Belgrade and Bohemian of Dublin.

Three runners-up league finishes were attained before Dynamo added their fourth FDGB-Pokal with a penalty shoot out defeat of Berliner FC Dynamo in 1982, with the goals of Ralf Minge being a contributory factor.


Further FDGB-Pokal wins came in 1984 and 1985 following 2-1 and 3-2 wins in the finals over Berliner FC Dynamo. Torsten Gütschow’s goals led Dynamo to their seventh Oberliga league title in 1988-89. Dynamo reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup following wins against Aberdeen, KSV Waregem, AS Roma and Victoria Bucureşti before they bowed out to VfB Stuttgart.

The title was retained the following season as Dynamo’s third league and cup double was completed with a 2-1 win against Dynamo Schwerin. The 1990-91 season was spent in NOFV-Oberliga; the last of the old East Germany before Dynamo were placed in the Bundesliga following unification.


After three seasons in the lower third of the league table, Dynamo finished in bottom place in 1994-95 and were relegated to the third tier Regionalliga Nordost due to financial irregularities preventing them competing in 2. Bundesliga. The club went through three managers during the disastrous campaign; Sigfried Held, Horst Hrubesch and Ralf Minge.

Following further league re-organisation, Dynamo were demoted to the fourth tier Oberliga Nordost-Süd for the 2000-01 season. The goals of Denis Koslov led Dynamo to the 2001–02 NOFV-Oberliga Süd title before victory over Hertha BSC II in the play-off led the club back to Regionalliga Nord.


As 1. FC Dynamo Dresden, the club finished as runners-up of Regionalliga Nord in 2003-04 to secure second tier football once again. After a spell of two seasons, Dynamo went back down to Regionalliga Nord.

3. Liga took over as the third tier in 2008-09 with Dresden one of the clubs as Stadion Dresden or DDV-Stadion renovated and re-opened. Dynamo finished the 2010-11 season in third place before sealing promotion with a 4-2 aggregate win against VfL Osnabrück.


The 2013-14 season was another of misery for Dynamo. The team were relegated and banned from competing in the DFB Pokal following crowd trouble at a match the previous season. Coach Peter Pacult was replaced by Olaf Janßen who could not keep the team up.

Justin Eilers was top scorer in 2014-15, but his goals could only take Dynamo to a sixth place finish in 3. Liga. However, it was a different story in 2015-16 as the team lifted the third tier title under head coach Uwe Neuhaus as average home gates were over 27,000.


Dynamo consolidated in their first season back in the second tier as the crowds continued to flock to DDV-Stadion.

SG Dynamo Dresden will play in 2. Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season.


My visit

SG Dynamo Dresden 3 1.FC Kaiserslautern 3 (Friday 3rd March 2017) 2. Bundesliga (att: 28,907)


My visit to another iconic European city was going particularly well. I’d briefly travelled through Dresden sixteen years earlier by train on the way to Berlin from Prague and it had looked very pretty, but I hadn’t expected such wonderful architecture; reconstructed or otherwise.

Following a nice sightseeing walk in the old town I decided to have a walk to the DDV-Stadion during daylight to get a few photos and to plan a smooth experience later that evening. The pleasant walk took me to Helmut-Schön-Allee; named in honour of the German World Cup winning manager who hailed from Dresden.


I wandered around down Lennéstraße past the offices and club shop built into the stand where the TV company were readying themselves to cover the match. I found my required turnstile block for later before taking a number 10 tram towards Heinz-Steyer-Stadion.

Later in the day I was refreshed following a fine lunch and then a siesta before enjoying a pre match beer at Cafe Happening before taking an 11 tram to Lennéstraße. I thought I’d given myself plenty of time but the crowds were already large outside.


Fortunately the heavy searches were done efficiently and I was soon inside the courtyard behind the stand with time to purchase food, drink and a programme from one of the pop up club shops. My entrance was straight in front and I found my lofty seat which offered a magnificent view for €24. I had printed my ticket at home to save on postage.

The first thing that hit me was the show put on by the ultras at the far end with their huge banner and then silence for a few seconds before breaking into a wall of noise. The atmosphere was right up there with St Pauli as one of the best I’d experienced anywhere. Everyone got behind their side on all four sides of the modern arena.


DDV-Stadion was nothing out of the ordinary from an architectural point of view with its single steep tier all the way around. The far end was terraced along with a corner section along from me for away fans. The main side had corporate facilities inside it. What it definitely did have was superb acoustics.

The match turned out to be an absolute cracker. Dynamo started off on the front foot but it was Kaiserslautern who took the lead when the ball wasn’t cleared and Robert Glatzel steered the ball home. He doubled the visitors lead on twenty seven minutes with a fine shot as the Dynamo central defenders dallied.


While the home fans were less than happy, they still got behind their team. The noise was unbaiting. Dynamo were soon back in the game when a cross from Giuliano Modica was fired home by Manuel Konrad just past the half hour mark.

Dresden pushed for an equaliser. Aias Aosman saw his shot saved by Lautern keeper Julian Pollersbeck. Aosman fired the rebound towards goal but defender Naser Aliji cleared off his own line.


Just as the game entered stoppage time at the end of the first period, Dynamo were given a penalty, when referee Robert Hartmann decided that defender Ewerton had held down the impressive home striker Stefan Kutschke illegally. Kutschke kept his nerve from the spot and fired home to send the teams in at 2-2 at half time.

Click here to have a look at the leveller from my view and to take in some of the atmosphere.

At the interval I went for a quick top off of food as I had post match plans revolving round some beer. The queues were long, but the staff efficient as at most German grounds.


The second half was a far more cautious affair. 'Lautern defended well, minimising the opportunities for Dresden’s forwards despite the homesters having the majority of the play.

With just thirteen minutes remaining Dynamo’s gradual dominance bore fruit when Aosman saw his shot come off the chest of Pollersbeck. Kutsche was on hand to slot the ball home as the DDV-Stadion went berserk.

Kaiserslautern were not to be denied. Marcel Gaus broke away with three minutes to go. His pass found substitute Kacper Przybyłko. The Pole’s shot from twelve yards went I past home keeper Marvin Schwäbe to make the score 3-3. Lautern had a shot that came back off the crossbar in added time.


As soon as the full time whistle blew I ran as quickly as possible and took the first tram towards the central station, from where I took an 11 tram to Albertplatz, from where I walked along Bautzner Straße to Hoyerswerdaer Straße where I entered the recommended Zum Bautzner Tor.

The bar was like a relic from the former communist era in the city, with plenty of old memorabilia on show. My reason for my visit was the range of beers. Sven, my German Twitter pal had come up trumps again by reaching out to his contacts.

There were five different types of beer of draught and all were a sensible strength. Three of the beers on offer were from the local Neustadter Hausbrauerei, with the other two being Czech in origin.


I got a stool at the bar and the service was helpful and friendly. The place was already busy, but gradually the Dynamo fans were arriving. It became so busy that some were turned away. I went along the range and then chose my favourite for a second helping.

My train the following morning necessitated a 5am alarm call. I should have really had headed home, but instead I went to the Shamrock Pub opposite the Ibis Hotel where I was staying. I’d used the pub the previous evening and enjoyed the dunkel beer. I’d got the taste and had at least one too many.


The following morning I caught the train to Berlin and then to Schönefeld for my flight back to Luton in time for my Saturday afternoon at Hendon. I’d loved every minute in Dresden, and the Dynamo match was simply the icing on the cake.


Highly recommended.






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