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!
Friday 22nd October 2010 Bundesliga 2 VFL Osnabrück 2-0 Energie Cottbus Attendance: 15,000
Friday saw me head 120km North of Dortmund to the small town of Osnabrück. I had been pre-warned that the natives are not too fond of the British, due to the fact there is an army base nearby. What bollocks this turned out to be as this was probably the best day/night of the whole trip.
This was the only game of the trip where the tickets were not pre-booked, so after arriving in the town around midday it was a case of getting up to the ground to secure them. Absolutely no problems with buying them and they were a bargain at €12. It was then a walk back to town to check into the hotel, where the receptionist spoke perfect English after living in Bottisham (no, i'd never heard of it either) near Newmarket, but I was thinking small world ain't it?
Once the stuff was dumped it was time for the main event...drinking and football! None of the bars in town looked that appealing so we headed back to the ground and the supporters bar for a couple of pre-game beers and then went onto the terrace for the 6pm kick off. The Stadion an der Bremer Brücke (currently sponsored by Osna-Tel) was rammed with 15,000 supporters.
As we were a wee bit late leaving the bar, we didn't get the greatest view of the first half, and in fact only just about glimpsed the goal going in. When people moved for their half time refreshments there was space to head towards the back of the terrace.
The game was a good one as the opposition, Cottbus, were coached by Osnabrück's ex-coach Claus-Dieter Wollitz so, as you can imagine, the home side were well up for it. They were more of less were in control from start to finish. Alexander Schnetzler gave the home side the lead after 24 minutes before Nicky Adler settled the game after 66 minutes. Inbetween the goals the home side also missed a penalty, Matthias Heidrich firing wide. This incident also saw Cottbus reduced to 10 men as the referee sent off Uwe Hünemeier, deeming his challenge to be a professional foul.
After the game it was back to the supporters bar for just a couple more nightcaps, as it was an early start on the 6.30am train to Frankfurt, but thats when the 'problems' began. We got chatting to a group of supporters and were having such a good laugh that before we knew it the clock had gone past midnight and the drink was still flowing. Ooops. This didn't bode well for the morning train south.....