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Well, after a long time away from the forum I think it's time to get started again. The story is based on CM01/02 with the newest update from CM Sorted. I hope it doesn't crash. The next is what we pro's like to call a little teaser. Enjoy icon_cool.gif


After finishing reading the letter for a third time Karl Franz looked up slowly. Turning to look at Fritz, his faithful companion for the last 30 years he smiled.

“Do you know what this means, Fritz?†he asked slowly.

“Uhm, no boss, me dunnoâ€.

Fritz was the archetypical German. Tall, blond, muscular and not particular bright. Also, those were the very reasons why Karl liked keeping him around. He would always do as he was told without arguing it. Karl suspected this was also part of the reason that he had been chosen as his companion.

“This means that we can finally leave this nation of small banana-eaters Fritz and return to the Motherland!â€

“Da Motherland boss?â€

“Yes Fritz. Germany… Deutschland! The land of our ancestors. The land they were forced to leave behind more than 50 years ago“.

Fritz scratched himself. “Uhm, what’s in the letter boss?â€.

“Well, listen up. Apparently some old documents have been found from before the….ehm… move down here. It appears that my grandfather was given a small football club called SF Siegen as a reward for something he did. The documents have been deemed valid and as sole descendent it is now mine. I’m going to take over and run it myself and you’re coming with me.â€

“Uhm, what am I to do boss?â€

“Well, I’m sure I can find something suitable for your skills…â€

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Well, after a long time away from the forum I think it's time to get started again. The story is based on CM01/02 with the newest update from CM Sorted. I hope it doesn't crash. The next is what we pro's like to call a little teaser. Enjoy icon_cool.gif


After finishing reading the letter for a third time Karl Franz looked up slowly. Turning to look at Fritz, his faithful companion for the last 30 years he smiled.

“Do you know what this means, Fritz?†he asked slowly.

“Uhm, no boss, me dunnoâ€.

Fritz was the archetypical German. Tall, blond, muscular and not particular bright. Also, those were the very reasons why Karl liked keeping him around. He would always do as he was told without arguing it. Karl suspected this was also part of the reason that he had been chosen as his companion.

“This means that we can finally leave this nation of small banana-eaters Fritz and return to the Motherland!â€

“Da Motherland boss?â€

“Yes Fritz. Germany… Deutschland! The land of our ancestors. The land they were forced to leave behind more than 50 years ago“.

Fritz scratched himself. “Uhm, what’s in the letter boss?â€.

“Well, listen up. Apparently some old documents have been found from before the….ehm… move down here. It appears that my grandfather was given a small football club called SF Siegen as a reward for something he did. The documents have been deemed valid and as sole descendent it is now mine. I’m going to take over and run it myself and you’re coming with me.â€

“Uhm, what am I to do boss?â€

“Well, I’m sure I can find something suitable for your skills…â€

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Well, after a long time away from the forum I think it's time to get started again. The story is based on CM01/02 with the newest update from CM Sorted. I hope it doesn't crash. The next is what we pro's like to call a little teaser. Enjoy icon_cool.gif


After finishing reading the letter for a third time Karl Franz looked up slowly. Turning to look at Fritz, his faithful companion for the last 30 years he smiled.

“Do you know what this means, Fritz?†he asked slowly.

“Uhm, no boss, me dunnoâ€.

Fritz was the archetypical German. Tall, blond, muscular and not particular bright. Also, those were the very reasons why Karl liked keeping him around. He would always do as he was told without arguing it. Karl suspected this was also part of the reason that he had been chosen as his companion.

“This means that we can finally leave this nation of small banana-eaters Fritz and return to the Motherland!â€

“Da Motherland boss?â€

“Yes Fritz. Germany… Deutschland! The land of our ancestors. The land they were forced to leave behind more than 50 years ago“.

Fritz scratched himself. “Uhm, what’s in the letter boss?â€.

“Well, listen up. Apparently some old documents have been found from before the….ehm… move down here. It appears that my grandfather was given a small football club called SF Siegen as a reward for something he did. The documents have been deemed valid and as sole descendent it is now mine. I’m going to take over and run it myself and you’re coming with me.â€

“Uhm, what am I to do boss?â€

“Well, I’m sure I can find something suitable for your skills…â€

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Well, after a long time away from the forum I think it's time to get started again. The story is based on CM01/02 with the newest update from CM Sorted. I hope it doesn't crash. The next is what we pro's like to call a little teaser. Enjoy icon_cool.gif


After finishing reading the letter for a third time Karl Franz looked up slowly. Turning to look at Fritz, his faithful companion for the last 30 years he smiled.

“Do you know what this means, Fritz?†he asked slowly.

“Uhm, no boss, me dunnoâ€.

Fritz was the archetypical German. Tall, blond, muscular and not particular bright. Also, those were the very reasons why Karl liked keeping him around. He would always do as he was told without arguing it. Karl suspected this was also part of the reason that he had been chosen as his companion.

“This means that we can finally leave this nation of small banana-eaters Fritz and return to the Motherland!â€

“Da Motherland boss?â€

“Yes Fritz. Germany… Deutschland! The land of our ancestors. The land they were forced to leave behind more than 50 years ago“.

Fritz scratched himself. “Uhm, what’s in the letter boss?â€.

“Well, listen up. Apparently some old documents have been found from before the….ehm… move down here. It appears that my grandfather was given a small football club called SF Siegen as a reward for something he did. The documents have been deemed valid and as sole descendent it is now mine. I’m going to take over and run it myself and you’re coming with me.â€

“Uhm, what am I to do boss?â€

“Well, I’m sure I can find something suitable for your skills…â€

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Some 20 hours later both Karl Franz and Fritz were onboard the Lufthansa plane from Buenos Aires to Frankfurt. A fax had arrived informing the new owner about the state of affairs.

“Hmm… it’s a rather small club Fritz.†Karl was getting increasingly annoyed as he read the papers. “They are almost 200,000 euros in debt and rising. The squad consists of just 26 players with an average age of less than 24. It’ll be your job to weed out the weak ones first.â€

“Yeah boss. What do you want to do with it?â€

“We’ll have to get out of that stupid regional division so we can get rich. This means we’ll have to win a lot.â€

“How do we do that boss?â€

“We’ll Blitz them. Just like grandfather. We’ll go around their central defences, get behind them and then destroy them with fast movement!â€

“You think that will work?â€

“Of course it will work you fool. I thought of it.â€

“But boss, won’t…â€

Karl slapped Fritz with his clipboard. “Shut up and go to sleep. I’ve work to do.â€

The squad wasn’t much. At least he had a good report on them from the old staff and he already knew they would play a 4-3-2-1 formation with two wingers doing the encirclement, the centre holding firm and defence supporting.

Looking closer at the squad he made some notes next to each player. He has no less than ten foreign nationals. Something would have to be done about that, but all in due time.


Three keepers on the books. An easy decision there. The Slovakian would have to go leaving Andreas Koch and Sven Eckhardt to battle it out. Both were decent keepers according to reports, but Koch was the most experienced and would start in.


The left side would be handled by Matthias Straub, a new acquisition from VfB Stuttgart with Christian Mehr staying as back-up. Both were Germans which was a good thing.

On the right he would use Sascha Bäcker. Another young German with great potential.

It would be more difficult to choose the central defenders. After thinking about it for 45 minutes, 2 beers and a bag of crisp he set marks next to Ousseynou Dione, a Senegalese player and Romas Cirba, a Lithuanian. He wasn’t too pleased about not using Germans, but they could always be replaced in due time.


The wings would be occupied by Sven-Jörg Bleck and Eric Lukin, an American U-21 player. Given the tough job of holding fast in the centre was Tobias Zott and Jozef Kotula, yet another Slovakian. Jens Truckenbrod would also have midfield as his starting position, but was to make probing attacks at the enemy defence opening the way for the rest.


Plenty of choice here, but with only one player required it would be possible to make some money here. American John van Buskirk would play up front. Almost a new sort of Marshall help there with two Americans in the team. The old star striker, Til Bettenstaedt, would be listed as he could bring in a large amount of euros. That Bosnian player would also be kicked out as soon as possible.

They were to attack as fast as possible and defend vigorously. He could hardly wait. He might start small, but in time Europe would tremble!

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> ************************************************************************************************

Sportfreunde Siegen - Saturday 30th June 2001





No Name Position(s) Nat Born Age Caps Gls Wages Expires Value


- Bäcker, Sascha D/DM R GER 1.8.79 21 - - ¤2.8K 30.6.03 ¤130K

- Balaz, Michal GK SVK 28.8.70 30 - - ¤2.2K 30.6.03 ¤190K

- Bettenstaedt, Til F RC GER 20.1.76 25 - - ¤6.25K 30.6.03 ¤500K

- Bleck, Sven-Jörg M RL GER 27.12.74 26 - - ¤1.1K 30.6.03 ¤35K

- Cirba, Romas D/DM C LTU 4.3.69 32 - - ¤5.5K 30.6.03 ¤160K

- Custos, Bruno DM RC FRA 29.4.77 24 - - ¤3.9K 30.6.03 ¤190K

- Dione, Ousseynou D C SEN 25.3.73 28 - - ¤3.1K 30.6.03 ¤130K

- Eckhardt, Sven GK GER 22.1.76 25 - - ¤1.2K 30.6.04 ¤65K

- Islamoglu, Cem D C TUR 4.9.80 20 - - ¤2.3K 30.6.03 ¤95K

- Klein, Martin M LC GER 22.12.80 20 - - ¤325 30.6.03 ¤40K

- Koch, Andreas GK GER 13.7.71 29 - - ¤2.5K 30.6.03 ¤80K

- Kotula, Jozef DM RC SVK 20.9.76 24 - - ¤4.9K 30.6.03 ¤325K

- Kresovic, Slobodan D C YUG 27.8.75 25 - - ¤2.1K 30.6.03 ¤180K

- Lukin, Eric M LC USA 14.6.79 22 - - ¤2.8K 30.6.04 ¤150K

- Maser, Marco S C GER 7.11.79 21 - - ¤350 30.6.03 ¤120K

- Mehr, Christian D/DM L GER 28.4.81 20 - - ¤775 30.6.03 ¤90K

- Mujakic, Nihad M R BOS 28.1.77 24 - - ¤2.9K 30.6.03 ¤120K

- Mujakic, Senad S C BOS 23.12.81 19 - - ¤2.8K 30.6.03 ¤100K

- Nauroth, Andreas DM LC GER 26.2.76 25 - - ¤5K 30.6.03 ¤325K

- Schlabach, Timo S C GER 5.12.80 20 - - ¤325 30.6.03 ¤95K

- Schöler, Tobias F LC GER 3.10.81 19 - - ¤2.1K 30.6.03 ¤60K

- Straub, Matthias D L GER 24.11.80 20 - - ¤2.9K 30.6.03 ¤150K

- Truckenbrod, Jens AM C GER 18.1.80 21 - - ¤4.2K 30.6.03 ¤210K

- Wurm, Tobias D RC GER 31.3.82 19 - - ¤1.2K 30.6.03 ¤65K

- Zott, Tobias DM C GER 12.8.77 23 - - ¤3.2K 30.6.03 ¤140K

- van Buskirk, John S C USA 13.4.72 29 - - ¤6.25K 30.6.03 ¤350K


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For more info on SF Siegen then go to SF Siegen but make sure to have turned the sound on. You can also see a map at Siegen/Germany


With the start of the league looming it was time to evaluate the pre-season. No matches had been played and only one new player had arrived. The French winger Mounar Jailitti joined on a free transfer and would be in hard contention for a place on the right wing. Three players had left the club for a combined fee of €1m leaving the treasury with a positive number. None of the money was made available for transfer though. Not that it was needed with the poor players available. Instead they would be used on salaries, not least for Karl Franz himself. Satisfied with this result he decided to take a short holiday at Harzen.

The plan almost worked brilliantly at the first match away to Saarbrücken. The strong midfield and aggressive backs shut down the homeside and instead the wingers created loads of chances. Twice van Buskirk hit the post and a penalty appeal was also turned down before he finally found the net. It was only seven minutes before time that defence collapsed when the inexperienced Wurm mistimed a tackle after having replaced the injured Dione. A draw was a good enough result though.

Impressively enough Saliso Lassissi, an Ivory Coast international, then signed with us despite interest from Nice. It was probably thanks to the persuasive work from Fritz that convinced him that it would be a good idea to sign with us lest accidents should happen.

He made his debut with a goal in the next match at home to the Kaiserslautern Amateurs with a goal. Once again Siegen dominated with their superior tactics, but it wasn’t until van Buskirk made it 2-0 that we really started creating chances due to the defence Kaiserslautern line-up. Still, we kept a clean sheet and have gotten off to a good start.

The winning streak continued against Offenbach where we made a brilliant recovery despite going one down early. Truckenbrod equalised before half time and thanks to spiking their drinks during the halftime break we took control and started to dominate in second half. Yet again van Buskirk proved his worth by becoming matchwinner after pouncing on a loose ball and blasting it past the hapless Luis in the Offenbach goal.

The unbeaten run then came to an end in Darmstadt thanks in part to poor goalkeeping, but also thanks to a fluke penalty awarded by a horrible referee who failed to see it was a dive. After having gained the lead Darmstadt retreated and though we were the best team we slumped to an undeserved defeat. After a quick phonecall to the DFB they agreed that the standard of refereeing was poor and they would make sure it didn’t happen again.

Another poor match by Koch saw Siegen lose yet again, this time to Erfurt. Of course, having two goals ruled out while the opposition keeper stood a blinder was no help either. Having Lassissi injured proved to be costly as his experience was sorely missed. Still, it has been a good first month considering that we aren’t pushing for promotion yet. I still made sure though that Fritz pulled him aside for a little inspirational talk.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">29.7.01 Saarbrücken A Regional Division South 1:1 8086 van Buskirk

5.8.01 K'lautern (A) H Regional Division South 3:0 5334 Truckenbrod, van Buskirk, Lassissi

12.8.01 Offenbach H Regional Division South 2:1 8383 Truckenbrod, van Buskirk

19.8.01 Darmstadt A Regional Division South 2:3 3442 Kotula, van Buskirk

26.8.01 Erfurt H Regional Division South 1:3 6623 Jailliti


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Cheers d_s. I aim to please icon_smile.gif


The fortunes turned again when Lassissi returned with a MoM game against Pfullendorf. His steady presence in defence was enough to hold the visitors off and with the rear secured the sole goal from Custos proved enough to edge out a small 1-0 victory.

We looked to build on that win away to high-flying Schweinfurt, but it would be a hard task, especially as captain Kotula had been injured against Pfullendorf. Still, we hoped to surprise them. Both teams came out seeking the opening goal and only brilliant play by Koch kept them away in the first half. For the first forty minutes we were under heavy siege until Lassissi got a wonderful goal on a fast counter. Having conquered the ball himself he spread it out to Lukin and continued his run forward latching on to the cross from Lukin and barrelling it home to give us the lead just before the break. The goal gave us the moral higher ground and it wasn’t until Lassissi had to limp off with a gashed leg that they started threatening again. We held on though, but for the next two weeks we will again be without our best defender.

Riding high on the backs of two narrow wins we sought to make it three in a row as Stuttgarter Kickers came to visit Leimbachstadion. Nowhere near as good as VfB Stuttgart we should be able to take them, though the presence of the Iranian Bagheri troubled me. As feared he proved a handful scoring a goal, but a brace from van Buskirk and two more goals gave us the vital win in front of an enthusiastic crowd of more than 9200 fans.

We rounded the month off against the Fc Bayern amateurs, but luckily they are no where near the standard of their first team lying deep in the relegation mire. Still we had also lost Truckenbrod again and were seriously weakened. After some early scares we finally found our footing and turned our fortunes around clinching a hard fought win. Up until van Buskirks goal we were really struggling, but that goal deflated the home side and we managed to complete an excellent month.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">9.9.01 Pfullendorf H Regional Division South 1:0 6683 Custos

16.9.01 Schweinfurt A Regional Division South 1:0 4568 Lassissi

23.9.01 Stuttgarter K. H Regional Division South 4:1 9226 van Buskirk 2, M.Klein, Lukin pen

30.9.01 FC Bayern (A) A Regional Division South 2:1 3044 Lukin, van Buskirk


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Frustration and delight was both abundant in our next game. Within three minutes we had a goal ruled out and the Unterhaching went in front a few minutes later. The frustration got worse when van Buskirk was injured only to subside when his replacement, Tobias Schöler, equlised. Schöler found the net once more, but again it was ruled out. Two goals disallowed and our striker out for 2 weeks. All in all a poor game. Once again I had to send my personal envoy to the DFB to inform them about my displeasure with the referee.

Luckily Schöler proved to be a more than decent replacement as he sealed a hattrick in the next match against Neunkirchen. Good, German reliability in that guy. It was a match we had full control of from the get go and with the points we underlined our desire to go up and play at a higher level. Nothing at all to be displeased off here with a good, solid performance.

I couldn’t help but be impressed when Schöler got another brace the week after giving us a two goal lead, but sadly it wasn’t enough as poor defending saw our unbeaten run come to an end in a 3-2 defeat. I’m very displeased with the way things were at the back, but sadly I don’t have any way to improve on it as we have no funds available and the free players are even worse.

I have a tough decision before the visit of second-placed Augsburg as van Buskirk is fit again. Nevertheless I decide to go with Schöler again though he never makes much of an impact as we’re hamstrung by the early dismissal of Koch in goal. This upsets us greatly and we’re lucky to only go down 1-2. A disappointment though.

My faith in Schöler was rewarded when he clinched another brace in the final game of the month away to Regional leaders Elversburg. It didn’t look like we would win though when they got a penalty after four minutes, but Eckhardt saved it. Later we went 0-1 down, but the two goals were enough to give us a surprising win and move us up to third.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">3.10.01 Unterhaching A Regional Division South 1:1 7022 Schöler

7.10.01 Neunkirchen H Regional Division South 3:0 7256 Schöler 3

14.10.01 Hoffenheim A Regional Division South 2:3 3427 Schöler 2

21.10.01 Augsburg H Regional Division South 1:2 7748 Jailliti

28.10.01 Elversberg A Regional Division South 2:1 3027 Schöler 2


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The Sun

November 1st, 2003


Trouble is stirring in Germany after the grandson of a high ranking nazi official has taken control of the Regional Division club SF Siegen. After discovering some old papers from the war it was revealed that the club had been given to a good friend of the nazi architect, Albert Speer. After being examined by several lawyers it was concluded that the documents were valid and that they had no choice but to turn the club over to the grandson of the unnamed official, a Karl Franz von Mannstein. Returning from his estates in Argentina this 33-year old have seized control of the old club and installed himself as manager leaving only a small part of the old board to help him out with the duller aspects of managerial life.

Rather surprisingly he has guided his team to third place using what he calls his blitz tactics based on exploiting the “enemy’s†weak flanks and then pushing with a major thrust. Even more disgusting is his claim that eventually the squad will be build up by German purebloods. At the moment they haven’t been able to do much about this upstart who has right on his side, but it is said that the Reichstag is looking for some way to nullify the papers as it might be considered some sort of illegal spoils of war. The process could take months though.

Grudging respect has risen though due to his results, but he shouldn’t expect to stay in business too long. read more on page 17

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Our push for glory continued against Wehen where we were three up after half an hour thanks to goals from Zott, Lassissi and Jailitti. With a three-goal cushion we could afford to take it easy for the rest of the match and even though they managed to pull one back there was never any doubt as to the outcome. Eckhardt did well in goal once again, but I’m going back to the more experienced Koch when he returns from his suspension.

At this point of time several chairmen started getting triggerhappy with about ten regional managers sacked. Rather surprising actually as we’re not even half-way through the season. With my aim of just improving the squad I could only laugh. Even so… they couldn’t fire me. I own the bloody club.

Aalen proved to be little more than a speedbump as we repeated the 3-1 win from the week before once again going three up before allowing them a consolation goal. I’m pretty unhappy about the lapse in concentration though as the goal came deep into injury time. Still, it was nice to see that the players have really adapted to this tactic and learned how to do what I want them to do. If we can keep the style up we might actually have a shot at promotion.

Frustrating though the bad press meant that we were having some unexpected problems. All the other clubs loaned players left and right, but every time we tried to bring someone in on loan the player rejected us. I don’t get it. I’m not that harsh and what is wrong with SF Siegen.

A few days later Sven Eckhardt turned up, unsatisfied with a place on the bench. Even though he did well when called upon I let him know that I considered Koch as my number one and that he would remain as a backup. He didn’t look too happy about this, but I made sure that Fritz would go and have a little talk with him. That should settle things.

We had a massive scare when Saarbrücken visited as they forced Koch into superb saves twice in the first five minutes. Having failed to score early they instead set about trying to kill off our passing game and almost succeeded when they managed to force Lukin off with an injured knee keeping him out for three weeks. Gradually our confidence asserted itself and once we got the first goal it was just another day in the park setting us up for our fourth win in a row. This was our second game against Saarbrücken while we still hadn’t played Regensburg. What an odd schedule.

It also meant that we took the title of Herbstmeister as we lay in first place after the first half of the season.

An away trip to the hopeless Kaiserslautern amateurs wasn’t really something to make our blood boil, but it should prove an easy three points, points that we could need at the end of the season so our strongest possible side took to the pitch. Imagine my shock then when Toppmöller and Teber put them 2-0 up within ten minutes leaving us with a lot of work icon_mad.gif Truckenbrod pulled one back only for Teber to restore the lead to two goals. Late on we were finally awarded for our hard work when Truckenbrod got his second and Schöler also found the net to earn us a hard-fought point.

SSV Reuthlingen 05 then came in with a surprise bid for Lithuanian Romas Cirba, one of the players I’m looking to get rid off. While their initial offer was tempting I thought it better to send Fritz to try and convince them to up their bid just a little. Sadly he failed me this time as they pulled out of the deal. Perhaps I should send him to diplomacy school.

We ended November on a cold and wet day against Regensburg in a incredibly dramatic match that saw seven goals scored in the first half. Luckily four of them came from my players, but conceding three goals at home in one half is just not good enough. The second half was more quiet with only Custos scoring what proved to be his second of the game and clinching a 5-3 win.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">4.11.01 Wehen A Regional Division South 3:1 2183 Zott, Lassissi, Jailliti

11.11.01 Aalen H Regional Division South 3:1 8153 Kotula, Schöler, Truckenbrod

18.11.01 Saarbrücken H Regional Division South 2:0 10234 Jailliti, Truckenbrod

25.11.01 K'lautern (A) A Regional Division South 3:3 2170 Truckenbrod 2, Schöler

28.11.01 Regensburg H Regional Division South 5:3 9016 Dione, Schöler, Truckenbrod, Custos 2


And the table as we're just over halfway through the season:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">South

Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st SF Siegen 19 8 0 2 25 11 4 3 2 17 14 39

2nd Schweinfurt 19 6 1 3 19 12 5 3 1 16 12 37


3rd Elversberg 19 8 0 1 24 8 2 4 4 17 18 34

4th Hoffenheim 19 7 1 1 22 11 4 0 6 17 24 34

5th Augsburg 19 7 1 1 21 10 3 1 6 12 17 32

6th Unterhaching 19 6 4 0 23 14 3 0 6 18 18 31

7th Saarbrücken 19 7 2 1 22 11 2 2 5 16 19 31

8th Offenbach 19 5 3 2 21 13 3 3 3 15 16 30

9th Stuttgarter K. 19 7 3 0 25 7 0 4 5 12 24 28

10th Regensburg 19 6 0 3 19 11 2 2 6 15 20 26

11th Wehen 19 4 1 4 19 20 3 3 4 15 19 25

12th Pfullendorf 19 4 4 2 20 17 2 1 6 13 22 23

13th Erfurt 19 3 4 3 23 24 2 3 4 10 14 22

14th Darmstadt 19 5 4 1 16 9 0 3 6 9 24 22


15th FC Bayern (A) 19 4 3 2 13 12 0 5 5 11 20 20

16th Aalen 19 2 3 4 12 19 2 2 6 19 25 17

17th Neunkirchen 19 2 4 3 14 13 2 0 8 7 19 16

18th K'lautern (A) 19 1 2 6 12 23 0 1 9 6 25 6


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The game away to Offenbach got off to an odd start. First we lost Klein in the first minute to an injury and then Truckenbrod scored directly from the resulting free kick. The match quieted down after that and we strolled to a 3-2 lead. Then the referee had a brain injury of some sort and sent off both Bleck and Wurm. With nine against eleven we were unable to hold on to our lead and had to see Offenbach equalise two minutes into injurytime. Bummer.

Contract negotiations were going slowly as there was no money available for sign-on fees meaning that most of the squad was quite upset with the offers given them. A little talk by Fritz got a few to sign on, but it looked like a major exodus was in the works.

Our last game before the winter break was at home to Darmstadt and we wanted to give our fans a win to keep them warm over winter as well as making sure that we would stay in first place before the season resumed. A brace from Schöler and a single from Lassissi was enough to give us the points as the visitors only scored twice.

Now, it was time for some rough work. With no money then we would need to look for players coming out of contract and the scouts were sent out all over Europe to see what could be found. I estimate that we will lose about 5-8 players in the close season, including the unsettled Custos who will have to be replaced. It will be hard work, but I’m confident that we can do it.

While we had little luck in the market for players coming out of contract we did manage to convince Thorsten Buckhardt of Greuther Fürth to spend the rest of the season on loan at us. He plays on both the left and right wing and should prove a valuable boost for us.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">2.12.01 Offenbach A Regional Division South 3:3 10869 Truckenbrod, Custos, Schöler

9.12.01 Darmstadt H Regional Division South 3:2 8517 Lassissi, Schöler 2


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Things progressed slowly in the market for Bosmans, but we did mange a minor scoop when experienced Austrian goalkeeper Franz Almer. With eight seasons behind him at Grazer AK, he should really prove a valuable addition. We also signed 25 year-old Gastón Curbelo to a contract. The French/Uruguayan player is an offensive midfielder and will increase our options there.

We started the spring season away to Erfurt, one of the teams that had managed to beat us at our own ground. It started well enough when we went 2-1 up, but then they hit 4 for no reply from us sending us home with nothing. Koch had been particularly abysmal and was to fault for at least two of the goals. Well, Fritz should see too that it doesn’t happen again with a little 1 on 1 talk.

After that defeat we truly needed a win to stay top and the visitors from Unterhaching should do nicely. A win should also set them back in their aspirations to push for a top place. As planned we took the lead through Lukin after 12 minutes, but their equaliser on the half hour mark was not part of my plans. Van Buskirk restored our lead in the second half and after they lost two players to injuries our job became easier. All doubt was removed when Buckhardt got his first for the club after coming on as a substitute. Ah, back on track.

Sadly I noticed that we’re really bleeding money and are almost half a million euros in the red. This is not good. I might have to look around for some investors. We’re making decent money from the gates, but the breaks are deadly to our finances.

We seemed to have picked up a form of yo-yo form when we went to Pfullendorf. We were thoroughly outplayed and outclassed throughout the match and only a suberb match from Koch and a fine individual act from Lukin saw us come away with a point. This is worrying as we need to be more consistent in a league as even and close as this one.

A true sixpointer then awaited against third-placed Schweinfurt. A win here would see us more or less leave them behind and perhaps knock out one of our most persistent pursuers. Schöler and Buckhardt gave us a good cushion in an open game that could just have easily have been won by the visitors. As it was we just got the points, mainly thanks to the loud support of our fans who spurred the players on to a solid performance. More importantly it opens a 7 point gap down to third place with nine games remaining.

I make sure the players understand that we need to keep winning as we travel to Stuttgart. It also starts well when Kotula gives us the lead, but then Koch decided to act up again and get himself sent off for the second time of the season. This spells the beginning of the end for us as his replacement apparently forgot his gloves at home and let in every single ball. A miserable performance by all and a round of fines and warnings were handed out afterward.

March ended with a visit of FC Bayern amateurs and for once we got off to a good start with two goals in the opening ten minutes. We kept up the pace in the second half to secure a comfortable win, but I’m starting to worry about the goal-drought from Schöler. Perhaps it’s time to go with van Buskirk again.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">24.2.02 Erfurt A Regional Division South 2:5 2509 Lukin, Schöler

27.2.02 Unterhaching H Regional Division South 3:1 8591 Lukin, van Buskirk, Burkhardt

3.3.02 Pfullendorf A Regional Division South 1:1 8928 Lukin

10.3.02 Schweinfurt H Regional Division South 2:1 8385 Schöler, Burkhardt

17.3.02 Stuttgarter K. A Regional Division South 1:4 3367 Kotula

31.3.02 FC Bayern (A) H Regional Division South 3:1 7076 Kotula, Burkhardt, Truckenbrod


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Our dubious awayform looked set to continue when we went behind twice against Neunkirchen. Both times our blushes were saved though thanks to goals from van Buskirk and an own goal. However, we still have tough opposition to face in the last six games and if we don’t get our act together now, then it will be all for naught.

Secondplaced Hoffenheim would be a real test, but by winning we would leave them eight points behind and could stop worrying about them. At least I hoped so. I started superbly when van Buskirk converted a cross from Lukin in the first minute before their defence found there footing and when Truckenbrod added a second after half and hour we were firmly in control. We fought hard for the decisive third goal, but didn’t get any closer than hitting the post. In the end it didn’t matter as we kept Hoffenheim away to soar clear. With Elversberg only drawing it meant that we were eight points clear to the pursuing quartet with five games remaining.

The next game was away to Augsburg who was ten points behind us, but only two points from second place so it would be another hard game. For the first hour we were under hard pressure and only luck kept them down to a single goal. Once we entered the last part of the game we finally got our act together and then a lucky 30-yard cracker from Truckenbrod proved enough for us to go home with a single point.

No rest for the wicked as our visitors from Elversburg were in second place, but if we could do the double over them they would effectively be out of the running to catch us. It started well enough when Kuci deflected a ball into his own net, but we were unable to hold on and conceded late to reduce our lead to just four points.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">7.4.02 Neunkirchen A Regional Division South 2:2 2443 van Buskirk, Eiden og

14.4.02 Hoffenheim H Regional Division South 2:0 8185 van Buskirk, Truckenbrod

21.4.02 Augsburg A Regional Division South 1:1 2585 Truckenbrod

28.4.02 Elversberg H Regional Division South 1:1 7798 Kuci og


<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">South

Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st SF Siegen 31 13 1 2 39 17 4 7 4 27 30 59

2nd Schweinfurt 31 10 1 5 32 20 7 3 5 26 24 55


3rd Elversberg 31 13 1 1 41 17 2 7 7 26 31 53

4th Hoffenheim 31 12 1 2 37 20 5 1 10 22 37 53

5th Regensburg 31 10 1 4 37 21 5 4 7 27 30 50

6th Saarbrücken 31 11 2 3 37 17 4 2 9 26 30 49

7th Unterhaching 31 8 6 2 31 24 6 1 8 30 28 49

8th Augsburg 31 9 4 2 32 18 5 3 8 22 28 49


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The string of difficult games continued away to Regensburg. For the first half hour we had complete control only for them to score on their first chance. When they added a second I felt our hopes evaporate as we just couldn’t pass their keeper. While we did get a consolation goal it was a very underserved defeat, but nothing we did could get past their MoM-winning keeper. Luckily results went our way and now we just need one point in our last two games to be sure of promotion. Now we just have to win and keep Schweinfurt behind us to go up as champions.

A disappointing crowd of just over 7000 came to support us in our final homegame of the season where we hoped to clinch promotion against lowly Wehen. A brace from van Buskirk and a single from Custos proved enough to edge out a 3-2 win and we were now certain of going up. All that remained was to check the other results and see if it was as champions. As it was Schweinfurt had scored in injury time meaning that we weren’t sure of taking the top spot just yet.

The final game would decide who ended up top and as we only drew we had to hope for the best…sadly it wasn’t to be and on the very last day of the season we dropped to second place, but were still going up. What a rush. The awayform in spring has been a cause for concern, but let’s see what we can do about it next year.

However… not everything was as it seemed and things were about to change… drastically.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">5.5.02 Regensburg A Regional Division South 1:2 3450 Burkhardt

12.5.02 Wehen H Regional Division South 3:2 7071 van Buskirk 2, Custos

19.5.02 Aalen A Regional Division South 1:1 3540 Truckenbrod


<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

German Regional - Sunday 19th May 2002



2001/2 Tables



Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st P Schweinfurt 34 11 1 5 35 22 9 3 5 32 26 64

2nd P SF Siegen 34 14 1 2 42 19 4 8 5 29 33 63


3rd Regensburg 34 12 1 4 42 23 5 4 8 29 33 56

4th Unterhaching 34 9 6 2 35 26 7 2 8 33 30 56

5th Erfurt 34 9 4 4 39 30 7 4 6 24 21 56

6th Hoffenheim 34 13 1 3 41 24 5 1 11 24 41 56

7th Offenbach 34 9 5 3 37 25 6 5 6 32 31 55

8th Elversberg 34 13 1 3 41 23 2 7 8 27 35 53

9th Augsburg 34 9 6 2 35 21 5 3 9 22 29 51

10th Saarbrücken 34 11 2 4 37 18 4 3 10 31 37 50

11th Darmstadt 34 9 6 2 28 15 3 5 9 23 41 47

12th Aalen 34 6 6 5 28 30 6 2 9 29 38 44

13th Stuttgarter K. 34 9 5 3 40 20 2 5 10 26 47 43

14th Wehen 34 6 4 7 42 42 5 3 9 28 41 40


15th R FC Bayern (A) 34 9 4 4 30 21 0 7 10 16 34 38

16th R Pfullendorf 34 6 6 5 32 30 2 2 13 19 41 32

17th R Neunkirchen 34 3 7 7 26 29 2 1 14 13 38 23

18th R K'lautern (A) 34 5 2 10 28 38 1 3 13 19 42 23


<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

Sportfreunde Siegen - Sunday 19th May 2002



2001/2 Senior Club Stats


No Name Apps Gls Con Pens Asts Yel Red MoM Av R


- Bäcker, Sascha 34 0 0 0 5 3 0 0 6.91

- Balaz, Michal - - - - - - - - ----

- Bleck, Sven-Jörg 2 (4) 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 6.50

- Burkhardt, Thorsten 11 (2) 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 6.92

- Cirba, Romas 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7.00

- Custos, Bruno 22 (1) 5 0 0 4 0 0 1 7.17

- Dione, Ousseynou 27 1 0 0 1 6 0 1 7.19

- Eckhardt, Sven 6 (2) 0 13 0 0 0 0 0 6.63

- Islamoglu, Cem 4 (1) 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 7.00

- Jailliti, Mounir 23 (2) 4 0 0 4 0 0 1 6.88

- Klein, Martin 9 (4) 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 6.62

- Koch, Andreas 28 0 39 0 0 0 2 0 7.07

- Kotula, Jozef 32 4 0 0 7 0 0 1 6.97

- Kresovic, Slobodan - - - - - - - - ----

- Lassissi, Saliou 29 4 0 0 3 5 0 3 7.24

- Lukin, Eric 30 5 0 1 (1) 8 1 0 0 7.10

- Maser, Marco - - - - - - - - ----

- Mehr, Christian 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.50

- Mujakic, Nihad - - - - - - - - ----

- Popp, Sebastian - - - - - - - - ----

- Schlabach, Timo - - - - - - - - ----

- Schöler, Tobias 16 (3) 16 0 0 2 1 0 5 8.11

- Straub, Matthias 32 0 0 0 4 6 0 1 6.84

- Truckenbrod, Jens 25 12 0 0 1 1 0 2 7.16

- Wurm, Tobias 1 (2) 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 6.67

- Zott, Tobias 16 (5) 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 6.71

- van Buskirk, John 18 (1) 12 0 0 2 0 0 3 7.58


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June 3rd, 2002

… it is therefore the decision in this court that the claim to ownership of the footballclub SF Siegen by Karl Franz von Mannstein is invalid. The aforementioned person is required to hand over control of the club to the DfB until such time as a new ownership can be established. Until that day the aforementioned person will remain as caretaker manager.

Court dismissed

I was furious. My inheritance stripped away like that after all I had done for the club, bringing them out of the regional division. It just couldn’t be right. I had to find out how to turn this around. An appeal would be the first step in reclaiming it. Feeling a bit defeated I slumped down on a bench to think about my options. Apart from appealing nothing looked to be able to chance the decision of the judge. As I was getting ready to leave a shadow fell over me and I looked up. An elderly gentleman stood there. He wore a long trenchcoat and a pair of small glasses nestled on his hawk-like nose. His most prominent feature though was probably his bushy moustache.

â€Herrn von Mannstein?†he asked in a dry voice.

â€Yeah, and you are?†I rose to look at him.

â€My name is Vilhelm Döenig. I’ve heard of your problems and have a solution that might benefit the two of us.â€

â€How so? Let me hear.â€

I think that maybe we should talk somewhere else. Please come with me Herrn von Mannstein.â€

About half an hour later we sat in a luxurious office, both of us with a glass of brandy and a good cigar.

â€Now then,†he said, “this is my offer. You have just lost everything and am being forced out. There is no use in going against the court. Believe me, I’ve tried. What I suggest is to take over the club as the new chairman. We will supply the money needed and take control. We will also clear the debt and give you about €9m to help you out and get you started. You will stay on as manager.â€

That is very decent of you, but why should I stay on as manager and what is in it for you?â€

We think the club is going places. Eventually we see it making a lot of money. We want a part of that. We will help you on the way to rival Münich, Berlin and Dortmund. This is our chance of getting in cheaply. As for you… you will receive stocks, freedom to do as you please, our financial backing… all in all… a lot of money.â€

â€It sounds good. Better than the alternative. We have a deal Herrn Köenig.â€

Back in Siegen it was time to get adapted in my new role. I now knew that I had the backing needed to take this club places even though it wasn’t mine anymore. I also knew though that I didn’t have an unlimited amount of time as he wanted success before he died. All in all I would need to get to the Bundesliga in no more than four years and then get the club into Europe. To assist me in this we had a lot of money now and it was sorely needed as the club had only been days away from being declared bankrupt. It was time to start building for the future.

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The first order of business though was to send the players off for a well deserved summer holiday. Sadly there would be less rest for me as I had to go and look at the market and see what I could find. I knew that I wanted about two midfielders, probably a winger and look for someone to strengthen our defence.

The scouts soon found a player by the name of Arzu in the Real Betis reserves and he was desperate for a move. I wasn’t about to splash out the requested €4m on this defensive midfielder though and decided to start talks with the club for a lower fee.

Surprisingly they accepted to sell him for half their asking fee, but with the added clause of another million euros once he got ten caps. Now, I just had to convince him to join us. Arzus demands were quite reasonable, but I decided to try and push him down in wages. He would still earn more than before and I was prepared to offer him first team football. While he wasn’t too pleased about it he decided that first team football would be more important and signed on the dotted line. Arzu is just 23 years old, determined, creative, hard working and with a stunning technique. He will provide a bit of flair to the side I think.

To prepare for life in the 2. Bundesliga the stadium was also expanded to a almost ludicrous level. Almost 29000 seats were installed taking the capacity to almost 50,000. I wonder how many fans they expect to show up (aside… this could be a bug meaning that they chance the terrace to seats, but they expanded the stadium…odd). This announcement came the same day as the fans announced that they had chosen Jens Truckenbrod as their player of the year. It was an award he deserved for his many important goals and he ability to come back after being hit hard by injuries in the opening stages of the season.

The TV money came in as the DFB released the coming fixture list. A nice sum of €2m made its way to Siegen and would be helpful as we looked set to battle relegation in the coming year. We might have saved several hundred thousand though as our youth coach decided that his 17 year-old keeper, Marcel Gombert, would be fit to compete for a first team place. After seeing him in training I had to agree that he looked very promising and with the right coaching he could take over in a few years and solve all problems there for more than a decade.

Looking to make our midfield even stronger and add some more experience we made a cheeky €1m bid for the former Yugoslav international Boris Vaskovic of Red Star. With seven caps to his name he clearly has the experience and he is a solid player who should do well for us if we get him. He is listed at €1,6m, but I’m not going over one million. I might be able to add in a little extra through clauses if necessary. While the offer was accepted the player sadly decided to turn us down due to his fear of the change in lifestyle. Denied!

Meanwhile in the Far East the world cup ended with victory for the Italian team after a 2-1 win over the surprising Danish team. Bronze went to England who beat France on penalties to go home with the consolation prize.

At the same time the draw for the German Cup was made giving us a hard trip to Schalke 04 in the first round.

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Preview of the season 2002-3

2. Bundesliga

1. FC Köln

Last season: 17th

Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion, Köln.

Capacity: 42,000. 36,000 seated.

Number of players: 45

Average Age: 23,27 years

Wage bill: €350K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: Stefan Wessels to Kaiserslautern for €9,5m

Expectations: With no new players on the books it will be a hard year for FC Köln. They have decent players in the squad, but with their high wages they will be hard pressed to bring in new players. Most likely a place in the bottom half of the table, but they should stay up.

TSV Alemannia Achen

Last season: 5th

Stadium: Tivoli-Stadion, Achen

Capacity: 22,500. 3,500 seated.

Number of players: 41

Average Age: 25,12 years

Wage bill: €325K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: With a slightly stronger squad Achen will be hoping to challenge for a higher position this year and take one of the promotion spots. With a well founded collective and a group of players who know each other this will not be an impossible feat for the small club.

LR Ahlen

Last season: 4th

Stadium: Wersestadion, Ahlen

Capacity: 11,000. 1870 seated.

Number of players: 38

Average Age: 28,84 years

Wage bill: €300K per week

Major signings: Léider Preciado for €1,1m from Santa Fe.

Major players out: None

Expectations: With the purchase of Preciado Ahlen will be even more dangerous this year and as they managed to keep their squad intact they will be looking to improve one last years 4th place and take one of the three available places in the Bundesliga. They should also have a good shot at this.

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FC Erzgebiege Aue

Last season: 1st in Regional, North

Stadium: Erzgebirge-Stadion, Aue

Capacity: 20,000. 10,000 seated

Number of players: 33

Average Age: 24,67 years

Wage bill: €70K

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: Though Aue haven’t lost any players in the close-season and have strengthened their squad with some new arrivals, it is going to be tough for them to stay up. They should have enough class not to go down, but it will doubtless be a struggle for them.

TSV Eintracht Braunschweig

Last season: 6th

Stadium: Stadion Hamburger Straße, Braunschweig

Capacity: 25,000. 9,800 seated.

Number of players: 42

Average Age: 26,05 years

Wage bill: €200K

Major signings: Silvio Adzic for €1m from Lübeck.

Major players out: Michél Mazingu-Dinsey to Leverkusen for €4,5m

Expectations: The loss of Mazingu-Dinsey will hurt this ambitious side in the coming season. While they have spent their money wisely on several new players, most of them don’t appear to be of the proper quality. It is unlikely that they be able to defend their fine position from last season.

FC Energie Cottbus

Last season: 8th

Stadium: Stadion der Freundschaft, Cottbus

Capacity: 20,500. 4,500 seated.

Number of players: 47

Average Age: 25,15 years

Wage bill: €300K

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: With only minor adjustments to their squad Cottbus looks set for another year where they will flirt with the top but end up in the middle.

MSV Duisburg

Last season: 10th

Stadium: Wedaustation, Duisburg

Capacity: 30,128. 9485 seated.

Number of players: 33

Average Age: 26,33 years

Wage bill: €275K

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: Things are not going well in Duisburg as the club economy has halted any attempts of bringing in any decent reinforcements. While only one player has left them, it might be enough to ensure that the club will have a difficult season ahead.

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SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Last season: 11th

Stadium: Playmobil-Stadion, Fürth icon_biggrin.gif

Capacity: 15,500. 9500 seated.

Number of players: 35

Average Age: 23,09 years

Wage bill: €275K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: As always it looks like another year of mid-table obscurity for Greuther Fürth who have been unable to bring in players to lift them higher.

VfB Lübeck

Last season: 17th

Stadium: Lohmühlen-Stadion, Lübeck

Capacity: 17,889. 5,629 seated.

Number of players: 46

Average Age: 24,87 years

Wage bill: €250K per week

Major signings: Mike Hanke for €3,1m from Schalke 04, Enrico Kern for €1,7m from Mannheim, Marco Sejna for €1,6m from RW Essen

Major players out: Martin Groth for €1,8m to 1860 München.

Expectations: Lübeck has spent big this year, almost €15m has been splashed out on new players in an attempt to take them to the top of the division and into the big league. The major problem in Lübeck this year will be in getting them to gel and keeping everybody happy. If this succeeds, then a big season could be in the works.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Last season: 18th in the Bundesliga

Stadium: Bökelbergstadion, Mönchengladbach

Capacity: 34,500. 8,700 seated.

Number of players: 49

Average Age: 25,04 years

Wage bill: €375K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: Having held on to most of their squad from last year M’gladbach will be looking for a quick return to the Bundesliga and they possess so much quality that it should be little more than a formality for them.

FSV Mainz 05

Last season: 9th

Stadium: Brugwegstadion, Mainz

Capacity: 15,500. 4,500 seated

Number of players: 44

Average Age: 25,34 years

Wage bill: €350K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: Having mostly relied on free transfers to bring in players Mainz will find it difficult to finish in the top half of the table again. They also bleed a lot of money each month and they are expected to struggle this year.

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Rot-Weiß Oberhausen

Last season: 14th

Stadium: Niederrheinstadion, Oberhausen

Capacity: 21,000. 4,000 seated

Number of players: 31

Average Age: 28,76 years

Wage bill: €375K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: With an aging and expensive squad this year is very much make or break for Oberhausen. They need a good season to bring in the money and youth they require, but sadly their squad doesn’t look strong enough for it. They could easily become involved in the relegation battle.

SC Rot-Weiß Essen

Last season: 2nd in Regional, North

Stadium: Georg-Maiches-Stadion, Essen

Capacity: 25,600. 4,300 seated

Number of players: 34

Average Age: 25,41 years

Wage bill: €190K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: Marco Sejna to Lübeck for €1,6M

Expectations: Essen have a rather small squad and have lost several of their players so even though a lot of cheap players have joined them it is not enough to survive. They’re going down again.

FC Hansa Rostock

Last season: 16th in Bundesliga

Stadium: Ostseestadion, Rostock

Capacity: 30,000. 21,000 seated

Number of players: 48

Average Age: 24,50 years

Wage bill: €325K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: Marcus Lantz to Bielefeld for €2,2m

Expectations: Rostock was unlucky to go down last year and with a mainly unchanged squad they are expected to bounce right back up.

Sportfreunde Siegen

Last season: 2nd in Regional, South

Stadium: Leimbachstadion, Siegen

Capacity: 47,892. 25,000 seated

Number of players: 29

Average Age: 24,31 years

Wage bill: €80K per week

Major signings: Arzu from Betis for €2m

Major players out: None

Expectations: SF Siegen was a major surprise last year and even though their squad is stronger now, it is doubtful that they can stay up. The players do know each other well though and their unorthodox tactics might just provide them with enough points to secure another year in the 2. Bundesliga.

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1. FC Schweinfurt 05

Last season: 1st in Regiona, South

Stadium: Willy-Sachs-Stadion, Schweinfurt

Capacity: 14,800. 860 seated.

Number of players: 31

Average Age: 23,05 years

Wage bill: €120K per week

Major signings: Stefan Leitl for €1,8m from Unterhaching

Major players out: Steffen Stockmann to Schalke 04 for €2,6m

Expectations: Nobody expected this team to go up last year and while they have done well in the transfer market most peoples bets are on them to go down again, and so is ours.

FC St. Pauli

Last season: 12th

Stadium: Wilhelm-Koch-Stadion, Hamburg

Capacity: 20,551. 5367 seated.

Number of players: 49

Average Age: 24,06 years

Wage bill: €300K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: St. Pauli has been extremely quiet in the market this year, but there ambition, as always, is promotion so they can play their bigger brothers from Hamburger SV. Sadly the squad has as yet failed to live up to this and predictions are another year in the middle of the table.

1. FC Union Berlin

Last season: 13th

Stadium: Stadion Alte Försterei, Berlin

Capacity: 18,100. 2,000 seated.

Number of players: 33

Average Age: 25,33 years

Wage bill: €240K per week

Major signings: None

Major players out: None

Expectations: As always with Union Berlin the year has been good if they fail to go down. This time though we fear that they just won’t cut it and will go down as the last team.

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Well, it was finally time to get the new season on the way and we had the honour or having our first game at home to Union Berlin televised live. The squad that is going to see us through this season is this:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

Sportfreunde Siegen - Friday 26th July 2002





No Name Position(s) Nat Born Age Caps Gls Wages Expires Value


1 Almer, Franz GK AUT 23.9.70 31 - - ¤2.3K 8.6.07 ¤525K

6 Arzu DM RC ESP 17.3.79 23 - - ¤3.5K 2.6.08 ¤2M

2 Bäcker, Sascha D/DM R GER 1.8.79 22 - - ¤3K 2.6.07 ¤600K

45 Balaz, Michal GK SVK 28.8.70 31 - - ¤2.2K 30.6.03 ¤350K

49 Berg, Dennis SW/DM C GER 21.8.84 17 - - ¤700 26.6.05 ¤220K

46 Bleck, Sven-Jörg M RL GER 27.12.74 27 - - ¤1.1K 30.6.03 ¤110K

12 Cirba, Romas D/DM C LTU 4.3.69 33 - - ¤5.5K 30.6.03 ¤180K

15 Custos, Bruno DM RC FRA 29.4.77 25 - - ¤3.9K 30.6.03 ¤1M

5 Dione, Ousseynou D C SEN 25.3.73 29 - - ¤4.6K 2.6.07 ¤575K

- Eckhardt, Sven GK GER 22.1.76 26 - - ¤1.2K 30.6.04 ¤180K

10 Gastón Curbelo AM LC URU 8.4.76 26 - - ¤2.3K 8.6.07 ¤675K

13 Gombert, Marcel GK GER 2.10.84 17 - - ¤1.2K 25.6.05 ¤425K

18 Islamoglu, Cem D C TUR 4.9.80 21 - - ¤3.6K 5.6.05 ¤625K

7 Jailliti, Mounir AM RC FRA 24.10.79 22 - - ¤1.1K 9.6.06 ¤600K

17 Klein, Martin M LC GER 22.12.80 21 - - ¤450 2.6.05 ¤325K

20 Koch, Andreas GK GER 13.7.71 31 - - ¤3.1K 9.6.06 ¤475K

14 Kotula, Jozef DM RC SVK 20.9.76 25 - - ¤4.9K 2.6.07 ¤1.4M

44 Kresovic, Slobodan D C YUG 27.8.75 26 - - ¤2.1K 30.6.03 ¤325K

4 Lassissi, Saliou D RC CIV 15.8.76 25 2 - ¤7K 28.6.07 ¤600K

11 Lukin, Eric M LC USA 14.6.79 23 - - ¤2.8K 30.6.04 ¤775K

50 Mehr, Christian D/DM L GER 28.4.81 21 - - ¤775 30.6.03 ¤275K

47 Mujakic, Nihad M R BOS 28.1.77 25 - - ¤2.9K 30.6.03 ¤325K

43 Schlabach, Timo S C GER 5.12.80 21 - - ¤325 30.6.03 ¤200K

19 Schöler, Tobias F LC GER 3.10.81 20 - - ¤2.1K 2.6.06 ¤675K

3 Straub, Matthias D L GER 24.11.80 21 - - ¤2.9K 2.6.07 ¤725K

8 Truckenbrod, Jens AM C GER 18.1.80 22 - - ¤4.3K 2.6.07 ¤1.1M

48 Wurm, Tobias D RC GER 31.3.82 20 - - ¤1.3K 2.6.05 ¤275K

16 Zott, Tobias DM C GER 12.8.77 24 - - ¤4.4K 2.6.04 ¤325K

9 van Buskirk, John S C USA 13.4.72 30 - - ¤6.5K 26.6.04 ¤1.4M


With all players fit we were ready to welcome the visitors from Union Berlin to our great stadium. As always we were playing our version of the 4-3-3 with wingers and both Almer, Arzu and Curbelo were handed their full debuts.

After just four minutes the 8500 fans got something to cheer about when Jailliti scored our first goal of the season. Lukin had been brought down cutting into the box and the Frenchman stepped up to convert it easily. A little later in the half the lead was doubled. A clearance from Union ended up right in the path of Lassissi who hit it with a firsttimer from 35 yards and saw it pass the keeper whose vision was blocked. Disbelief almost set in when we scored yet again, this time Lukin doing the honours slotting a rebound into the net. Being three goals up it mattered little that they pulled one back in the second half. We had our first win.

We hoped to build on our good start in the tough away game at Duisburg. Sadly Custos had injured himself, but he was replaced by Kotula in the starting XI. It soon became clear though that we were up against a much better team as they had two great chances in the first ten minutes while our first was a long range effort from Arzu after half an hour. Thanks to Alter we managed to keep them from scoring in the first half. I wasn’t too pleased with our midfield, but decided to give them a little more time before making any changes. Our job got harder though when Lassissi got injured. Islamoglu went on instead of him and at the same time Truckenbrod went on for Kutola in an offensive gamble. It did make us more dangerous on the attack and we managed to hit the woodwork three times, though it also weakened us at the rear. Luckily Alter had one of those days and deservedly picked up the MoM as it ended scoreless.

Lassissi would be out for two weeks and this was the final straw that convinced me I needed a man more for defence. There were several interesting players, but not all were available. Some faxes were sent off politely inquiring to their availability. A positive fax returned from Chelsea saying we could be Robert Huth for €3,1m. Quite expensive, but he is only 19 and extremely talented. I decided to offer them the money and see if I could convince him to come to Siegen. Huth refused to trade London for Siegen though and instead we opened negotiations with the Togolese international Erik Akoto from Austria Vienna. He was much more interested and signed a 4–year contract at just €725 per week. The price was also fair at just €775K.

Akoto got his debut as Rostock dropped by. Two out the probably four hardest teams in our first three matches. Quite harsh on a promoted side. We didn’t get the best start when they scored in the eighth minute and doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Frankly, we were completely routed in the first hard by a superior team. Things improved in the second half when they gave us more space, but the single goal from van Buskirk meant nothing as they immediately restored their lead to complete a 3-1 win over us.

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After the devastation we suffered against Rostock the last I needed was a visit to Lübeck who had invested so much into new players. I would much rather have played one of the poorer sides. The first few minutes belonged to us and it was pure bad luck when a deflection tricked Alter to put Lübeck ahead. It didn’t take long for van Buskirk to pull us level tohugh, but that goal was only a fluke as it turned out. Soon after Enrico Kern took over and the striker who, so far, had scored four goals in 34 games managed no less than a hattrick against us. Why does that always happen against my team?

Except for Tobias Wurm I was able to field a full-strength side as we travelled to Schalke 04 for our encounter in the first round of the Cup. Nobody expected us to do well and to be frank, neither did I. As I named the starting XI I told the players to just enjoy themselves and do their best. This would be the biggest game of the season for us and I wanted the world to know that Siegen is on the rise. We got off to the worst possible start when we conceded on a penalty after just 6 minutes and within twenty minutes we were trailing by three goals. I was not happy. Our defence looked almost non-existant and that is not the first time this year. Something must happen. I need to find me some better players there. Our wings were also rubbish and I can’t help but wonder if it is just a bad day for us or if our team really is that bad. In the end we lost 0-4 and we could only be happy that we didn’t lose by more.

After a long break due to internationals we are finally back in action, yet again away as we travel to Ahlen. With our away-record in mind I don’t dare to hope for too much though. I have a bit of mixed feelings after the first half. For once we actually manage to keep them from scoring, but the bad news is that we have had almost no chances while they have fired of one shot after the other. Ahlen increases the pace in the second half and quickly scores the first goal. While Lukin did manage to pull one back it was only a short reprieve as we go down yet again. If we don’t get some sort of result in our next game I have to try something new.

The big test for my players and their last chance to convince me that I didn’t need to change a lot of things came as Cottbus gave us a visit. With morale dropping it wouldn’t be easy though. Surprisingly for the first time in weeks we actually scored first as van Buskirk converted a pass from Jailitti. It didn’t last though and was also completely against the run of play. A brace of goals from Rink was enough to see them win and I now know that I need to change some things.

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Thanks Mr. Not Ruud. Things are not good at the moment, but I hope they will improve. Things are very close at the bottom and a few wins should see us move up


It was clear that our wingers were not good enough at this level for their role so they would have to be changed. To give us some more punch up front one of the places would join the attack with the other roaming behind in a free role. With a compact midfield, this should allow us to stand better fast. Problem was that I needed some players for it I just didn’t have.

One of the problems were sold when we bought playmaker Servet Atalan, a German/Turkish player, from Hannover ’96 for €650K. He should be able to solve that little problem. Now, I just needed about two strikers to play up front. One would do for now, but van Buskirk is not getting any younger.

Atalan would be given his debut in the tough match away to Braunschweig. With a new formation and a new player I didn’t expect too much from this game and would be happy with a single point. It almost became a perfect debut when he hit the post after a few minutes and to my delight we were very much in the game at half time. There were still no goals, but it was so even that it could go to either side. As the minutes ticked by it looked like we were going to make it, but then disaster struck. First van Buskirk had to go off with an injury, then we conceded and finally Atalan got sent off for spitting. The rule of threes.

To really rub it in the next casualty was Franz Almer who injured a shoulder in training and would be out for three weeks. A bright spot appeared a few days later though when we successfully agreed terms with Danish striker Peter Graulund who would join us immediately for a fee of €2m. He is pure class and has always scored loads of goals. I hoped he would do so for us too.

With so many players out I had to gamble. Young Gombert took over in goal and Graulund would get a full debut replacing van Buskirk. Jailitti would step in for Atalan. We were lucky though that we had home advantage and that our opponents, RW Essen also have had a poor season so far. It worked a treat. Custos started by testing the keeper after a few minutes and that was the signal for a perfect match. After ten minutes Custos had his first of the match as he pounced on a rebound after a good effort from Graulund. The Dane too scored scored a goal and had one ruled out and as we had two more goals despite those we ended up with a solid 4-0 home win.

During midweek we faced Oberhausen, also at home. They too have had a poor start to the season and with another three points we should get out of the relegation zone. Atalan returned to the squad even though Jailitti did so well. I’m just hoping he’ll control his discipline better this time. That he did and even though we fell behind early on we had enough morale to maintain the pressure and were justly rewarded as Schöler hit a brace to secure us the points. Things are looking up now.

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German Second Division - Wednesday 2nd October 2002



2002/3 Table


Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st St. Pauli 9 5 0 0 13 1 2 0 2 7 7 21

2nd Cottbus 9 3 1 0 7 1 3 0 2 9 6 19

3rd Aachen 9 4 1 0 12 6 2 0 2 6 6 19


4th 1.FC Köln 9 3 0 2 11 7 2 2 0 11 6 17

5th M'gladbach 9 3 0 1 8 6 2 1 2 11 8 16

6th Mainz 9 3 0 1 7 5 2 0 3 8 8 15

7th Ahlen 9 4 0 1 14 8 0 2 2 2 7 14

8th Rostock 9 1 2 1 10 10 3 0 2 10 10 14

9th Greuther Fürth 9 4 0 1 12 7 0 1 3 4 8 13

10th Duisburg 9 2 1 2 6 7 1 1 2 8 9 11

11th Aue 9 2 1 1 7 5 1 1 3 5 10 11

12th SF Siegen 9 3 0 2 11 7 0 1 3 2 7 10

13th Schweinfurt 9 1 3 0 6 4 1 1 3 6 10 10

14th RW Essen 9 2 1 1 10 8 0 3 2 6 12 10


15th Braunschweig 9 3 1 1 9 7 0 0 4 5 13 10

16th Union Berlin 9 2 1 1 6 5 0 1 4 4 14 8

17th Oberhausen 9 1 1 2 3 4 0 1 4 3 9 5

18th Lübeck 9 1 2 2 8 11 0 0 4 2 10 5


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Despite his brace of goals in the last game Schöler was pushed out on the bench as van Buskirk reported ready and he would team up with Graulund as we undertook the journey to Mainz for a rough match. It wasn’t so much the fact that we lost that upset me, it was more the way we did it. Nobody played to their potential and Arzu made things even harder for us with an early red card.

The time to get back in gear came a week later as we entertained Aachen. With them in fifth place this wouldn’t be an easy game, but we need to secure at least one point from it as every single point counts. It took them 45 seconds to find the net for the first time, but fortunately it was ruled out for offside and instead we took the lead. We got to enjoy that for all of three minutes before we were level again Naturally we continued to dominate the match, but with our luck they managed to convert 50% of their chances and left us with a 2-3 defeat. We are still too weak defensively.

Negotiations were opened up with a few clubs who had players I judged would do well for us. One of the clubs were the Kaiserslautern amateurs who had a young German left back whom should be better than Straub. We also started talks with the Danish club FC Copenhagen for one of their unwanted players. Terms were quickly agreed with Kaiserslautern and within two days we had signed Nils Döring to take over on the left. We also got him cheap at a cost of just €550K. To my surprise FC Copenhagen accepted our €2,5m bid for Martin Albrechtsen and the player himself was keen to join us. His wage demands were incredibly low and we soon signed him to a 5-year contract. Though best centrally he would initially play on the right,.

He didn’t make it in time for our game against Aue but would watch from the stands. Döring was ready though. The game was, for lack of other words, incredible. The first 30 minutes was completely dominated by Aue and they took a deserved 2-0 lead. Then it turned completely around and we managed to pull level. The second half was a flurry of attacking football from both sides and though it finished 2-2, both sides could easily have scored 4 goals.

With no players injured and suspended and my two new players also available I was really looking forward to the visit from Greuther Fürth and our old loan signing, Thorsten Burkhardt. We get off to a superb start as Arzu sees that the keeper is far from his goal at kickoff and immediately shoots toward goal scoring with a wonderful lob from the halfway line after just a few seconds. Brings back memories of Nayim icon_biggrin.gif It proved a close match and they were always threatening. A late brace from Custos sealed it though and with a narrow 3-2 win we’re back in business.

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Schweinfurt are directly above us in the table and on even points, but with games in hand and thus a good result here would be vital to keep us from being left behind in the relegation zone. The tradition of early goals in our games was kept as Atalan dribbled straight through the passive defence to give us the lead after a few minutes. Graulund increased this and while Schweinfurt pulled one back a goal from van Buskirk sealed their fate and moved us to the heady heights of eleventh place.

The real test came on Monday the 18th of November as we entertained St. Pauli. We need to be able to beat teams like this if we are serious about promotion in a few years and this game should be a good indication of how far we’ve come. With a fit first team squad there really is no excuses. The first chance comes after seven minutes when Curbelo finds Atalan free in the hole. With plenty of time the young German doesn’t fail and powers a shot in. The northerners did pull level again, but we had things under firm control and two goals in four minutes late in the second half finally cracks St. Pauli and makes their late consolation goal useless. Things are starting to turn our way now. We’re almost halfway through the season and have opened a six-point gap down to the dropzone and are only eight points away from promotion. This is not turning out too bad after all.

Another test came as we had to face Gladbach on the road. They have a strong team and home advantage, but we’re riding high on confidence now and I had a feeling that we might take something home with us. I had never imagined what lay in store though. We completely dominated them from the very start and if their keeper hadn’t stood a blinder they would have lost by eight or more goals. As it was we only scored twice through Grauland and Atalan despite having 18 shots on target. They too were dangerous, but as we kept them down to one goal it gave us a surprising win and our biggest scalp yet.

All good times three. FC Köln was our next opponents and I don’t get the deal with the fixtures. It might just be bad luck, but we’re up against a lot of strong teams in a row. It was a relatively short trip and I was pleased to see a sizable contingent of Siegen fans had made the trip. We opened optimistically testing the Köln keeper a few times, but gradually we lost control. Though we lost it the score was misleading as they were not two goals better than us, but a shaky performance by Alter ensured that we didn’t get anything from it.

After those 3 games it was a pleasure to go up against Union Berlin who are nowhere near as strong. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise me if this actually meant that we would lose that one as well. The trip to Berlin was somewhat longer than the one to Köln, but we were confident of a good result. We started well enough, but when we lost Arzu to injury Berlin managed to score before we could reorganise. Graulund pulled us level again and Curbelo put us in the driving seat before they made sure that it ended with a draw. A good result, but not good enough.

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German Second Division - Sunday 8th December 2002



2002/3 Table


Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st 1.FC Köln 18 7 0 2 23 11 5 3 1 23 12 39

2nd Aachen 18 7 1 0 17 8 5 1 4 21 21 38

3rd M'gladbach 18 6 1 3 18 13 3 2 3 18 15 30


4th Mainz 18 6 2 2 20 13 3 1 4 14 14 30

5th St. Pauli 18 6 1 1 20 8 3 1 6 13 21 29

6th Cottbus 18 5 1 2 15 6 4 0 6 16 16 28

7th Ahlen 18 7 0 3 24 15 1 3 4 7 14 27

8th Duisburg 18 4 2 3 16 13 4 1 4 14 15 27

9th Union Berlin 18 6 2 1 17 8 2 1 6 7 18 27

10th Rostock 18 3 2 4 18 19 4 3 2 18 17 26

11th SF SIEGEN 18 5 0 3 19 14 2 3 5 12 20 24

12th Aue 18 5 3 2 22 16 1 1 6 7 18 22

13th Braunschweig 18 5 3 2 20 18 1 1 6 10 20 22

14th Schweinfurt 18 3 5 2 19 17 2 1 5 13 17 21


15th Greuther Fürth 18 6 0 2 16 9 0 2 8 13 27 20

16th RW Essen 18 3 1 4 15 17 1 4 5 14 21 17

17th Oberhausen 18 4 1 3 10 7 1 1 8 6 19 17

18th Lübeck 18 2 4 4 14 19 1 0 7 5 18 13


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Our last home fixture before the enforced winter break was against Duisburg who have a rather strong team and are placed a little above us and with three points more. A win here would really do us well. A fluke, deflected shot tricked Almer and gave them an early lead, but as we got into the game we started pulling ourselves together and pulled level thanks to a good strike from Atalan. Van Buskirk weren’t having one of his best games so he was pulled off by Schöler though to no avail. As it ended that score was still 1-1, but we had won 9-1 in the shots on target statistic.

We rounded the first half of the season off with a tough away fixture against Rostock. Against all odds we took the lead when Lassissi headed us in front after a corner in the 9th minute and then doubled through Kotula after 21 minutes. Two second half goals in just three minutes put Rostock back in the game and with a goal just before time they clinched the win and left us with some work to do during the break.

During the long winter I had two immediate concerns: To get rid of some of the deadwood and to find a good partner for Graulund. I was tempted to make a bid for the Brazilian Christian, but at 29 years of age he was not what I was looking for. In the end I resolved to save my money and make a loan offer for Christian Keller from the Danish club Viborg. I considered buying him, but by loaning him I could get a good look at him first. Sadly, the player himself rejected it. As the days went by so did the transfer window and I had to settle for what I already had.

By the end of January it was time to get back on the frozen fields and I was happy that we would start off at home against struggling Lübeck. It is imperative to get off to a good start. Just as planned both strikers scored in the first half, but it was not the idea that Lübeck should score as well. Things got much easier for us when Schröder got sent of for a dangerous tackle and with the numerical advantage we got the vital goal to give us the desired win.

That success was to be followed up at Essen who are much like us… a midtable team. As it was it ended all square even though we had been down by two goals and while a point is acceptable, it is not good enough if we are to push a place in the top half of the table.

I hoped for another win in our next game as taking 7 points out of nine would mean that we had gotten off to a brilliant start. I didn’t expect Ahlen to be pushovers though even though we only lost the away match to them by one goal. Of course, I shouldn’t have been surprised then when we were out-classed and lost 1-3.

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Both Arzu and Custos nursed minor injuries ahead of the clash with Oberhausen weakening our midfield significantly. Staying true to our terrible form we were crushed 5-2 by the struggling team and also lost Döring for a few days.

After the game I let the players know that that kind of performance was simply unacceptable and things would have to change against Braunschweig or someone would start loosing their place in the team. It appeared to have done the job as both van Buskirk and Graulund scored in the first half putting us on the road to victory. Sadly we fell back in our old habits in the second half and allowed them to gain on us before a goal from Kotula made sure that the points were ours.

It was imperative not to lose the new morale that was slowly seeping into the players after the win last week and the best way to build upon it would be by beating Greuther Fürth. I also had the luck that van Buskirk was praised in the papers and by building a bit on that telling them that I had complete confidence in him would assure me of even more goals. We survived some early scares when they hit the post twice in the first ten minutes, but then Curbelo and Atalan scored within 3 minutes of each other and those proved to be the only goals of the game as we went on to getting two wins in a row. On a sadder note we lost Albrechtsen for a few days with a bruised thigh.

However next up was Mainz who have proven to be a real solid side. I also had to give up on the slim hope of promotion as we were now 15 points adrift and relegation was only five points below us. Mainz caused us all sort of trouble in the game and we hadn’t been lucky in them being forced to substitute two players due to injury things wouldn’t have gotten quite ugly. As it was a brace from Graulund was just enough to get us a narrow 2-1 win and I couldn’t help but shake at the thought of what could have happened.

That win left us trailing Cottbus in third place by 12 points, but next up were the easterners and even before kick-off I knew it would be an almost impossible battle. We opened the scoring through van Buskirk in the 41st minute, but the second half was a storm to weather. Several times I had to thank Almer as he produced save after save only capitulating in the 55th. Just as both teams were about to settle for a draw Atalan found Graulund with a precise pass and the Danish striker didn’t waste the chance but scored the winning goal deep into the added time. We are certainly on a roll now.

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With our recent successes the spirit was high before the visit from Aue. We’re only just keeping them behind us and a win would certainly be welcome. We would be without both Atalan and Arzu though, so it wouldn’t be that easy. We got off to a terrible start when we went down 0-1 after just a minute, but great goals from Zott and Döring saw us take a lead at half time. In the second half we managed to pull away both 3-1 and 5-2, but in the end a thrilling match ended with a 5-3 win for us and now we actually have a glimmer of hope for a top spot. 5 games left and only seven points behind.

It wouldn’t be easy though. Four of our last 5 opponents were in the top five, so we would need all the luck and skill we could find. Possibly the fact that we’ve met the poorer sides is why we are so high in the table. Well, a full strength side went out to meet St. Pauli who are neck by neck with us. A shot on the bar from Atalan in the second minutes heralded that it would be one of those days where things went our way. Goals from both strikers in the first half set us on the way, but things got tense when St. Pauli pulled one back and Atalan then was dismissed for a punch. I’ll really need a work with him and his aggressions. Sadly Cottbus also won.

Atalan would be missing the match against lowly Schweinfurt thanks to his suspension, but I was hoping that Truckenbrod would do well as his replacement. As I had expected and hoped we ran over them and being 3-0 up at half time we could take it easy and preserve our strength for the vital last games.

We had some mixed news after the game. While it was absolutely stunning that Cottbus had lost 2-3 at Duisburg I was pretty shocked when it was announced that Atalans ban had been extended by 6 games. A seven game ban is almost a fifth of the season. Pretty rough.

Well, things were now almost in our own hands. If we could win the rest of the games….all three… then we should have a good chance. All still depended on Cottbus losing their home game against FC Köln though, a thing that might not happen as Köln have already been crowned champions.

After that win we had another of those terrible away games coming up, this time at Aachen. A win for us would leave us in a good position, while a win for them would see them promoted. Neither team could be happy with a draw though, so it should be interesting. As expected the match was pretty intense with Aachen having the most possession, but our players being the most dangerous. We didn’t get closer than a shot on the upright though and it ended as it had begun. We were helped by Köln though who beat Cottbus. Two games to go and we have to of the top four teams to go.

No matter what happens we will have exceeded even our best expectations and this bodes well for the future. With two home games remaining we still had a decent chance, but it would still require Cottbus to lose and we still had Köln in our last match. Not exactly a dream. For our second last game we faced Gladbach. Having beaten them once already we looked to go for the double and make it go down to the last day of the season. Unfortunately the aggregate scores makes the difference four points so we will have to win and Cottbus must drop points.

Things got off to an incredibly hectic start with six goals in the first half hour, four of them signed Siegen players. Sadly we also learnt that Cottbus were both a goal and a man up in their match. In the end we did our part by winning 4-3, but so did the easterners.

So, this is it. last day of the season and we have the divisional leaders FC Köln guesting us. They have been in a league of their own this year and that makes out job hard. We will need a clear win and hope for a complete Cottbus defeat. Odds against us are at 100-1. More than 14 thousand fans came to cheer us on, hoping for a miracle, but we couldn’t deliver as we lost it 3-4. Still, it was a good showing and next year we’ll be even stronger.

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German Second Division - Sunday 4th May 2003



2002/3 Table


Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st C 1.FC Köln 34 12 2 3 39 17 12 4 1 44 21 78

2nd P Aachen 34 12 3 2 31 18 7 2 8 34 35 62

3rd P Cottbus 34 12 1 4 34 16 7 2 8 27 24 60


4th M'gladbach 34 11 2 4 37 22 6 3 8 35 35 56

5th Duisburg 34 9 4 4 32 22 7 3 7 30 34 55

6th Ahlen 34 12 1 4 37 17 4 5 8 19 29 54

7th Mainz 34 9 4 4 28 19 6 5 6 25 24 54

8th SF SIEGEN 34 11 1 5 44 33 5 5 7 24 32 54

9th Aue 34 11 4 2 43 24 3 4 10 19 34 50

10th St. Pauli 34 10 4 3 39 20 4 1 12 19 41 47

11th Union Berlin 34 10 4 3 32 19 3 2 12 15 38 45

12th Braunschweig 34 12 3 2 37 22 1 2 14 19 42 44

13th Greuther Fürth 34 11 1 5 35 22 0 5 12 22 44 39

14th Schweinfurt 34 7 7 3 35 26 3 2 12 19 40 39


15th R Rostock 34 5 4 8 29 36 5 4 8 28 39 38

16th R RW Essen 34 7 4 6 35 29 1 6 10 20 34 34

17th R Lübeck 34 4 8 5 25 28 2 1 14 13 38 27

18th R Oberhausen 34 6 1 10 24 29 1 2 14 7 32 24


<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

German Second Division - Sunday 4th May 2003



2002/3 Average Rating


Pos Player Club Apps Av R


1st Arie van Lent M'gladbach 30 8.10

2nd Matthias Scherz 1.FC Köln 34 8.09

3rd Archil Arveladze 1.FC Köln 30 8.07

4th Peter Graulund SF Siegen 27 7.96

5th John van Buskirk SF Siegen 30 7.93

6th Moti Kakoon Aachen 31 (2) 7.91

7th Bernd Korzynietz M'gladbach 33 (1) 7.88

8th Zsolt Lõw Cottbus 29 7.86

9th Léider Preciado Ahlen 34 7.85

10th Markus Kurth Duisburg 34 7.79


<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">================================================================================================

2002/3 Goals


Pos Player Club Apps Gls


1st Archil Arveladze 1.FC Köln 30 24

2nd Moti Kakoon Aachen 31 (2) 24

3rd Benjamin Auer Mainz 27 (2) 20

4th Ilia Grujev Duisburg 24 (8) 19

5th Arie van Lent M'gladbach 30 19

6th Léider Preciado Ahlen 34 18

7th John van Buskirk SF Siegen 30 18

8th Rostislav Broum Aue 33 (1) 18

9th Marcão St. Pauli 34 17

10th Xie Hui Greuther Fürth 34 16

14th Peter Graulund SF Siegen 27 13 </pre>

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<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

Sportfreunde Siegen - Sunday 4th May 2003



2002/3 Senior Club Stats


No Name Apps Gls Con Pens Asts Yel Red MoM Av R


21 Akoto, Erik 33 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 7.09

25 Albrechtsen, Martin 21 1 0 0 4 2 0 0 7.24

1 Almer, Franz 31 0 62 0 0 0 0 1 7.03

6 Arzu 29 1 0 0 6 2 1 1 7.45

22 Atalan, Servet 22 8 0 0 3 4 2 2 6.73

2 Bäcker, Sascha 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.50

45 Balaz, Michal - - - - - - - - ----

49 Berg, Dennis - - - - - - - - ----

46 Bleck, Sven-Jörg 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.00

12 Cirba, Romas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

15 Custos, Bruno 21 (2) 6 0 0 7 0 0 2 7.22

5 Dione, Ousseynou 4 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.80

24 Döring, Nils 23 1 0 1 (1) 3 0 0 1 7.17

- Eckhardt, Sven 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

10 Gastón Curbelo 34 4 0 0 7 1 0 1 7.06

13 Gombert, Marcel 4 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 6.50

23 Graulund, Peter 27 13 0 0 0 0 0 1 7.96

18 Islamoglu, Cem 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.00

7 Jailliti, Mounir 11 (2) 2 0 1 (1) 2 0 0 0 6.92

17 Klein, Martin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

20 Koch, Andreas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

14 Kotula, Jozef 18 (3) 3 0 0 4 0 0 0 7.10

44 Kresovic, Slobodan - - - - - - - - ----

4 Lassissi, Saliou 33 3 0 0 0 5 0 1 7.00

11 Lukin, Eric 7 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 6.71

50 Mehr, Christian 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

47 Mujakic, Nihad - - - - - - - - ----

43 Schlabach, Timo 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.00

19 Schöler, Tobias 5 (2) 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 7.43

3 Straub, Matthias 12 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 6.42

8 Truckenbrod, Jens 3 (4) 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 6.71

48 Wurm, Tobias 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----

16 Zott, Tobias 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.50

9 van Buskirk, John 31 18 0 0 6 1 0 7 7.84


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  • 2 weeks later...

With the season behind us it was time to look ahead to the coming year and my third in charge of Siegen. I felt we now had a good squad capable of keeping it's place in the 2. Bundesliga, but with higher aspirations than that we needed to keep building. To that effort several of the fringe players were released or transfered on Bosmans to other clubs. Only two new players came as the transfer window opened though. The young Ben Woods joined us from Dover to provide backup to Atalan. While he is untested at higher levels he has really done well for them and I see a big future for him. The other was Roland Benschneider from Trier. Though he barely played for them, he looks like a good backup player to our defensive midfield and at only 22 he is also a good signing for the future.

I was still looking for a creative flair player to the midfield though and an experienced defensive general to boost our rear lines. Teddy Lukic was a target, but though Leverkusen doesn't even use him, they didn't want to sell. Eventually though they accepted a bid of €625K and we finished the deal. Now I really think that we can challenge for a promotion spot though it will be close as always in this division.

Despite our good results and our stronger squad the board still just expected us to steer clear of relegation. Of course I had the same hopes, but personally I wanted at least a top five finish. On the good side of things our investors did decide to inject a little cash in the club, all earmarked for an upgrade of of training facilities. Hopefully this will prevent some of the injuries we suffered in training last year. I think that with the added experience of our players this could really be our year.

The draw for the German Cup was kind to us though as we drew amateur side Wehen from the lower leagues. They should be more than managable even though it is an away match. Quite a bit of money was also made as we sold Eric Lukin for €625K to more than finance the purchase of Lukic from Leverkusen. Not a bad exchange all things considered. We played a single friendly during our preparations and picked up a massive 5-2 win over Kaiserslautern. Quite impressive. Both Woods and Benschneider got a half and both impressed with Woods scoring a goal.

Before I even knew it the summer was over and it was time to start the new season, but first.....leeeeeet's meet the first team squaaaaaad......

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Key to the next part:

Player number, name, age, nationality, position (games for Siegen, goals for Siegen, average rating for Siegen, caps/goals).

1. Franz Almer, 32, Austrian, Goalkeeper (31 - 0 - 7,03 - 0)

An experienced keeper signed from Grazer AK a year ago and our number one keeper. While he is not spectacular, he is stable and makes up for his lackings with his experience. He is getting pushed for the number one spot now, but should keep it for at least this season. Due to his age and our ambitions he may well be on his way out soon though.

12. Marcel Gombert, 18, German, Goalkeeper (4 - 0 - 6,50 - 0)

Marcel got his chance last year for a few games, but while he is extremely talented he is still way too inexperienced and still has too much to learn before he can oust Almer. He might be sent on loan to pick up some first team football. There can't be much doubt though that he is one for the future.

Andreas Koch, 32, German, Goalkeeper (93 - 0 - 7,07 - 0)

Andreas has served the club well, but his skills is just not good enough for this level. As it is he only ranks third amongst the goalkeepers and he shouldn't expect to get any games this year. The only exception will be if Gombert goes on loan and Almer gets injured or suspended.

2. Martin Albrechtsen, 25, Danish, Defender (21 - 1 - 7,24 - 3)

Bought for a high price last year to play in central defence Martin has instead made the right full back spot his place though he is doubtly better centrally. High competetion has forced him to accept a place on the flank though and even playing a bit out of position he has been a revelation and one of our most prized players. If we can hang on to him until promotion, then we can be assured of quality. With three caps he has also played at the highest level.

3. Nils Döring, 23, German, Defender 23 - 1 -7,17 - 0)

Another one of our young and very talented players. Nils signed for us last year and has provided stability on the left side of defence easily ousting his opposition there. Living mainly on his great pace he uses it to make up for the defensive mistakes he does make every now and then due to lack of experience.

4. Teddy Lucic, 32, Swedish, Defender (0 - 0 - 0 - 38)

Our biggest signing of the pre-season Teddy is a vastly experienced and suberb defender. For some reason Leverkusen didn't want to use him and this allowed us to pick him up for a small fee. With his skill and calm he should be a rock in central defence and prevent us from conceeding as many goals as we did last year.

5. Saliou Lassissi, 26, Ivory Coast, Defender (62 - 7 - 7,11 - 2)

Another vastly experienced players who have played for both Parma and Fiorentina in the future. Despite his young age he has already proved a rock in our defence and partnering with Lucic it can almost only get better in the future. Both big and strong he is a player that strikers will bounce off on and he should prove very valuable again.

15. Sascha Bäcker, 23, German, Defender (48 - 0 -6,79 - 0)

Another young talent, but I fear he just doesn't have what it takes. He has had plenty of opportunities, but has so far failed to take them and after the arrival of Albrechtsen a first team place is far away for him.

14. Matthias Straub, 22, German, Defender (44 - 0 - 6,76 - 0)

Another player who is sharing a fate with Bäcker and practically everything that applies to one also applies to the other. He will have to get his act together if he wants regular football.

16. Erik Akoto, 25, Togolese, Defender (33 - 1 - 7,09 - 6/2)

Young Erik was bought during the last season and proved to be a good defender. He still is with good skills in all the vital areas, but the arrival of Lucic will push him down as third choice for a place in central defence. He should get his fair share of games though and is equally at home on the defensive midfield making him a versatile and important member of the team.

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6. Arturo Garcia "Arzu" Muñoz, 24, Spanish, Midfielder (29 - 1 - 7,45 - 0)

Our most expensive player ever Arzu has more than lived up to the expectations we had to him despite a few injuries. Playing from a position on the defensive midfield he utilises his great passing ability to set up attacks and also play right to the limit to prevent our opponents from getting an advantage. He is our cornerstone in midfield.

7. Carlos Gaston Curbelo Mareco, 27, Uruguayan/French, Midfielder (34 - 4 - 7,06 - 0)

Gaston is far from being a spectacular player, but he is stable and one can almost always depend on him to play to the best of his ability. Still, his place in the line-up is far from assured as Jailitti is pushing hard to oust him from the team. He will really need to be at his best to keep his place.

8. Jens Truckenbrod, 23, German, Midfielder (32 - 14 - 7,06 - 0)

Just like Gaston, Jens is far from any spectacular player and while he didn't play much last year he has a great ability to be in the right place at the right time, a fact which can be seen in his ability to score on average in every second game. Even so he will need to improve a lot if he is to be sure of a place in the first team.

20. Jozef Kotula, 26, Slovakian, Midfielder (119 - 9 - 7,02 - 0)

Our old captain has spent most of his career playing for Siegen and he is still called upon regularly as he can be counted on to keep fighting and always giving his most when playing. Still, the arrival of Arzu and the emergence of younger players means that he will have to start on the bench initially.

17. Roland Benschneider, 22, German, Midfielder (0 - 0 - 0 - 0)

Another new signing and one I expect quite a lot from. He won't push for a first team place this year, but in a year or two he could secure a place. A lot of it depends on his development, but he is looking determined to make it at Siegen.

19. Mounir Jailitti, 23, French, Midfielder (38 - 6 - 6,89 - 0)

I didn't expect much from Jounir this year, but with three goals against Kaiserslautern in our friendly he has forced me to reconsider. He is one of those players who either does nothing or who can decide a match on his own. Quite a mood player.

Christian Wohlfarht, 17, German, Midfielder (0 - 0 - 0 -0)

Christian is a player of our youth system and looks to be a rough diamond who could really become a star in the future. He still has a lot to learn, but there can be little doubt that even in his first year as a senior he will be tested in action against poorer opposition. At the moment he is considering our contract offer, but there can be little doubt as to his acceptance.

18. Ben Woods, 22, English, Forward (0 - 0 - 0 - 0)

The last of our new players and one I expect a lot from. Captured from the conference in England this will be a tough test for him, but he will get his chance as Atalan is suspended for the first games. So far he has played 45 minutes for us and actually scored in this little time. He is fast, strong and has an excellent shot so he does have the chance to make it, but the jury is still out on him.

11. Servet Atalan, 26, Turkish/German, Forward (22 - 8 - 6,73 - 0)

There is no doubt that Atalan is skillful and has a good eye for goal, but with his major disciplinary problems he won't be around for long if he doesn't get them under control. Also, with the arrival of Woods he will have strong competition and if he is unlucky he won't get his place in the team back once he has served out his 3 match suspension.

9. Peter Graulund, 28, Danish, Striker (27 - 13 - 7,96 - 0)

Peter is a deadly striker who scores his share of goals. Shooting equally well with both feet he is a constant menace for the defenders who try to stop him. His major problem is that his goals come in droves. He can go goalless for 6 games in a row and then score 3 in the next. If he can get a bit more concentration into his game then he is a potential topscorer.

10. John van Buskirk, 31, American, Striker (109 - 34 - 7,74 - 0)

John has served us for several years and have proven himself one of the most consistent scorers in the German leagues. Strong, fast and good in the air he has a vast arsenal to draw upon and I'm expecting at least another 15 goals from him in the coming season.

22. Tobias Schöler, 21, German, Striker (26 - 18 - 7,92 - 0)

Tobias is none of the things one would associate with a good striker, but 18 goals in 26 games is a stat that tells another tale. He has an instinctive knowledge of where to position himself and also quite a bit of luck meaning that he has gotten a lot of lucky goals. Still, he is only third choice, but there can be little doubt that he will get his chance.

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<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

Sportfreunde Siegen - Saturday 26th July 2003





No Name Position(s) Nat Born Age Caps Gls Wages Expires Value


1 Almer, Franz GK AUT 23.9.70 32 - - ¤2.3K 8.6.07 ¤1M

- Eckhardt, Sven GK GER 22.1.76 27 - - ¤1.2K 30.6.04 ¤140K

12 Gombert, Marcel GK GER 2.10.84 18 - - ¤1.2K 25.6.05 ¤300K

- Koch, Andreas GK GER 13.7.71 32 - - ¤3.1K 9.6.06 ¤775K

16 Akoto, Erik D/DM C TGO 20.7.78 25 6 1 ¤725 4.6.06 ¤2.3M

2 Albrechtsen, Martin SW/D/DM RC DEN 31.3.78 25 3 - ¤1.8K 26.6.08 ¤2.7M

15 Bäcker, Sascha D/DM R GER 1.8.79 23 - - ¤3K 2.6.07 ¤1.2M

17 Benschneider, Roland DM LC GER 22.8.80 22 - - ¤4.5K 21.6.08 ¤1.6M

- Berg, Dennis SW/DM C GER 21.8.84 18 - - ¤700 26.6.05 ¤160K

- Dione, Ousseynou D C SEN 25.3.73 30 - - ¤4.6K 2.6.07 ¤575K

3 Döring, Nils D/DM L GER 23.4.80 23 - - ¤850 22.6.07 ¤1.2M

5 Lassissi, Saliou D RC CIV 15.8.76 26 2 - ¤7K 28.6.07 ¤600K

4 Lucic, Teddy D RC SWE 15.4.71 32 38 - ¤9.75K 25.6.07 ¤725K

- Islamoglu, Cem D C TUR 4.9.80 22 - - ¤3.6K 5.6.05 ¤500K

14 Straub, Matthias D L GER 24.11.80 22 - - ¤2.9K 2.6.07 ¤1M

13 Wurm, Tobias D RC GER 31.3.82 21 - - ¤1.3K 2.6.05 ¤375K

6 Arzu DM RC ESP 17.3.79 24 - - ¤3.5K 2.6.08 ¤3.1M

7 Gastón Curbelo AM LC URU 8.4.76 27 - - ¤2.3K 8.6.07 ¤1.5M

19 Jailliti, Mounir AM RC FRA 24.10.79 23 - - ¤1.1K 9.6.06 ¤1.5M

- Klein, Martin M LC GER 22.12.80 22 - - ¤450 2.6.05 ¤250K

20 Kotula, Jozef DM RC SVK 20.9.76 26 - - ¤4.9K 2.6.07 ¤1.6M

- Loos, Lars DM C GER 16.3.87 16 - - ¤900 Rolling ¤275K

8 Truckenbrod, Jens AM C GER 18.1.80 23 - - ¤4.3K 2.6.07 ¤1.3M

- Wohlfarth, Christian AM R GER 18.8.85 17 - - ¤2K 18.6.06 ¤1.3M

21 Zott, Tobias DM C GER 12.8.77 25 - - ¤4.4K 2.6.04 ¤325K

11 Atalan, Servet AM/F LC TUR 1.1.77 26 - - ¤3.5K 14.6.08 ¤1.5M

9 Graulund, Peter F LC DEN 20.9.74 28 - - ¤8.5K 24.6.08 ¤3.7M

- Schlabach, Timo S C GER 5.12.80 22 - - ¤325 Rolling Free

22 Schöler, Tobias F LC GER 3.10.81 21 - - ¤2.1K 2.6.06 ¤1.2M

18 Woods, Ben AM/F RC ENG 9.5.81 22 - - ¤4.4K 8.6.08 ¤425K

10 van Buskirk, John S C USA 13.4.72 31 - - ¤6.5K 26.6.04 ¤2.2M


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The new season was opened with a visit from Union Berlin. After our good showing last year where we took four points from these clashes we expected to do so again.

We opened well with van Buskirk hitting the post twice in the first six minutes. Our deserved goal came a few minutes later when Graulund connected with a pass from Gaston to head us in the lead. Things went a bit pearshaped then with Berlin taking control. Two goals just before the break meant that we found ourselves trailing at half time despite having had several good chances. Things improved in the second half though. First Lassissi scored after a corner and then we regained the lead after a great attack. Graulund hit the bar and the ball dropped to Lucic who played Arzu who then found Woods. The young Englishman had no problems in scoring after that great show of passing which left the Berlin keeper fuming at his defenders.

This wasn't the end though. Just one minute later Ristic scored for Berlin before we had finished congratulating ourselves and then we were all square again. In the end we did get the three points when Lassissi had moved forward with the ball and then found Graulund in open space. With the defenders drawn toward the African the Dane had no problems in getting his second of the day and sealing our 4-3 win.

With those three points we were off to a good start, but we needed to do better defensively in the televised match against Hannover '96 who had been relegated from the Bundesliga. Luckily we had home advantage again and this gave me hope of a good result. With two offensive teams on the pitch it was bound to be an entertaining match and that also happened. We went down after 18 minutes and they had a terrific chance to double their lead when Almer brought down Vilner in the box, but the keeper corrected his mistake by saving the penalty.

In the second half we got a bit more concentration into our game and after Woods had had a goal ruled out thanks to offside we finally got our deserved equaliser when the Englishman found the net once again. On the sadder side of things we lost Döring to injury and Graulund also picked up a minor knock.

More problematic was two offers for our players. The one for Arzu was rejected, but the one for Lassissi met his release clause and this could mean that we would lose him to Karlsruhe for just €600K. Next Bochum tried to lure Graulund away for €3,7M, but I don't intend to sell off any important players if I can help it. Even Gombert were attracting interest.

The Lassissi deal was finalised just before our next game costing us our captain. Not good.

Straub moved in for Döring and Akoto replaced Lassissi as we travelled to Trier for our for away fixture of the season. Not the easiest place to start our games away from home as they are one of the relegated teams, but as they've had a poor start to this season their morale should be low and give us a decent chance. However, with half our defence gone it would be far from easy. Things got off to a bad start when Reis put Trier ahead with his for goal for the club... after 38 matches. Both Woods and Gaston scored before the break to give us the morale upper ground, though we were shaken by the loss of Jailitti just before the interval. This meant a debut for Beinschneider. We stood well defensively in the second half, but Almer was finally beaten in injury time when Trier pulled level to earn a 2-2 draw. Still, we're unbeaten so far.

To stop the hole after Lassissi we signed former Norwegian international Bård Borgersen for only €240K from Aalborg. While he is old, he is still very good and should be a good replacement until I can find someone for the future.

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For the trip to Mainz I was pleased to see that both Döring and Jailitti recovered in time to make the squad. New man Borgersen also slotted into the lineup as we looked to get back on the winning track.

We started positively looking for the early goal, but all of our efforts bounced off the fantastic Mainz keeper. Instead they took the lead and even though Graulund equalised we could only look on as Melunovic continued his rampage and added two more goals to his tally before the break. I tried a double substitution at half time as our midfield had had loads of problems containing Mainz, This immediately paid of as Atalan scored to leave us 2-3 down, but even though we attacked even more furiously then, there was just not enough we could do to beat their keeper and we suffered our first loss.

We got a bit of a blow then when van Buskirk injured himself during training and would be out for two months. At the same time I'm not expecting to hang on to Graulund due to his low min fee clause, so this was a good time to start looking for a striker to replace one or both players.

This did give me a problem selecting the team for our clash with Wehen in the German cup. Short term it wasn’t a problem as Schöler could take over, but this left me without any strikers on the bench. In goal I also decided to give Gombert a chance. Another new player in the first XI was Borgersen who would take this game as a leaning match getting to know the team.

As it was I had nothing to worry about. Arzu gave us a dream start with a goal in the first minute and braces from both Graulund and Schöler gave us an unasailable lead at the break. In the end we cruised to an easy 5-1 win and a place in the second round where we would face Greuther Fürth.

Offers were continually coming in for Graulund, always meeting his clause, but we had a loophole in the fact that they wanted to pay us over half a year allowing us to turn them down. We did ship off one player though as Gombert was sent on a season-long loan to Dresden.

We had the doubtful pleasure of having to face Lassissi as he came back to Siegen as part of a strong Karlsruhe team. While we had the last laugh after a fine 4-2 win thanks in part due to a brace from young Woods it was an expensive win as Graulund was carried off after just 15 minutes. Scans after the game showed that he will be out for a month and now we are seriously depleted in the striking department.

To help us out up front we quickly signed the 26-year old Russian striker Dmitri Kirichenko whom we had been following for some time. He has been capped for Russia B and is a nice allround striker. For some reason he never got a start for CSKA Moskva, so we were able to pick him up for the small fee of just £600K.

Kirichenko slotted right into the starting formation for our next game along with Truckenbrod who would also get his first start of the season instead of Jailitti. The match was away to Münster a team we really have to beat in order to maintain our ambitions. Though we had an early scare when they had a goal ruled out we soon asserted ourselves and after 37 minutes we took the lead. Albrechtsen found Arzu with a freekick. He quickly passed forward to Schöler who unselfishly found Kirichenko in the clear and allowed the Russian to celebrate his debut with a goal. A few minutes later the two reversed roles to double our lead and give us a good cushion. A red card to one of their defenders in the second half settled things and we ran our comfortable winners with a 4-1 scoreline.

With our good record against Greuther Fürth last year we aimed to do the double on them again as they came to Leimbachstadium. Interestingly enough our next home game will be against them as well, but only in the cup. With their team weaker than last year and us managing despite injuries, confidence was high.

The result was never in any real doubt after Schöler got the first of his three goals after just seven minutes. After that we had complete and firm control and as Woods and Kirichenko also found the net we gleefully collected another three points after a 5-1 victory. Their solitary goal was a bit of a fluke as it took a deflection on the way in. Even more amusing was the fact that it was scored by their “star†striker and it was his first goal of the season after seven goalless games. It does move us up to third on goal difference though and that is good.

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With such a good win we were full of confidence before our next game which was expected to be the hardest we had to play all year, the away fixture to St. Pauli who had already taken a clear lead. With a minor injury a few days before I was forced to rest Lucic for the clash and with such an exodus of players my hopes were low despite the high morale in the team. To my surprise we got an early lead when Gastón lost his marker and volleyed us ahead. Sadly we also had to substitute Truckenbrod at that time as he had mysteriously picked up an injury while unchallenged. St. Pauli quickly pulled level again, but at halftime the score was still drawn. In the second half they pushed hard for a goal forcing us to rely on counter attacking, but neither side got any closer to a goal than the shot hammered on the bar by Kirichenko. It finished with a share of the spoils at 1-1.

Scans after the game showed that Truckenbord had injured a leg muscle keeping him out for a month. To replace him Kotula was given a start in the fixture away to Gladbach. He had started to grumble about not playing and to be fair he is too good to have on the bench.

Of course we suffered another injury as Kirichenko was brought down and had to go off and, just to rub it in, they scored in the very next minute. Then we lost Döring and again Gladbach followed it up with a goal. Is a curse upon us? The players handled these setbacks quite well though. First Gaston pulled one back and then Schöler started his one-man show scoring 3 goals to set us on the road to an amazing 5-3 away win.

Both injured players would be out for three weeks, but at least we had Lucic, van Buskirk and Graulund coming back and ready to play.

The German Cup was up next and once again we were hosting Greuther Fürth. van Buskirk came back in for Kirichenko and Döring was replaced by Straub. Straub obviously felt he had a point to prove as he ran with the ball for three quarters of the pitch after 5 minutes and then set up Woods for the opening goal. Ten minutes later he himself scored and shortly after we made it three. Of course things were helped considerably by the redcarding of their keeper, but it was still impressive. In the end we ran out 5-0 winners to set up an appointment with the third round.

It appeared that once again we would be facing what I dubbed the strong teams in a short time once again as our next league game was at home to Die Löwen from 1860 München. We immediately seized the advantage when Woods found van Burkirk in the box and we took the all-important early goal. Just as we had scored early we also got one late as Woods scored five minutes before time to seal the win and ensure that 1860 gave up on trying to score. Final score: 2-0.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">************************************************************************************************

German Second Division - Monday 13th October 2003



2003/4 Table


Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st Hannover 96 10 5 0 0 14 3 2 3 0 10 7 24

2nd St. Pauli 10 4 1 0 10 5 3 0 2 10 8 22

3rd SF SIEGEN 10 4 1 0 16 7 2 2 1 14 10 21


4th Mainz 10 3 2 0 10 6 3 0 2 9 7 20

5th Braunschweig 10 4 1 0 14 4 0 3 2 6 9 16

6th Aue 10 3 2 0 11 6 1 2 2 6 7 16

7th 1860 München 9 4 0 0 6 0 1 1 3 5 10 16

8th M'gladbach 10 2 1 2 12 12 2 2 1 7 6 15

9th Trier 10 2 2 1 5 4 2 1 2 5 6 15

10th Karlsruhe 10 3 1 1 13 7 0 2 3 6 12 12

11th Ahlen 10 1 3 1 8 7 2 0 3 8 9 12

12th Duisburg 10 2 1 2 10 11 1 2 2 9 12 12

13th Union Berlin 10 2 2 1 9 7 1 0 4 6 12 11

14th Greuther Fürth 10 1 2 2 6 8 1 0 4 5 14 8


15th Uerdingen 10 0 3 2 7 10 0 3 2 4 6 6

16th Schweinfurt 10 2 0 3 7 6 0 0 5 3 11 6

17th Münster 10 1 2 2 4 7 0 1 4 3 11 6

18th Erfurt 9 1 0 4 4 10 0 2 2 4 9 5


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[]We're trying Bjorn, but I have a gut feeling that if we go up, then we will go straight down again very, very quickly. [/i]


Of course the trees don’t grow into heaven and we had to be on our toes to continue our run and get something with us from Ahlen. We did get the perfect start though as Woods hammered us in front, but a strong Ahlen offensive quickly drove us back and levelled the score. While we took the lead just before the break it was very undeserved. In the second half they pushed hard for the equaliser, but time and time again Almer saved us. In the end it was settled as Graulund capitalised on a defensive blunder to seal the bag. 3-1 and we’re still riding high.

Once again we got a bid for Arzu, but the €3,1m offered by Kaiserslautern is no where near enough to prize away my treasured defensive midfielder. Perhaps, if they offered €5m, then we could talk about it, but his value to the team means that I’m not selling him.

We were actually full strength as Duisburg came to Leimbachstadion and this gave me a minor problem up front. In the end I decided on playing Kirichenko and Graulund together. Truckenbrod was not completely fit yet, but still it was close to our strongest XI so of course this should be a walk over. No! It was almost a complete reserve of our previous match. This time we had full control, but still conceded left and right as we crashed 2-4.

Once again we got an offer for Graulund meeting his clause, but it was still to be paid over six months. I told Werder Bremen that if they wanted to pay in rates, then €3,7m wouldn’t do it. They would have to cough up €7,5m. To my immense surprise they accepted and so did I. That amount of money is simply too much to refuse as we only paid €2m for him. They player also agreed, but as the transfer window had shut on buying players from lower German leagues we would still have him until the first of July 2004.

He had picked up a slight injury in training though, so van Buskirk was back as we made the long journey to face our pursuers from Aue. We got off to a disastrous start as we were two goals down inside the first ten minutes, but first Gaston pulled one back with a lucky shot that was deflected in and finally, just four minutes before full time, van Buskirk used his physique to hold off a defender and curl the equalising goal to 2-2 into the net.

In anticipation of Graulunds departure and the increasing age of van Buskirk we completed a massive and expensive deal for Greuther Fürths former German U-21 striker Nico Beigang. At just 22 years of age he would be of use for years to come, but at €3m straight up and €1,5m after 50 appearances he was pretty expensive.

After the less than optimal results lately I was happy that our next visitors was bottom side Erfurt. This was exactly what we need to get back on track. It would also give Beigang a chance to show the fans his worth. Frustratingly we actually continued our poor play and the opening goal from Döring was cancelled out in the 82nd minute. Just as I was prepare to let all hell loose after the game Gáston popped up deep in injury time to seal the points as he took an optimistic shot from 35 yards. While we won it 2-1 a draw would have been much more fair.

To complete the bad news we drew Hamburger SV away in the next round of the cup which, in all likelihood, will end our cup-run.

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We had only a few days to rest before the televised game at Uerdingen. They have struggles quite a bit since being promoted and hopefully I can add to their misery. Graulund was back after injury and as I consider him slightly better than Beigang this pushed our new player out on the bench. He justified my decision by opening the scoring, but the game was completely destroyed by the referee who handed out cards left and right. As Uerdingen was unlucky enough to have a player sent off there was little they could do stop us from cruising to a 3-1 win moving us top of the table.

News came in then that Hamit Altintop would soon be out of contract at Denizlispor and as he is a player we have had our eye on for some time an offer was made to him. He claims he doesn’t want to leave Turkey, but who knows. We have made him a spectacular offer, but will also face competition from several other clubs.

However we are also receiving offers. The bidding for Arzu has now risen to €4,5m, but I’ll be looking for at least 8 million before selling him.

Though we are still not playing to the best of our abilities there is no reason to change a winning side, so we would field the same team against Schweinfurt as we did last week. Once again we dominated without being able to close the game as our early lead was reversed to our being behind at half time. That was the start of Graulunds one-man show though as he scored a hattrick to give us a 4-2 win that looks better on paper than it did on the pitch.

After the game we received a fax saying that Altintop had signed a new deal in Turkey, so no luck there.

We could take some time off from the league then as we travelled north to Hamburg for the cup encounter against HSV. To my astonishment we didn’t concede in the first half for the first time in months though HSV did have a goal ruled out. Statwise we had had more shots on goal than them, so perhaps we could pull off an upset. HSV lost Arveladze to injury early in the second and we also made a few substitutions. As the time went by there were still no goals, but that changed in the last ten minutes. First Gaston capitalised on a loose ball that Pieckenhagen couldn’t hold and then Graulund connected with a cross from Kotula a few minutes later. The best player on the field, Flavio Conceicao, did pull a consolation goal, but that didn’t change the fact that we had collected our biggest scalp so far. Final score: 2-1 Siegen. We are now the only team from the second Bundesliga, besides 1860, that is left in the competition. Hopefully we can get a big money home tie next.

The first fixture became Freiburg vs 1860. Then followed Kaiserslautern vs Dortmund. Excitement was rising. We could now draw Nürnburg, Schalke or Hertha. Nürnburg got Schalke which left Hertha Berlin for us… the only question remaining was where we would play. To my relief it became a home tie for us giving us a small chance of going through and giving the fans a chance to come out in force. It will be a real challenge as Hertha are currently second in the Bundesliga.

I could only hope that the players had gotten their arms down after our unexpected triumph in the north, as Braunschweig could cause us quite a few problems. For the second week in a row we managed to keep a clean sheet after the first half and this time we could even find comfort in having taken the lead just before the break. It is a new feeling starting the second half being in the lead. We couldn’t keep it though as with two goals in the second half we went down 1-2 after a thoroughly disappointing effort and lack of spirit from most of the players.

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Another bid came in for Arzu from Dortmund, but they were politely told to up their bid from €5,75m to €9m if they want to snatch him away from the Leimbachstadium. Unsurprisingly they decided that it was a bit much. Well, not my loss. That should teach them to stay away from my squad.

Well, after last weeks disappointing result it was time to bounce back as we drove to the capital for our encounter with Union Berlin. We got off to an auspicious start with Union the better side and we got a few yellow cards as the players continually were too slow with their tackles. Gradually things improved and at the stroke of halftime Kotula capitalised on a poor block by the Union keeper to tap the ball into the net.

In the last part of the game we were on top. Clearly the late goal had broken their spirits and it was well deserved when Borgesen made it 2-0. Döring swung in a corner and Gaston directed it over to an open Borgesen who volleyed it home. We had the chance to score a third, but Graulunds effort was ruled out.

After that confidence boosting win it was time to kill off one of the teams hunting our rightful position as fifth placed Mainz came to town. We had complete control of the opening minutes so it was a shock when they capitalised on a poor pass to make it 0-1. That score held firm for some time until the action exploded just before half time. First Arzu made it all square with a doomsday shot, then they made it 1-2 and just before the break Beigang made it two all.

Borgersen and Beigang again scored in the second half to put us two up before they got a consolation goal to make it {B]4-3{/B]. It was costly though with injuries to both Woods and Kirichenko. Lukckily the Russian would just be missing for a week, but Woods would be out for a month. To our good fortune there were only two games left before the break, but one is the vital clash with Hertha Berlin.

I was forced to make a few changes as Trier was up in our list of fixtures. Beigang replaced Kirichenko and Atalan moved in for Woods. It turned out to be one of those days where almost everything worked as we created chance upon chance. The fans got an idea of what would happen after just two minutes when Atalan had a goal ruled out. He did get one just before the break though setting us up for the win. At this point we should have had about three goals if Melka hadn’t played one of his best games ever in the Trier goal. Typically though Trier then scored on their only chance in the match, but a Beigang strike three minutes before full time clinched the 2-1 to leave us top of the table as the league is suspended due to winter.

Only one more thing remained before our hard-earned break: The German Cup clash with mighty Hertha Berlin. Hertha is riding high in the Bundesliga with a four point lead in first place. After the nice play last week I kept faith with the same eleven players and instructed them to go out and enjoy it, but not forget that this is a competition.

The start wasn’t the best as we lost Döring to an injury after just nine minutes and a little later Peter Madsen scored for the visitors. The crowd was also a big disappointment as less than 9,000 fans had come to watch us. The few fans did get something to cheer early in the second half though as Nico Beigang put us level. Atalan had an effort ruled out just after and instead Hertha made it 1-2. Once again Beigang scored to make the crowd forget about the snow and we looked set for extra time when Oude Kamphuis decided the game just before full time. Though we lost it 2-3 we did well and this bodes well for the future.

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The winter break saw some more transfer activity. It was decided not to renegotiate with van Buskirk who signed for Union Berlin instead. Sven Eckhardt would also be leaving us in order to join Chemnitz.

It wasn’t all out though as we made a €3m deal with Benfica which would bring the Brazilian Zé Roberto to Germany. He should do well in our midfield and will be available just after New Years Day.

At the end of January it was finally time to play again and we had to start away to Greuther Fürth. Zé Roberto got his debut in this game and apart from the suspended Borgersen we were at full strength. We got off to a cracking start with two goals from Graulund in the first quarter and after Beigang netted our third it was in the bag. Things got a bit tense in the end when they suddenly started scoring, but we managed to hold on to a 3-2 win.

The next six weeks could prove decisive as we’re about to face some of our toughest competitors for the promotion spot starting with Gladbach. However, everybody is fit and that is good news as it should give us a slight edge. We got off to a terrible start as they scored twice in the first twenty minutes and were in firm control. We did get a chance as Arzu scored just before the break, but it would be an uphill struggle. Gladbach continued their domination in the second half but all of that changed in the 70th minutes when Stefan Schnoor was sent off and Döring converted the penalty. Now we had the momentum and we took full advantage of it with two more goals to complete our comeback and win it 4-2. Even better were the news that Hannover had lost and we had increased our lead to 5 points. It couldn’t have come at a better time as they are our next opponents.

Hannover ‘96 is never an easy team to beat on the road though our optimistic scout means that they are merely competent. Managed by Louis van Gaal they will doubtless have a few surprises for me. Oddly enough there are no Dutchmen in the team, but they do have Milan Baros and Thomas Christiansen up front.

The first forty-five minutes were rather eventless as both teams were afraid to make any mistakes and fall behind. Two goals in the second half settled things, though, annoyingly, neither of them were scored by us and we had to record a 0-2 loss.

Everybody felt a bit low after that defeat as it showed we still have a long way to go. When we’re good we can definitely make it in the Bundesliga, but when we don’t play our best, then we’re still only mediocre. A boost to morale was needed and a win over Münster was the key. While we only one it 1-0 we had chances to score five or more goals. The one we got was a real beauty, so we would just have to live with it. We had a series of corners in a row and one of them found the head of Zé Roberto who directed the ball into the top corner without chance for the flying keeper.

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It was time to face Karlsruhe again and according to the scouts it was a good time to play them as they had Lassissi out through injury. I suppose he should have stayed with us, but that is his loss. We showed some skills in the first half, but were unable to get the opening goal. It did come in the second half, but it was also the spark that got Karlsruhe started. The last half hour was under complete control by them and in the end we were lucky to get away with a single point thanks to a 1-1 draw. It looks like we’re headed for a minor crisis and I don’t like it.

While we prepared to face Aue we did manage to offload some more deadwood. Cem Islamoglu would move to Sekerspor at the end of the season for a fee of €450K. Not bad for a player I don’t rate.

We would be without Albrechtsen though as he picked up an injury in training. A blow I could do without, but there was nothing to do about it.

Once again we dominated the first half, scored early in the second and then relinquished control of the action. Fortunately the goal from Zé Roberto proved enough as we hung on to a narrow 1-0 win. It will still count though, so I can’t be too unhappy.

A real six-pointer was up next away to 1860 München. A defeat in that match could jeopardise out promotion chances while a win would more or less assure us of going up. The way we have been playing lately it was no surprise that we fell behind early and failed to make any presence felt in the first half. A double substitution at half time helped immensely. First Atalan had a goal ruled out, but then Beigang ended his goaldraught and just ten minutes before time Atalan found Graulund with a low cross and the Danish striker easily slotted it home for a 2-1. I dare say it now. We’re going up!

The last of our immediate pursuers are St. Pauli and due to some fluke at fixture generation they would be our next opponents. We lost Lucic early on in the match, but a strike from Kirichenko soon made the crowd forget their anguish at the loss. With two more goals in the second half we secured a firm 3-0 win and took top spot with six games to go.

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German Second Division - Monday 22nd March 2004



2003/4 Table


Pos Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag Won Drn Lst For Ag Pts


1st SF SIEGEN 28 12 1 1 39 20 7 4 3 31 22 62

2nd Hannover 96 28 11 1 2 33 16 7 4 3 31 21 59

3rd 1860 München 28 9 2 3 26 13 6 4 4 23 24 51


4th M'gladbach 28 9 2 3 35 20 6 3 5 24 23 50

5th St. Pauli 28 10 1 2 29 16 5 2 8 23 32 48

6th Aue 28 10 4 0 35 18 3 3 8 13 21 46


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