Schleswig-Holstein is the only federal state that has never had a first division team in football. What a few years ago was unimaginable even for the highest representative of the association, Holstein Kiel can now finally achieve in the relegation against 1. FC Köln. The football column.
Well then: In what is perhaps the most important game in the club’s history since the German championship title in 1912 (!) Holstein Kiel can count on fan support. A corresponding approval was confirmed by Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther on Thursday when he announced numerous opening steps in his state. The most important of these was for that Kiel news but “The return of the Holstein fans”, as the local newspaper headlined on its first page on Friday.
At least 2334 spectators will be admitted to the relegation second leg on Saturday (6 p.m.) against 1. FC Cologne in the venerable Holstein Stadium. However, the decision was made as part of a scientific model project for safety reasons, because the hard core would have come back to the stadium area anyway.
Around 1,500 supporters met last Sunday in front of the construction fence at the east stand and the adjoining gas station on Kiel’s Westring, to be as close as possible to the last second division game against Darmstadt with cell phone livestreams, beer, schnapps, firecrackers and Bengalos to be.
The city is also expecting numerous fans on Saturday who will remain without tickets and still want to cheer on site. The resolute petrol station owner says that just thinking about the new crowd will give her “ten stomach ulcers”.
Holstein Kiel: “Big emptiness after the assembled match ball”
In the end, you saw only dejected faces everywhere, in the well-filled excursion restaurants around the fjord on Pentecost Sunday as well as with the fans on site and the team, which showed up again on the site fence despite the 2: 3 against Darmstadt. About the “great void after the assembled match point number two”, they wrote Kiel news.
After an outstanding race to catch up, the “Storks” would have been enough to win their first Bundesliga promotion in the last two games in the second division, but both times they lost despite leading at half-time. Everything spoke in favor of the fact that the Kielers would run out of breath in the end after a grueling season.
No wonder, after all, the team was the only German professional club to have to be quarantined twice for 14 days in the second half of the season due to Corona. After that, Holstein was forced to complete a mammoth program, the relegation second leg is the eleventh game in the past 34 days.
Nevertheless, the North Germans had initially ranked success after success, which meant that they only got into the playful pole position for promotion. So there was pure frustration on Sunday, but only for a short time.
Because now that no one has relied on the outsider, who has also been severely weakened, Holstein suddenly has fate in his own hands again. After the 1-0 win at the Bundesliga club from Cologne on Wednesday, a draw is enough to cause a big sensation – it would only be the fourth time since the relegation was reintroduced in 2009 that the underdog would prevail.
In addition to the ex-national goalkeeper, only one other Kieler made it into the DFB selection after World War II in Sidney Sam, although he switched to Hamburger SV as a teenager. It fits into the picture that the legendary state sports school in Malente does not have the name of a Schleswig-Holstein soccer star, but that of HSV club idol Uwe Seeler, due to the lack of well-known figureheads of its own.
“Our Bundesliga clubs are Hamburger SV and FC St. Pauli,” said Hans-Ludwig Meyer, then President of the Schleswig-Holstein Football Association World on sunday still in August 2013. And further: “I am honestly saying that I cannot imagine Bundesliga football in Schleswig-Holstein.”
“I cannot imagine Bundesliga football in Schleswig-Holstein”
Since then, Holstein has been able to establish itself at least in the lower house and has developed significantly this season, as demonstrated by the sensational victory in the DFB Cup over FC Bayern in January. Successful coach Ole Werner, who once worked as a gardener in Australia and at 33 years of age, the youngest German professional trainer, is now being traded as a candidate at several clubs, especially Werder Bremen.
Werner, who comes from nearby Preetz, can now do his masterpiece against Cologne in a duel with the currently oldest coach in German professional football, 67-year-old Friedhelm Funkel. “Nothing at all has been decided yet,” said the FC coach after the defeat in the first leg: “It’s only half time.”
A victory in Kiel even after the final whistle would certainly not be undeserved in view of the roller coaster season and would also be good for the north because the borrowed “Schleswig-Holstein Bundesliga clubs” HSV and St. Pauli are now significantly further from the first class than the Kiel Sports Association Holstein from 1900 eV