Tag Archives: Austrian 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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Will the 304th Vienna derby have been important? Well……


Tomorrow (Sunday 17th Feb 2013) I will join other Austria Wien fans in cheering the team as we start the Spring season (following the traditional winter break). Like most of the Veilchen, I’m still on a high from seeing the Violets crowned ‘Winter Kings’ – first in the league, 7 points ahead of nearest rivals Salzburg, and with a 10 point lead over Rapid Wien. The computer has ordained that we will kick-off the second half of our 2012-13 campaign with the chance to win our third Vienna derby of the season.

The story so far:

3rd round of the season                 –             Rapid 0:3 Austria

4th round of season                        –             Salzburg 0:2 Rapid

9th round of the season                 –            Austria 0:1 Salzburg

12th round of the season              –           Austria 2:0 Rapid

13th round of the season               –            Rapid 2:0 Salzburg

18th round of the season              –           Salzburg 0:0 Austria

Top of Premiership Table

  1. Austria 48pts
  2. Salzburg 41pts
  3. Rapid 38pts
  4. Sturm Graz 35pts

The results may have gone our way in the two derby matches so far but we haven’t beaten our nearest rivals Salzburg who have themselves succumbed twice to Rapid. The point is that neither the derby clashes nor the games against Salzburg have played a decisive role in the story of the first half of the season. Austria gained there lead through consistency of performance week in week out. With the squad still intact after the close of the transfer window and in fact enhanced by the re-signing of Nacer Barazite (returning after a year way at Monaco), all the signs point to an equally strong Spring campaign.

So what of the derby tomorrow? Well it’s always important to every fan no matter where the two teams are in the league. It however looks unlikely to have any impact on the final positions at the end of the season. Does this mean I will be relaxed tomorrow? That I don’t care about the derby result? Of course not! If, as I hope, we win the match I’ll be ecstatic. If the unthinkable happens I’ll be as miserable as sin. But no matter what, the result will not determine the destiny of the two teams for the rest of the season.

Rapid are on a run of seven games without a win against Austria. I suspect that run won’t end tomorrow afternoon. If we get off to a good start it could be another 0:3 win but a win by one goal is more likely…….but then the real fun of football is that every game is different and derby games are particularly unpredictable 🙂

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Blog Stat’s – 2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Winter Kings at the end of a great first half of football


This afternoon Austria Wien will play their last game before the winter break. Whatever the result FAK are already ‘Winter Kings’ and with a win against Sturm Graz the team will be 7 points clear of Salzburg in second and 10 points ahead of Rapid Wien back in third place.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround in the team’s fortunes when compared to events in the second half of the 2011-12 season. Under the management of Peter Stöger virtually the same team has become record breaking league leaders. I believe we have the highest ever number of points secured at the winter break, the team’s defensive record is superb having conceded the fewest goals in the league (15), and our attack has scored 45 goals only 2 behind Salzburg (who have played one game more at the time of writing).

One significant addition to the team is striker Philipp Hosiner, who is not only a pleasure to watch but according to the Uefa coefficient is currently amongst the top strikers in Europe, alongside the likes of Lionel Messi.

It’s been a whole team effort but a few players, in addition to Philipp Hosiner, have stood out. The promotion of Fabian Koch to a regular starting place in the back line has been one of the manager’s standout decisions. In the other full back position, Marcus Suttner has deserved the accolade – first chanted by one of my fellow #planetviola friends – ‘Marcus Suttner football god’. Our defensive strength in no small part has been secured by the defensive midfield role superbly played Austria Wien’s very own Australian, James Holland. Finally, but by no means least, the solid defensive play and team leadership of our Captain Manuel Ortlechner cannot go without mention.

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It’s been a great first half. I’m looking forward to the kick-off of the Spring season on the 16th February and another superb set of performances by Austria. As luck would have it we start the second half of the season with the Vienna derby – a chance to put a bigger gap between Austria and our local rivals Rapid. The season will end with an away trip to Salzburg – currently the only team who look capable of challenging us for the title.

 

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One goal short of true happiness


There were a few tears, others were smiling but the joy was a little subdued. First Vienna U13 Girls, last Saturday, had progressed to the final of the indoor tournament only to face defeat to Landhaus U13 Girls.

First Vienna had progressed through four games in the girls’ football tournament undefeated and without conceding, only to lose by a single goal in a closely fought final. I suspect, as these two teams progressive through league and tournaments in coming years, there will be many more close run competitions between the two.

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The eight teams that participated in the tournament came from Upper Austria, Lower Austria, and Vienna.

 

 

 

 

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So what makes a successful football team?


Is success all about the players, the manager or the system? Is it about skill, technique or training? Endless hours of debate can be had about these issues whenever a group of football fans gather together.

Thanks to the excellent translation efforts of my fellow Viola fan @forzaviola15 I had the opportunity to read an interview recently with Austria Wien’s manager Peter Stöger. His answers to two particular questions sheds some light on how he has turned around the fortunes of the team since being appointed in the summer:

Is it true you don’t spend a lot of time speaking about the system to your team, but instead focus on everybody’s individual tasks? What are the advantages of that?

I think it’s important that the players know what they have to do. That doesn’t have a lot to do with the system. Having a compact system is one half of the story, having the players really know about their responsibilities is the other. I can pass the ball along for hours and run across the pitch, but when something happens that we haven’t prepared, everybody needs to react. They have to know how to deal with dangerous situations.

So everybody has an individual emergency plan?

Everybody knows what 4-4-2 etc mean. In attack situations, we focus a lot on timing, but we mostly talk about defending. And in that area, the players need to know three to four things. They need to know if this or that happens I have to react in this way. Apart from that, we deal with problem areas and correct mistakes. Mistakes happen in every game, they usually decide its outcome. In that area, I work with everybody in the same way.  Of course, we work on passing and timing, but definitely not as much.

The club currently sits second in the Austrian Premiership.  If they can maintain their current form (and the sign are good) they have every chance of finishing as league champions.

Forza Viola! In Peter Stöger we trust 🙂

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That scoring feeling with First Vienna


Last Friday night the U11 Girls ran out with the First Vienna senior team…

It was a good night for First Vienna FC with a win over second placed Lustenau….

I got lucky and snapped the ball hitting the back of the net for the first goal in the teams’ 3:1 win…

The following morning the First Vienna U11 Girls were back on the pitch in their own game which ended in a 5:2 defeat….

But again I happen to get a picture of Vienna’s first goal….. 🙂

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