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

Friday, September 15, 2017

SpVgg Unterhaching (Germany)

Spielvereinigung Unterhaching is a sports club based in Unterhaching; a small town which is connected to the southern outskirts of the German city of Munich. The club was formed on January 1st 1925.

Before this the club had been part of the gymnastics and sports club TSV Hachinger. In 1930-31 the football club was promoted to B-Klasse of local amateur football; going on to reach A-Klasse a season later.

The club was dissolved by the Nazi Party in 1933, as it was deemed politically unreliable. The team were placed in B-Klasse; the fourth tier of German amateur football, after reformation in 1945.

For several decades Unterhaching continued to play in the lower amateur ranks as one of tens of other such clubs. In 1975 the club launched their bobsleigh department, which would produce several World and Olympic champions over the forthcoming years.

In 1975-76 the football department once again reached A-Klasse. Promotion to the Bezirksliga was won at the first attempt in 1976-77.

Promotion to Landesliga Bayern-Süd in 1978-79 followed before yet another step up came in 1980-81 as Unterhaching reached the third tier Oberliga Bayern; which was the highest amateur level of the day.

Trainer Peter Grosser took the team to the Oberliga Bayern title in 1982-83. However, the team failed in their quest for promotion to 2. Bundesliga after losing out in the play-offs. The same fate befell SpVgg in the 1987-88 campaign.

However, the club were not to be denied in the 1988-89 season as Unterhaching once again won the Oberliga Bayern championship before progressing through two rounds of play-offs to reach 2. Bundesliga.

It proved to be a step too far, as the team were relegated in bottom place just twelve months later. The Regionalliga became the third tier of German football from the 1994-95 season. Unterhaching won Regionalliga Süd in its debut season and were promoted to 2. Bundesliga with the help of the goals of Alfonso Garcia.

A fourth place finish was followed by two steady endings before a runners-up spot in 1998-99 saw the club promoted to the top flight Bundesliga for the first time in their history.

Gerhard Tremmel, Alexander Strehmel, Jochen Seitz, Markus Oberleitner, André Breitenreiter and Altin Rraklli starred in a mid table finish in their debut season, before Unterhaching were relegated in 2000-01.

The slide continued as the club were relegated to Regionalliga Süd at the completion of the 2001-02 campaign. Coach Wolfgang Frank took up the reigns at Stadion am Sportpark with the goals of Francisco Copado firing the side to the title and promotion back to 2. Bundesliga at the first attempt.

Former World Cup winner Andreas Brehme took control of the team in the 2004-05 season before being replaced by Harry Deutinger. Unterhaching were relegated once more in 2006-07 as Werner Lorant and then Ralph Hasenhüttl were employed as head coach.

A sixth place finish in 200708 led to SpVgg being placed in the newly created 3. Liga for the following season. The side just missed out on promotion to the second tier in the inaugural season by one place as Anton Fink finished as the division’s top scorer.

Tobias Schweinsteiger starred up front the following season. Klaus Augenthaler, another German World Cup winner took over as team boss in March 2010. His season at the helm ended in a fourteenth place ending.

Heiko Herrlich took over as head coach in July 2011 with Stefan Riederer captaining the side, while Mijo Tunjić weighed in with the goals to secure safety. Claus Schromm took over team control from May 2012.

Schromm was promoted to the role of Director of Sport, with Manuel Baum looking after the team before he was replaced by German Euro 96 winner Christian Ziege. The team ended the 2013-14 campaign just above the relegation places.

Schromm returned to the head coach position in March 2015 but the team captained by Jonas Hummels were relegated on the final day of the 2014-15 season back to the fourth tier Regionalliga Bayern.

The goals of Stephan Hain and Sascha Bigalke were too much for opposing defences as Unterhaching raced to the 2016-17 Regionalliga Bayern title. SpVgg Unterhaching defeated SV Elversberg 5-2 on aggregate in the play-off to win promotion back to 3. Liga.

SpVgg Unterhaching will play in 3. Liga in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

Friday 16th December 2016

It was the second full day of my Munich adventure. The previous day had seen me on a defining visit to Dacau as well as looking at a couple of amateur clubs in the west of the city before enjoying a jolly evening down town.

I wanted to cram as much into my day as possible before the 1860 match at Allianz Arena that evening, I took the number 20 tram from my hotel at Moosach to Karlsplatz before going downstairs and catching the S3 train to Unterhaching.

The train went past Stadion am Sportpark so it was pretty easy for me to find it. Following a path through a park along the side of the tracks brought me to a bigger green space from where I walked across to the stadium.

It looked like my luck was going to be out regarding getting inside the Alpenbauer Sportpark, as the arena had been named in a sponsorship deal. I was getting some decent enough photos through gaps in fences, but I wasn’t going to give up that easily.

Walking to the far end I found an open gate, so I walked in to get a proper look and snap away. It reminded me in many ways of lower division grounds back in England in the 1980’s.

A single tiered seated stand dominated one side of the pitch, with a decent sized open terrace at the far end. Another single tier of seats with a slight curve away from the half way line occupied the other touchline, with a roof over most of it, while the clubhouse end had a shallow open terrace in front of the club buildings and changing rooms.

Once finished, I continued through the park that offered recreation for all ages along through the park to Fasanenpark station from where I took the S3 service back towards the city to St.-Martin-Straße to visit the home of SpVgg 1906 Haidhausen.

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