Category Archives: Football

Field trip for crunch match – another away day following FAK


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Not far from the City of Salzburg sits the market down of Grödig, home to our opponents for today’s crunch Austrian Bundesliga (Premiership) match with SV Grödig. The table tells it all; with two games left to play this game may determine whether Austria or our opponents secure European football for next season.

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I was at our last match in Grödig, at the end of November, with a small contingent from the #planetviola fan group. Although the sun shone down the day was less than warming for all the Veilchen. We stood in sub-zero temperatures and watched the team suffer a 1:0 defeat.

The Grödig stadium is distinctive as it sits outside the town surrounded by fields with mountain views to admire while you’re waiting for kick-off. Leaving the bus on the main road, it’s a five minute walk down a road through the fields. Stands on three sides of the stadium block the view of the pitch from outside but if you happen to have a tractor and sat on top of the cab you could watch the game from the field on the fourth side. In England I know some fans moan about stadia becoming increasingly indistinguishable; here we still have fields of dreams with their own unique character.

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As already mentioned, this is a crucial game. So far results favour Grödig:

8th round: Austria 2:3 Grödig

17th round: Grödig 1:0 Austria

26th round: Austria 2:0 Grödig

I have to admit to being nervous about today but my prediction is an away win – Grödig 1:2 Austria.

Forza Viola

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Camels invade Vienna football pitch


Well I’ve seen a few strange sights and experienced some unusual events watching football over the years but a pitch invasion by camels and lamas was a first for me.

H had finished her game for the First Vienna FC U11 Girls and had asked if we could stay on to watch the U15 Girls match as one of her friends was playing. The early part of the game saw Vienna take the lead and the main point of note, other than the quality of the football, was a friendly exchange of views between the referee and one of the parents over a contentious decision. The sun was shining, the game was in full flow, and life was unfolding at First Vienna’s youth training centre as normal last Sunday morning. Then we heard a crash….

Over beyond the right hand goal a temporary paddock had been placed to allow camels and lamas from the travelling circus to graze. As we looked across we saw one of the more determined camels give a second push to the rapidly collapsing fence. This Houdini of the camel world showed no interest in the game of football being played but instead turned its attention to the lush grass before it.

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Even as our escape artist was joined by fellow camels and a number of lamas the game continued. We spectators were laughing and joking at the sight before for us and naturally people were reaching for cameras and camera phones. Someone was sent to rouse the circus folk and as more animals joined the initial breakout the referee was finally forced to call a temporary halt to the game.

By the time the animal’s keepers had arrived a number of the lamas had followed Houdini along the grass edge of the pitch and towards further grazing near the main builds. Suddenly the rest of the herd took off a speed to join them, chased by their circus guardians.

Suddenly the initial shock and humour of the crowd of parents changed to concern as the whole herd began to move back towards the pitch. We parents had been watching the game from the top of a slope adjacent to the pitch and were know shouting to the youngsters to join us on the safer high ground. As calm returned we all watched as keepers chased the animal around the pitch before successfully returning them to the paddock.

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The referee called the players back on the pitch and resumed the game. Over to our right a group of well exercised camels and lamas were being guided from their paddock into the big top.

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Austria or Salzburg – In the Premiership title race who do the remaining fixtures favour?


With five games left to play in the Austrian Premiership Austria have a 6 points lead over Salzburg, who will be our opponents in the final game of the season.

The tables below show where each side has lost points in the thirty-one matches played. If as I believe (hope and pray) Austria win the title it will in part be thanks to the performances of our local rivals Rapid against Salzburg.

Looking at the remaining five games, of Salzburg’s remaining opponents four of the teams have taken points from them this season – Admira, Wiener Neustadt, Ried, and Austria. In comparison Austria have to face only two teams against whom they have dropped points, Wiener Neustadt and Salzburg.

Opponents

Austria’s lost points

  Opponents

Salzburg’s lost points

Sturm Graz W:D:D   Rapid W:W:D
Salzburg W:D:D   Ried W:D
WAC D:W   Admira D:D
Wiener Neustadt D   Austria D:D
Rapid D   Neustadt D
      Sturm D
      WAC D

A six point lead and a better record against our remaining opponents, this should be Austria’s title. However, things might be tricky if we need a point on the last day of the season away to Salzburg.

 

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First Vienna Football Club and the Rothschild scarf


Some readers who follow my Twitter and/or Instagram accounts may have seen this picture taken last Friday of my new First Vienna scarf. It has on one side the name of the team and on the other the name of a group of Vienna fans – Partisan Rothschild.

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I’ve been asked by a few people ‘Why Rothschild?’ The answer is connected to the clubs history. As you can read further here at Wikipedia, FVFC was founded by English and Austrian gardeners working for Nathaniel Anselm von Rothschild. He got so fed-up with the gardeners playing football on his lawns he gave them a piece of land to play on and yellow-blue jockey shirts from his riding stables.

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The record breaking Austria Wien march on


Wednesday night saw Austria Wien secured another win, on this occasion SV Ried 1:3 Austria. This set a new Premiership league record for consecutive away wins. Back in December Austria went into the winter break as ‘Winter Kings’ with a new point’s record. Looking at the performances of the team since the start of the Spring season – three wins against Rapid (1:2), Admira (4:0), and Ried – it looks as though a few more records will be broken before the final game of the season.

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It’s a good time to be a member of the ‘Veilchen’ as we Austria fans are known. Austria are unbeaten in the league since 22nd September 2012, are currently 15 points ahead of Salzburg (though they have games in hand) and 17 points ahead of third played Rapid.

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The pleasure for the fans is not just the performances of the team (and style that has gone with them) but the complete turnaround  in the fortunes of the club. A year ago the team had just lost some key players in the transfer window and changed manager – the fans were just about to go through a Spring season in which the team fell apart.

Credit for the current record breaking season has to go to the Manager, Peter Stöger  (appointed in the summer) and his coaching team  who have taken a virtually unchanged squad and lifted them back to a performance level and a style of play that seemed lost this time last year.

For those of us with experience of English television, of the past, there is the suspicion that the brains behind Austria’s renaissance may have had a rather different ‘international’ role in his passed:

The brains behind Austria’s renaissance - Peter Stöger

The brains behind Austria’s renaissance – Peter Stöger

Brains from Thunderbirds 'International Rescue'

Brains from Thunderbirds ‘International Rescue’

One significant decision by Peter Stöger was to add a new striker to the squad. Philipp Hosiner has been a great addition providing further striking options. A prolific scorer, he is also the type of striker whose presence, leading the line, creates opportunities for other in the team to find the back of the net. There is already talk that we may lose him in the summer transfer window to the likes of Ajax but I hope that European qualification will help the club to hang on to a superb striker for at least another season. Philipp has the potential to be a successful striker in one of the top leagues. If he does go (in a couple of seasons) I’d love to see him partnered with Chris Wood, giving the then Premiership Leicester City one hell of a strike force.

The ‘Veilchen’ are enjoying the season so far and we may have much more to celebrate when it’s over. Teams in small leagues such as the Austrian Premiership have to live with the reality that they will continuously lose their best talent to the bigger leagues. This makes building year in year out success that much more challenging. However, Austria have in Peter Stöger an excellent Manager, we have a number of young players knocking at the first team door and a well run club. This could be the start of a great era for the Veilchen’ – first in Vienna and first in Austria 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vienna win tough indoor football tournament


First Vienna U13 Girls came out on top of what was arguably the toughest and most competitive of the Indoor Girls Football Tournaments the team has played in during the current winter break.

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The competition, hosted by USC Landhaus, involved seven teams drawn from Lower Austria and Vienna.

Final Table

Team

Played

GF

GA

GD

Points

1

FC Vienna

6

9

2

+7

13

2

KSC Donaustadt

6

14

7

+7

12

3

SC Mautner

6

10

6

+4

12

4

SKV Altenmarkt

6

12

9

+3

12

5

USC Landhaus

6

13

8

+5

9

6

Wiener-SportKlub

6

6

15

-9

3

7

SC Ortmann

6

4

17

-13

1

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Kicking extremism out of football – at least at Austria Wien


Well there were lots of positive comments on my timeline from fellow Austria fans about the clubs decision last night to take action against extreme right-wing elements at the stadium. It’s good to see the clubs General Assembly decide to no longer recognise one of the fanclubs because of their failure to abide by the ‘no violence and no politics in the stadium’ rules.

Loss of recognition mean the group can no longer hang any banners in the stadium and will no longer be allowed to participate in official fan club meetings. I note in this report in der Standard that Austria emphasise that the action has been taken after the club had attempted to resolve issues with the group through dialogue.

Austria is a great club to support and the vast majority of fans are truly committed to the club and the game of football. The club has always had a strong tradition of stylish and creative football which it retains today. This commitment makes its teams great to watch but not always predicable when it comes to results. A couple of seasons ago we played the best football in the league but failed to win the title. This year we are again playing the most attractive football but are, I’m happy to say, on course to win the league.

Austria Wien’s history includes a strong connection with Vienna’s pre-WWII Jewish community. A few of the clubs Jewish officials and players were able to flee the country during the Nazis period but many were murdered. The club itself is said, during this period, to have (in a small but significant way) rebelled by resisting the Nazi authorities’ attempts to rename the club and instead retaining its original name of ‘Austria’.

It’s good to see the club sticking with its history on and off the pitch.

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