Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
After a heavy, but thoroughly enjoyable, night on the 'pop' in Osnabruck, it was a traumatic start to the day as the pre-booked train at 0630 was missed quite comfortably. We eventually made it to the station in time to catch the 0820 train but at considerable additional cost, so that last beer proved to be an expensive one! It was a long four hour train journey south to Frankfurt (327km) for today's game and the slight delay meant it would be a bit of a rush to get to the game, as we had to go into the city first and drop the bags off.
For the second time in four days i'd be watching Schalke, as they were the opposition for Eintract today. The Waldstadion (currently sponsored by Commerzbank) like most top stadia in Germany, is impressive and the fans were very noisy behind the goal (where our tickets were). The ground even had its own resident eagle 'Atilla' who is the club mascot, making a change from the normal foam-filled buffoon.
The match was a complete 51,500 sell out and our tickets had to be acquired through a ticket-exchange website but i'm sure it would be worth the cost. How wrong. The match was complete and utter shite. On a freezing cold afternoon there was little to get the crowd excited as Schalke looked a shadow of the side they were in mid-week and Frankfurt, despite having most of the play were absolutely dreadful in front of goal. The game ended goallless. Fortunately i'm not one of these sad hoppers who have to return to a ground to witness a goal, but saying that i'd happily return to Frankfurt for some more beer!