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Friday 1st June 2012 ko 18.45

Kreisliga A Mönchengladbach-Viersen

POLIZEI SV MÖNCHENGLADBACH 1 (Souren 72) Krapp sent off 90 (2nd booking) Schmitt sent off 90 (2nd booking) Alatas sent off 90 (foul and abusive language)

1FC MÖNCHENGLADBACH II 2 (von der Burg 82 Kisolo 85)

Att 120

Entry €2.50

No Programme

Beer & Bratwurst €3

This weekend was as a stag weekend for my friend and fellow hopper Lee West. Lee studied in Germany, and is fluent in German, so he set up this 4 game weekend. Six of us flew out in the early hours of Friday from Luton, landing in Dortmund an hour later. That’s where the benefits of Lee’s knowledge of Germany started in earnest. He bought a group day ticket on the railway that allowed us unlimited travel in the region for around €10 each, a real bargain. We decamped to Dortmund, had a few beers then dumped our bags at our hotel before heading back to the main station.

The next bit was entirely my fault. I spotted that there was an earlier train heading to Mönchengladbach so on we jumped only to find it was an S-Bahn service stopping at all (around 47 stations) along the way. We were passed by the later train en-route and it all looked in vain when we arrived at the ground to find it locked up. Lee checked the ground address,  and found it had been switched to another ground. I looked that up on my Google Maps App, and discovered it was only 500 metres away. A quick dash, and I turned right, and there was the ground. I actually turned round to the others, grinned and gave them the thumbs up!

In truth the first ground was nothing special, a railed off clay pitch by a leisure centre. The Sportanlage Radrennbahn, is a different animal all together. Once upon a time it was a velodrome, but the track has gone, and the ends have been surrendered to the trees and shrubbery. There’s no lack of graffiti, but the place has a real atmosphere, rather like Glasgow’s Cathkin Park, another gloriously derelict ground.


We were pleased to make the game for footballing reasons too. With 1FC’s second string needing a win to take the title, there was a decent crowd, in good voice. It did seem odd to see a group of young people cheering on the local Police, but they added to a cracking atmosphere, and a pretty good local game.

In fact all that was lacking was a goal! There was no lack of endeavour on either side, it was just that when it came to shooting, well you knew then you were watching Kreisliga action! Kreis, by the way means district, or county, and the Kreisliga is by no means the base of the German pyramid; try the Kreisklasse! Deo Kissolo for 1FC was worst culprit, missing a string of chances for 1FC, but I was noticing more the challenges going in from the Polizei players. They were two footed, and late, and eventually the ref started booking players….

What changed everything was Polizei taking the lead. Richard Souren stabbed home, and the old stand fairly rocked. We waited for a 1FC reaction, which we got, but we didn’t quite expect the Polizei reaction too! Björn von der Berg equalised which on its own meant nothing, but when Kissolo fired home from 6 yards out, atoning for previous misses, the place, and Polizei erupted. A crate of beer arrived for the away fans just as the unfortunately named Guido Krapp collected his second booking for a quite dreadful challenge. He was followed by Marvin Schmitt for an even worse challenge, his time on the pitch a mere 4 minutes. It was all too much for Görkhan Alatas whose stream of invective earned a 3rd red card for his team, and chortles of “Police Brutality” from the foreign contingent.

At the end of it all 1FC celebrated, Polizei sulked and Alatas continued to berate the ref, as we headed off for a chinese meal, remembering to collect a takeaway menu for one of our number Graeme. He collects them you see…..