It has become customary in recent weeks for football fans to greet the team bus long before kick-off and provide their team with unconditional support. It was also not uncommon for some fans to spend 90 minutes in front of the stadium, especially on crucial match days. However, in some places, the final chapter of the 2020/21 season in the three professional tournaments was unusual: in Rostock and Berlin, scenes have taken place that you should get used to again, but are also cause for hope. They were pictures of football fans who were allowed to watch a match on the stadium. In Ostseestadion, where it was a 1-1 draw against VfB Lübeck in third division, enough for FC Hansa to advance to the second division, there was room for 7,500 spectators. At the An der Alten Försterei stadium in Berlin-Kopenick, 2000 Isern celebrated the last-minute success of 1. FC Union against RB Leipzig – and their entry into the UEFA Cup, qualifying for the newly created Conference League. Football fanatics from the local Prignitz-Ruppin region celebrated on the coast and in the southeast of the capital.
“Since Wednesday, the tension has increased immeasurably,” reveals Oliver Gondell. SV Union Neurobin and FC Hansa Rostock goalkeeper has struggled in the third division for nine long years, and a return to the second division doesn’t look real yet. Next season, FC Hansa will not travel to Lotte, Meppen or Türkgücü Munich, and the competitors will then be Schalke 04, Hamburg SV or Fortuna Düsseldorf. “We go to Weser, but we’re not moving to SV Werder II,” says the 29-year-old.
Rostock fans from all over the country gathered in the Hanseatic city on Saturday, whether on the streets, in the northern square or at the athletics stadium: “Everyone wanted to be there,” says Gundel, who dislikes football for coach Jens Hartel’s team, but witnessed Struggle and passion.
Jörg Lotter and Kevin Berlin were also touring a place not far from Ostseestadion. Longtime FK Hansa Wittstock coach Lutter had decorated his home with shirts and scarves beforehand, but didn’t want to miss the trip north with his former student and current Meyenburger SV player. “The atmosphere was overwhelming, and hell exploded in the city. Jörg had already witnessed one or two ascents from Hansa live and was overjoyed afterwards,” explains Kevin Berlin. FC Dossow soccer players also formed a travel group that kept their fingers crossed for FC Hansa on site.
There was also a good mood and a lively atmosphere in the capital – at least among those who keep up with 1. FC Union. Coach Urs Fischer dramatically led his team to the European Cup. This did not leave the supporters of the iron in northwest Mark indifferent, which is why so many fans made their way to Kopenick. “I took the train to Berlin with some friends,” says Stephen Tilshaw. “Even two of them were lucky in drawing and were allowed into the stadium.” Pritzwalker was a member of a union for nearly seven years, at minus 17 degrees, he once attended a second-division match against Regensburg with his son. “This is what happened to me,” explains the 49-year-old, who trains seniors at Relief Society and is currently organizing a benefit game against the traditional 11 iron on August 13 at Dinnebier Arena.
On Saturday, in front of the An der Alten Försterei stadium, he met Neustädter, Perleberger, Wittenberger and Kyritzer, who wanted to experience entering the European Cup on site – albeit from the outside. “We got to the side of the jungle about an hour before the match started and sang for 90 minutes. We barely watched the game, every now and then you can look at the stadium or someone next to you was wearing Sky on the Handy,” explains Tilshaw, who doesn’t want to miss an adventure. Europe: “I’ll fly away with you, no matter where he works. Even to Estonia, if you like”. Marco Leibsch, the season ticket holder, who is back in the living room of “Alte Försterei” with three colleagues from the Neuruppin “EUFC Panik 82” fan club, was also totally excited. After 15 minutes of protest against Leipzig’s rival, there was fear, hope, and singing in Sector 3, where Fontanestaedter stood – “and with all their throats”. With Marvin Friedrich’s goals to 1: 1 and the winning goal by Max Cruz in stoppage time, there was no pause in the stands and in front of the field. “Everyone got scared,” says Lebish. “Then the team was celebrated – first on the field, then in front of it.”
Other Etihad fans took advantage of the positive result as an opportunity to automatically get into the car. Max Doblin and Janice Newman, both on the field with Eintracht Alt Robin, watched the match on TV. With the final whistle, the duo and two other buddies headed to Berlin from Neuruppin to experience more moments of the party. “When we arrived, there wasn’t much going on,” says Döbbelin. “The space in front of the main entrance has already been cleared.” However, the spontaneous trip was worth it: “Nobody can take a souvenir photo of us in front of the stadium. While walking the short distance to the offside trap, the famous Union Bar, we got into a conversation with many fans.” A day like a photo of Unioners and Rostockers.