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[FM23] OstDeutscher Sieg | An East German Adventure


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OstDeutscher Sieg – which means East German Victory – will see us try to lead a club based in former East Germany to the Bundesliga title for the first time. For context, there are only eight teams based in the region, three of which are in tier 3, three are in tier 2, and two (one of which no-one likes) are in the top tier.

We have to begin our adventure at the bottom of the available German leagues (3. Liga) and aim to reach the very summit. I’ve never managed below Bundesliga and won’t know any of the players nor too many of the clubs, so this promises to be a fun challenge. And I generally love managing in Bundesliga on FM, so that gives us something exciting to work towards.

We’ll explain the challenge further and give you a proper introduction to football clubs based in East Germany on the day FM23 is released (8 November) before kicking off the save properly and selecting our first club the following day.

OstDeutsche Sieg.png

Edited by robilaz
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Our FM23 main save begins here! We're taking you behind the Iron Curtain for our latest series, in a new adventure that will see us work our way through German football with one major target in mind.

In OstDeutsche Sieg (East German Victory) we can only manage football teams based in former East Germany. Our aim is to become the first-ever Bundesliga champion to hail from the former Soviet-ruled area by working our way from the bottom to the top of the German football system.

But first, a couple of brief history lessons to set the scene...

What divided East and West Germany?

On 3 October 1990, present-day Germany was created when the German Democratic Republic was dissolved and its land became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Before this event, known as German reunification or German unity, the country had existed as East Germany and West Germany, due to zones designated by the Allied nations following World War 2.

From that day forth, East and West Berlin became a single city and Berlin later became the capital of Germany. A more visual representation of this shift was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which actually occurred nearly a year before the official reunification.

A brief history of German football

Football first arrived in Germany courtesy of English ex-pats, who brought the sport to cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart. That spawned the start of various academic, city and regional leagues before the formation of Deutscher Fußball Bund (the German FA) in 1900.

In 1903, the first recognised national championship match saw VfB Leipzig beat FC Prag 7-2. That spawned an annual knockout tournament to decide the champion of German, which ran until 1944. But the aftermath of World War 2 saw chaos reign in German football as most organisations were dissolved by Allied authorities until a new format, the Oberligen, was created in Western Germany in 1948.

The regional league and national playoff formats remained until 1963 with the creation of the Bundesliga, which saw German football go professional for the first time. The original Bundesliga was formed by 16 teams from Oberligen and introduced the more familiar round-robin format. However, clubs in East Germany, which was occupied by the Soviets after the war, competed in a separate championship, which continued through to 1991.

Since the formation of Bundesliga 59 years ago, 11 different clubs have been crowned the champion of Germany. Not counting pre-Bundesliga days, those are: Bayern Munich (31), Borussia Dortmund (8), Borussia Mönchengladbach (5), Werder Bremen (4), Hamburg (3), Kaiserslautern and Köln (2), and 1860 Munich, Eintracht Braunschweig, Nürnberg and Wolfsburg (1).

A common anomaly there is the lack of an East German club, as no team from East Germany has ever been Bundesliga Champion. So that's the task that awaits us in OstDeutsche Sieg.

Which East German teams are playable on FM23?

Most of the original East German sides have either been dissolved or dropped way down the German leagues - although there are several in the fourth tier, which isn't playable on Football Manager. That includes Berliner FC Dynamo (or Dynamo Berlin), which won a record 10 consecutive titles between 1979 and 1988 and now competes in the fourth-tier Regionalliga Nordost. It also includes 1. FC Frankfurt, which was the army club based in Leipzig and won six East German titles and now plays in the sixth-tier Brandenburg-Liga.

However, there are eight football teams based in former East Germany still in existence and playable in Football Manager. They are as follows:

3. Liga

  • FC Erzgebirge Aue
  • Hallescher FC
  • FSV Zwickau

Bundesliga 2

  • Dynamo Dresden
  • 1. FC Magdeburg
  • Hansa Rostock


  • RasenBallsport Leipzig
  • 1. FC Union Berlin

Who are the playable East German football teams?

So who are these football teams based in East Germany? Here's a brief history of our potential playable clubs in this adventure and what to expect if, or possibly when, we eventually take charge of them.

3. Liga

FC Erzgebirge Aue: Erzgebirge Aue was in Bundesliga 2 for six years before being relegated last season. It plays in the city of Aue-Bad Schlema, which has a population of around 20,800 and is one of the smallest cities to ever host a second-tier German club game. Looking further back in time, the club was dominant in 1950s East Germany, winning 4 titles and an East German Cup. They're not without a little controversy as in February 2015 fans unfurled two banners that compared opponents RB Leipzig (who we'll discuss shortly) to the Nazis.

Hallescher FC: Also known as Chemie Halle, the club was in East Germany's top tier and won it twice before the reunification. But it suffered with financial issues as a result of the economic decline in the region, falling into the amateur leagues in the 1990s. But it climbed its way back up the ladder to return to the professional leagues in 2012.

FSV Zwickau: Zwickau has the honour of being the first-ever champion of East Germany in 1950, under its former name ZSG Horch Zwickau. The club has undergone various name changes and mergers through the years, which are a little too confusing to jot down here. But found itself in tier 3 after reunification and was promoted to Bundesliga 2 in 1994. That lasted for four seasons and two more relegations saw financial issues strike in 2005, which sent them into tier 5. But they climbed through the leagues to reach tier 3 again in 2016.

Bundesliga 2

Dynamo Dresden: You've probably heard of the 8-time East German champions and 7-time cup winners as they have a bit of a hipster following. Dresden qualified for the first unified Bundesliga in 1991 and stayed there for 4 years but the debt-ridden was demoted to the third tier in 1995 then dropped into the 4th tier a few years later during a restructuring of the league pyramid. They've crawled their way back up led largely by their fanatical supporters and came close to reaching Bundesliga in 2017, were relegated to tier 3 in 2018, but got back to the 2nd tier in 2020.

1. FC Magdeburg: Some might say Magdeburg is the greatest East German side in the 'modern-day.' That's because they are the only team based in East Germany to win a European trophy, after they beat AC Milan in the Cup Winners' Cup Final in 1974. However, the club has struggled to hit those heights since reunification, spending most of their time between tiers 3 and 4 and struggling financially. But they were promoted to tier 3 in 2015 and reached Bundesliga 2 for the first and only time in 2018. They also boast fanatical supporters.

Hansa Rostock: Hansa Rostock was the final-ever East German champion in 1991, which saw it moved into Bundesliga with runners-up Dynamo Dresden. Since then, they've been one of the most successful of all the East Germany-based sides, including being in Bundesliga from 1995 to 2005. It suffered a decline that culminated in being demoted to tier 3 for only the second time in 2012, but was promoted back to the second tier as champions of 3. Liga in 2021.


1. FC Union Berlin: Union Berlin enjoyed a stellar start to this Bundesliga campaign as, at the time of writing, they sat top of Bundesliga after nine games. The club was technically formed in 1906 with the formation of FC Olympia Oberschöneweide but only became 1. FC Union Berlin in 1966. It was in Bundesliga 2 for 11 years before beating Stuttgart in the Bundesliga relegation playoff to reach the top flight for the first time in 2020.

RasenBallsport Leipzig: This is where things get a little murky. RB Leipzig was founded in 2009 when Red Bull purchased fifth-tier SSV Markranstädt with the aim of getting the club into Bundesliga within eight years. The club is actually operated by a spin-off company called RasenBallsport Leipzig GmbH, hence not explicitly using the Red Bull branding like other clubs around the world. It achieved Red Bull's ambition by gaining promotion to Bundesliga in 2017, then reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2020 and won its first major trophy when it won DFB Pokal in 2021. The city of Leipzig and its people were at the forefront of bringing down the post-war Communist government prior to reunification. So, while it's a new "plastic" club - according to Eintracht Frankfurt board member Philip Renschke - that's hated by many German fans, RB Leipzig has to be included in this challenge.

How will OstDeutsche Sieg work?

It wouldn't be an overly fun challenge if we jumped straight into managing Union or Leipzig would it? So those two jobs are going to be viewed as the holy grail of our mission to win Bundesliga with an East German club.

Instead, we will begin the save with one of the three East German sides currently in 3. Liga - that's Erzebirge Aue, Hallescher FC or FSV Zwickau. And the aim will be to initially avoid being relegated out of 3. Liga (if that's even possible), then aim to get into Bundesliga 2 and, eventually, into Bundesliga. We can either do that by getting our team promoted through the leagues or by taking a job with one of the higher-ranked East German sides.

However, I've decided to make things a little more tricky by having to win every tier of German football. So before we can move up to Bundesliga 2, we have to win 3. Liga. And before we can move into Bundesliga, we have to win Bundesliga 2.

Furthermore, I'm going to introduce further stipulations into the save that will make the save more realistic and affect our ability to stroll to success. For example:

  • We're not allowed to use the Players In Range search page to find or sign players
  • We're not allowed to use Staff Search to hire staff members
  • We have to use the new recruitment focuses to sign new players
  • We're not allowed to use prior knowledge of players to make new signings - so we have to rely on our scouts

So there you have it, OstDeutsche Sieg is up and running. But who will we choose as our first club? And who will be the protagonist of our new Football Manager adventure? The adventure begins in earnest tomorrow! 

OstDeutsche Sieg.png

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Ruprecht Prusseit - which translates to "Robert a Prussian" - fell into football management when he picked up a nasty ankle injury during a Sunday League match near his home in Dresden. His team had been trailing 2-0 after an hour when he picked up the injury and the manager was so exasperated with the team's efforts that he walked off for a cigarette and to read the daily edition of Bild.

38-year-old Prusseit dusted himself off, popped a bandage around his poorly ankle and threw himself into managing the team. He inspired a superb comeback, as his team won 3-2. His teammates encouraged him to hang up his boots and take over control of managing the Sunday League side. And, after being slightly offended by their eagerness to see him retire, he eventually agreed and swiftly led his pals to the local league title.

The celebrations saw Prusseit take the boys down the local beer hall and it's safe to say things got a little out of hand. So the loud incessant buzzing of his mobile phone on his bedside table the next morning was far from welcome. He picked the phone up and didn't recognise the number, so considered ignoring it and going back to sleep.

But, luckily, hungover intrigue took over. Prusseit mumbled "Hallo" to discover that, on the other end of the line was a man claiming to be Lars Schauer, the Managing Director of third-tier German side FSV Zwickau. Schauer told Prusseit one of his many Zwickau directors (they have nine!) was a huge advocate of grassroots football and had been impressed with his work. The MD just so happened to be in Dresden and was keen to meet for a chat.

So Prusseit jumped out of bed and into the shower, popped on his finest shirt, and met Schauer back in the same beer hall he'd been to last night - which brought unwelcome memories flashing back. The duo discussed footballing philosophies over a few more Steins of beer, which ended with a particularly drunk Schauer offering Prusseit a job as Manager of FSV Zwickau.

The next morning, Prusseit - who had never even considered taking coaching badges and of course only had Sunday Football experience - drove the 78 miles over to Zwickau. He was greeted by a huge welcoming party of Schauer and his Director team of Matthias Krauss, Lutz Teichmann, Ingo Kursawe, Frank Fischer, Wolfgang Elsel, Ilja Poser, Peter Rogsch, Stefan Hersh and Marco Holzel, as well as Director of Football Jerome Konig. And the bizarre dream was very much a reality - Prusseit was officially a Football Manager!



Who are FSV Zwickau?

FSV Zwickau is a third-tier club that plays in the city of Zwickau, the fourth-largest city in Saxony after Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz. The club has the honour of being the first-ever East German champions under its former name ZSG Horch Zwickau in 1950. So Zwickau felt like the perfect, most logical place for Prusseit to begin his mission to lift the Bundesliga title with clubs based in former East Germany.

Zwickau, nicknamed Die Schwäne (The Swans), has a pretty complicated history, going through all manner of mergers and name changes before finally taking on the current name in 1990 - which is when Football Manager considers the club to have officially been founded. It's never added to that 1950 championship but did win three East German Cups in 1963, 1967 and 1975 and reached the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup in 1976.

Following German reunification in 1990, Zwickau played in the third tier and were promoted to 2. Bundesliga in 1994, where they stayed for four years. They eventually dropped down to the fourth tier but financial issues saw them demoted to tier five in 2005, before battling their way back through the leagues and into tier three in 2016. In 2021/22, FSV Zwickau finished 10th out of 20 teams in 3. Liga.

FSV Zwickau in Football Manager 2023

Prusseit took control of a club that has solid finances with £1.9 million in the bank and no outstanding debts, but is overspending its £54,696 wage budget and has no transfer budget available.

Zwickau's fanbase of 1,500 supporters consists of 14% hardcore fanatics and 35% core fans, with just 14% casuals and 18% family-supported. It has 29,500 followers on social media, no fans on the season ticket waiting list and a moderate influence on the club's board. The fans expect Zwickau to be competitive with fellow third-tier side Erzebirge Aue and better other rivals Chemnitzer, Lok Leipzig and Magdeburg. They also expect consolidation as an established 3. Liga team.

The board has slightly loftier ambitions, expecting Prusseit to record a top-half finish in his first-ever season of football management, which seems a slightly tough ask. Indeed, Zwickau are predicted to finish 13th out of 20 teams in 3. Liga and don't have any players in the media's dream 11.


Zwickau play at the 10,134-capacity GGZ Arena, which was built in 2016. Its home kit is predominantly red with white flashes, alongside a grey away kit and white third kit. The club has four derby clashes, including two Sachsen Derbies with Dynamo Dresden and Erzebirge, as well as the Westsachsen Derby with Chemnitzer and Ost Derby with Hallescher. Erzebirge are the only fierce rival alongside a mass of other rivalries.

Prusseit currently had five coaches on the books, despite only being allowed three but, for some strange, four doctors, no chief scout and only one physio and one scout. So the staff will also need a little refining.


Meet the FSV Zwickau team

The best player at FSV Zwickau, according to Prusseit's coaching team, is versatile right-back Nils Butzen, who looks a decent player but lacks a little pace. He's the only 4-star ability player followed by seven 3.5-star players in another right-back Patrick Göbel, centre-backs Robin Ziegele and Davy Frick, left midfielder Robert Herrmann, goalkeeper Johannes Brinkies, and midfielders Maximilian Jansen and Mike Könnecke, who has the world's bluest eyes! A lack of strikers was evident, as Prusseit's goals were reliant on Dominic Baumann and 39-year-old Ronny König, who still has solid physicals but is unlikely to be prolific.


However, there is decent potential in the squad led by 20-year-old Noel Eichinger, who joined the club in the summer, left-wingers Yannic Voigt and Noah Shawn Agbaje, and American former Porto right-winger Johan Gómez. But the club's under-19 squad offered nothing in terms of potential stars.

Getting started with a local derby!

Prusseit had very little preparation for his first-ever season in football management. But, having assessed the players available to him and listened to his coaches' advice, he was leaning towards starting with a relatively defensive mindset. And that was split between a 4-4-2 and a 5-3-2 formation. He tested both during his two pre-season friendlies, which saw an awful 0-0 draw and an even worse 1-0 defeat with 10 men for an hour and in which Ziegele got injured, so that offered very little assistance. But he initially opted for the 4-4-2 due to a lack of centre-backs.

If, like Herr Prusseit, you're new to the German lower leagues, 3. Liga rules include match squads containing four domestic under-23 players and at least eight under-23 domestic players. The top two teams are promoted automatically, the third-place side goes into a playoff with a 2. Bundesliga side, while four teams are relegated. Intriguingly, the league considers Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and USA as EU nations.

Fellow East German side Dynamo Dresden are overwhelming favourites for the title at 4/11 followed by Ingolstadt (5/4), 1860 Munchen (11/4), Duisburg (10/3), Osnabruck and Saarbrucken (10/1) and Erzebirge (18/1). Zwickau had odds of 33/1.

Prusseit's first game in football was a massive one as Zwickau welcomed fellow East German side Hallescher for an opening day Ost Derby. Another terrible game seemed to be heading for a dull 0-0. But Gómez came off the bench to bag what looked like being a winner, but Hallescher went down the other end to equalise from the kick-off. Annoying, but deserved.

His first away game took him to Meppen, whose winger scored an absolute worldie at the start of each half while Zwickau's strikers couldn't score simple chances from six yards out. So they lost 2-0. Next up was one of the league favourites Duisburg and Zwickau made a great start as Eichinger scored his first goal for the club. Duisburg levelled from a corner but Göbel smashed home a penalty before Eichinger swiftly volleyed home his second. Dodgy keeper Brinkies gifted a second just after half-time and Prusseit was worried. And he was right to be as two more long-range strikes came close to equalisers. But his team just about held on for his first-ever win as a Football Manager!


However, they were awful on the road again as Brinkies let Elversberg's first two shots in. Prusseit rang the changes and Konig got one back before Könnecke hit the post with a free-kick in the final minutes. But he had to tick off another away defeat, which prompted a full-time team talk that was so angry that Herrmann requested a transfer!

Prusseit slightly tweaked the tactic, moving Jansen back a notch to play as a Regista. He first trialled it on "fan day" as Zwickay welcomed SpVgg Bayreuth to town. They started slowly as Herrmann gifted Bayreuth a goal. But they got level through a Göbel penalty, before Gómez again turned the game as he created a goal for Eichinger then scored a 30-yard screamer to seal a very much undeserved 3-1 victory. However, they lost Baumann for six weeks with sprained knee ligaments.

That inspired Prusseit to hand Gómez his first start and the American didn't disappoint, creating the opener for the unhappy Herrmann at bottom-of-the-league Verli. The hosts of course scored their first shot on target but Herrmann doubled his tally from a corner then a long hoof was flicked on by König for Elchinger to make it 3-1. A first away win looked nailed on as König tapped home after a goalmouth scramble but some shaky defending saw the hosts score twice in a minute! But Zwickau just about held on for a 4-3 win.


Prusseit had made a solid start to life as a Football Manager. His Zwickau side sat 8th in 3. Liga with 10 points from six games. They'd scored a league-high 12 goals but conceded 11, so it was safe to say the new manager was off to an exciting start.

But could he build on a solid start and maintain a mid-table position? We will find out on Friday!

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Despite having no coaching badges and zero managerial experience, fledgling East German boss Ruprecht Prusseit had made a solid start to life with FSV Zwickau. Die Schwäne were sitting pretty in 8th place in 3. Liga after seeing 23 goals during their new manager's first six managers.

Prusseit didn't make any transfers before the end of the first transfer window, partly because he didn't feel the need and partly because his scouts didn't recommend anyone good enough. And a reminder that, in this save, there's no use of the player search screen allowed so all signings need to come through the scouting team... which could be interesting...

Defensive tactics reap rewards

Zwickau continued their 3. Liga campaign with the world's worst kit clash at home to Viktoria Köln. They took the lead through left-winger Robert Herrmann (which translates to Mr Man!) but were massively outplayed and Viktoria scored twice in the second half to claim a deserved win.

That teed up a massive first Sachsen Derby as Zwickau travelled to fellow East German rivals and purple-clad Erzebirge Aue. Zwickau started well with a lovely finish by striker Noel Eichinger. But they struggled to create anything else and the hosts grew into the game and got a deserved equaliser. Midfielder Mike Könnecke got himself sent off so Prusseit battened down the hatches and held on for a hard-fought 1-1 draw.


A first home loss followed in what seemed a slightly unfair matchup against Dortmund II, who had future stars like Nnamdi Collins and Jayden Braaf, dominated by 13 shots to three and won 2-0. And the fans turned on Prusseit for what they deemed to be negative tactics. But that defensive approach worked wonders at Ingolstadt as Zwickau came from behind to win with goals from wingers Johan Gómez and Herrmann despite only having five shots to 15.

They then welcomed 3. Liga's only undefeated side Wehen Wiesbaden. That record looked under threat as Eichinger poked Zwickau ahead just before the break. And, despite dominating the game with 17 shots to seven, Wiesbaden also succumbed to Prusseit's defensive football thanks to Johannes Brinkies' 10 saves!

One label you couldn't give Zwickau in Prusseit's first couple of months in charge was "exciting." However, they raced into a 2-0 lead at Saarbrucken but capitulated to a 5-3 defeat, which epitomised their up-and-down form. That seemingly spaked them into life as they claimed a 3-0 victory over Freiburg II then a 3-1 win at second-place RW Essen, who had a player sent off in the second minute but still managed to have 25 shots to Zwickau's 14.

Those results lifted Zwickau to the heady heights of fourth in the league! They also saw Baumann become the first of Prusseit's players to win a player of the month award in October, in which he scored five and assisted two in four games.


The defensive approach returned at home to one of the league favourites Osnabruck as midfielder Yannik Möcker headed home from a corner and they defended for a 1-0 win before nicking a 0-0 at Waldhof Mannheim.

That took Zwickau into a huge game before a lengthy break for the Winter World Cup. They made the short trip over to Prusseit's hometown of Dresden for a first Sachsen Derby against 3. Liga favourites Dynamo Dresden at the 32,249-capacity Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, which is the biggest stadium in 3. Liga and the biggest ground Prusseit had ever been to.

Unfortunately, the team was absolutely exhausted three days on from the Mannheim game, but Prusseit decided to stick with his first-choice 11. They succeeded in their mission in the first half, preventing any semblance of flowing football to go in 0-0 at half-time. Veteran striker Ronny König missed a good chance just after the break and the Zwickau defence continued to successfully shut down any threat from Dresden. But just as the game seemed to be drifting to another 0-0, 39-year-old König rose highest to hammer a header home from a Patrick Göbel cross in injury time. And that secured a massive win to take Zwickau into the winter break on a real high.

That huge win over Dresden lifted Zwickau into third place in 3. Liga with nine wins and five defeats from 17 games. They're the top scorers in the league with 28 goals but only two teams have conceded more than their 23. Bizarrely, Duisburg have scored the second-most goals (26) but sit one place outside the relegation zone!


The star man behind this surprisingly good form has been centre-back Davy Frick, who's got a 7.46 average rating plus three goals and an assist from 14 matches. He's also only one game away from 350 league appearances for Zwickau having been at the club since 2011. While Baumann, who has five goals and four assists, and old man König, who has four goals, have also impressed.

Despite the on-pitch positivity, one cause for concern is the finances at Zwickau. The club is losing around £300,000 per month, of which the biggest outlay is £171,136 on player wages and £92,915 on staff wages - compared to a total monthly income of just £164,000. And that seems a fairly untenable situation.

But Prusseit was looking forward to a nice relaxing winter watching the World Cup on TV while fine-honing his tactics that were strangely defensive yet attacking at the same time!

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  • robilaz changed the title to [FM23] OstDeutscher Sieg | An East German Adventure

Nice idea. I've always had a mini fascination with the old East German teams. It's amazing it's taken the Red Bull thing for them to be competetive at the top level, well apart from the massive efforts from Union Berlin.

I think it was subbuteo that introduced me to the East German clubs. I always loved the name Hansa Rostock. Perhaps I'll aim to get to one of these clubs in my half German upbringing career write up - though not to steal your thunder. :D


Edited by anagain
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Fledgling and totally unqualified East German manager Ruprecht Prusseit had made a surprisingly strong start to his career, leading FSV Zwickau into third position in 3. Liga before a near two-month break for the Winter World Cup.

The team's form in the first half of the 2022/23 campaign saw Prusseit handed a new 18-month contract through to the summer of 2024. While the board also agreed to allow the manager to undertake his first coaching qualification as he began studying for a National C Licence.

Even more promising news saw Prusseit presented with a first-ever youth intake that could be "excellent." He wasn't getting too carried away with his expectations for the intake but was concerned about what his team might look like next year, given 15 first-teamers were out of contract in the summer. But more on that next time...

Immediately after handing Prusseit a new contract, previous Managing Director Lars Schauer was out of a job. The FSV Zwickau elections saw him replaced by Martin Donner, who apparently loves a kebab, didn't have any plans to provide the club with investment and brought a posse of 10 new directors with him, as if such a thing was possible.

3. Liga resumes

2023 began in fine style as Zwickau welcomed Oldenburg to GGZ Arena. They found themselves 2-0 up after 35 minutes through strikers Dominic Baumann and Ronny König. A stunning solo goal by Oldenburg's winger halved the deficit but a trademark defensive effort saw the hosts over the line to start the year with a win. That took Zwickau to six games unbeaten, which was tested by a trip to 1860 Munchen. They fell behind early and Prusseit feared the worst and took a more cautious approach. And, against all the odds, a total fluke by winger Patrick Göbel nicked a completely undeserved point!

However, they then lost the Ost Derby 3-2 at bottom side Hallescher. That was followed by entertaining leaders Meppen, in which they got a flyer to lead 2-0 inside 15 minutes through König and left-back Can Coskun's first goal for the club. Winger Robert Herrmann (Mr Man) somehow hit the post twice with an open goal but Meppen offered nothing and Zwickau claimed a huge win that moved them two points off top spot!

However, a 2-2 at Duisburg and a 1-0 loss at 10th-place Elversburg saw three points separate second place from 10th! Zwickau got back to winning ways with a 2-0 success at Bayreuth, in which midfielder Luís Júnior, who'd suddenly emerged as a hot prospect, become the club and 3. Liga's youngest-ever player aged 16 years 120 days.

That was forced by a mass of injuries hitting the Zwickau squad, which saw them fall to defeats at Victoria Koln and Dortmund II (which still feels unfair) but nick a 1-0 win over struggling Verl. That sent them into a huge Sachsen Derby at home to Erzgebirge Aue, who racked up an impressive 14 shots in the first half but, predictably, it remained 0-0 at half-time. The players were beginning to warm to Prusseit's team talks, which showed as 39-year-old König gave them an undeserved lead four minutes after the break. His strike partner Noel Eichinger added a second and they strolled to a 2-0 derby victory.


Exciting promotion battle!

With 10 games remaining, Zwickau, who were predicted to finish 13th, found themselves in a surprise promotion chase. They sat in third place, three points behind leaders Freiburg II and one behind Meppen. But the race for promotion was very tight, so they could feasibly finish as low as 12th with a poor conclusion to the season!

That looked a possibility as they were dreadful in a 2-0 defeat at home to Ingolstadt, lost at leaders Freiburg II and Wiesbaden before throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with fourth-place Saarbrucken, in which König became the oldest goalscorer in 3. Liga history aged 39 years 311 days. But an 88th-minute free-kick by midfielder Mike Könnecke, which was just his second goal of the season, nicked a massive 1-0 win over third-place RW Essen to snap a six-game winless streak.

Going into the final four games, any of the top 11 could feasibly nick promotion! B teams (i.e. the top two, Freiburg and Dortmund) can't be promoted from this division, which technically means Saarbrucken lead the way on 56 points.


Game 1 - Waldhof Mannheim (16th, home): Zwickau had a poor start as Mannheim scored with their first shot. But they grew into the game and 16-year-old striker Eyob Bekele twice set up his strike partner Eichinger to put them 2-1 up at the break. Eichinger kicked on to wrap up the first hat-trick of Prusseit's reign then bagged another for a 4-1 thumping!

Game 2 - Dynamo Dresden (10th, home): Prusseit celebrated his 39th birthday with a massive Sachsen Derby, as his hometown team Dresden made the short trip to Zwickau. But his team didn't deliver a present as they put in a terrible performance, not even managing a shot in the first half. Dresden dominated and grabbed two late goals, but the game will be remembered for Luís Júnior scoring his first senior goal and becoming the club's youngest-ever goalscorer with an injury-time strike from the centre circle! That result and performance dented Zwickau's promotion hopes, but they were only one point back from third-place Meppen.

Game 3 - Oldenburg (18th, away): The perfect pick-me-up opportunity was a trip to relegated Oldenburg. Target forward Baumann was passed fit after two months out and made an immediate impact as his shot was parried for Eichinger to open the scoring. Eichinger doubled his tally just after the break and König replaced Baumann to head home a late third.

Game 4 - 1860 Munchen (4th, home): That teed up a thrilling final day with Zwickau sitting fifth, three points behind Saarbrucken, two behind Essen and two clear of 1860, Osnabruck, Dresden and Meppen and three clear of Wiesbaden. So technically, eight teams could still be promoted. Indeed, Zwickau only passed their objective to finish in the top half with that win at Oldenburg!


Crucial centre-back Davy Frick was suspended, which significantly weakened the defence, and Prusseit made a big call by starting 39-year-old König. But it paid off as the striker won two first-half penalties that Göbel duly slammed home. As it stood, Zwickau would stay fifth just a point behind Essen and Saarbrucken. But predictably, they gifted the visitors a goal straight after half-time. Eichinger and his manager thought they'd wrapped the points up but his 79th-minute strike was ruled out for offside and five minutes later the inevitable happened as 1860 equalised.

Elsewhere, Saarbrucken and Essen both won, Osnabruck lost to Dortmund II, Dresden won and Meppen lost to champions Freiburg II. So what on earth did all of that mean?

Well, Zwickau wrapped up fifth place on goal difference from local rivals Dresden, which took them into a promotion playoff! That was despite only finishing three points above 9th and four points above 11th!


Promotion/relegation playoff

Zwickau's fifth-place (net third-place) finish sent them into a two-legged promotion/relegation playoff against Sandhausen, who finished 16th in 2. Bundesliga. Anoingly, they lost holding midfielder Maximilian Jansen to injury, which forced Prusseit to revert to a flat 4-4-2.

The home leg was up first and Zwickau didn't even have a shot in the first half! They conceded early in the second to Ahmed Kutucu (a player Prusseit had actually heard of!) and failed to recover, only managing one shot and 0.04 xG in a pretty pathetic performance.

A few days later they made the return trip to Sandhausen hoping to at least have a shot on target! They did that in the first half as a free-kick was well-saved by the keeper. They then converted their second as Eichinger tapped home to level the tie up but immediately conceded. Prusseit threw everything he could at it and saw two huge chances missed by goal-shy Baumann and winger Johan Gómez, but the second goal proved elusive and they narrowly lost 2-1 on aggregate.


Season Review

This was a superb first season in football for Prusseit, who led Zwickau to the verge of promotion without making a single signing. The star man this season has probably been centre-back Frick, who had the club's highest average rating of 7.28 in 32 games and completed the most passes per 90 minutes (50). That won him fans' player of the season but also the surprising honour of 3. Liga player of the season!

Eichinger led the way with 14 goals from 29 games, four of which were in one match, and won fans' young player of the season. König scored 13 in 37, which isn't bad for a 39-year-old, followed by Baumann (9), Göbel (7) and Frick and Herrmann (4). Baumann and Herrmann topped the assists with seven followed by Göbel and Gomez (5). While Frick, Baumann and König managed an average rating over 7.

Another positive was the youth intake, which delivered on its promise with four players with 4.5- or 5-star potential and four with 4-star potential. The pick of them is goalkeeper Feisal Ali, along with midfielder Luís Júnior (who actually started the save at the club), centre-back David Bangura and winger Torben Dierschke.

However, the summer was going to be interesting and probably an absolute disaster. Frick had already agreed a deal to join Sandhausen, König was retiring and at least 11 more first-team players' contracts were expiring and Prusseit either didn't want them or they were demanding too much money to stay.

East Germany Update

We'll do season updates on how the other teams based in East Germany are progressing. This season, RB Leipzig finished 2nd in Bundesliga to champions Bayern. And, on a sidenote, my biggest concern is that they will win Bundesliga before we get the chance to do so - which would ruin the entire ethos of the save! While Union Berlin finished 14th.

In 2. Bundesliga, Hansa Rostock finished 10th, but only seven points off the promotion places, and Magdeburg finished 18th and last to be relegated to 3. Liga. At that level, Zwickau were the top East German side followed by Dresden (6th), Hallescher (11th) and Erzebirge Aue (14th). Energie Cottbus were promoted into 3. Liga, which adds a ninth East German side to the challenge.

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23 hours ago, Swaban said:

This is shaping up to be a great series, loving the story so far! I dont think I would have been able to resist starting with Dynamo Dresden, given the following that they have & especially with it being the managers local club

Thanks! In hindsight... I really should have started with Dresden! 

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16 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

An excellent first season at the helm, will you plan to loosen the iron fists defensive grip in the forthcoming season? 

Well, the summer proves really tricky and things get much more difficult in season 2! I did try to loosen up the defensive approach though..

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Ruprecht Prusseit massively enjoyed his first season as a Football Manager. But it took him some time to get over the carnage that unfolded at its conclusion in one of the tightest league finales ever. His FSV Zwickau massively exceeded all expectations in 2022/23, coming within one goal of promotion to 2. Bundesliga. But it wasn't to be and now a daunting rebuild awaited Prusseit in his first proper summer transfer window - especially considering he didn't sign a single player in his first season!

Massive Summer Rebuild

The summer break saw Prusseit take the first step towards becoming a proper manager as he gained his National C Licence. But on 1 July, a real test of his abilities saw 20 players leave the club on free transfers, two more retired and two were sold for minimal profit.

However, Prusseit did make his first-ever signings as a Football Manager. The first players in were end-of-contract deals for strikers Daniel Kalajdzic (brother of Wolves striker Sasa) and Marvin Pourié, who scored 15 league goals for Meppen last season, and Dortmund centre-back Antonios Papadopolous. He took a bit of a gamble on Brazilian holding midfielder Adriel before adding winger Alexander Nollenberger, who should obviously be a right-winger, full-back Marco Muller, backup centre-back Tobias Weber, holding midfielder Lars Holtkamp and right-back Yanni Regasel. Then, just as the season had kicked off, the board agreed to grant Prusseit a senior affiliate and duly delivered Bayern Munchen, which could be a game-changer in the future!



In total, 24 players left the club and 11 arrived, without spending a single penny. Prusseit also promoted several youngsters, including last season's youth intake prospects goalkeeper Feisal Ali and centre-back David Bangura, while 16-year-old Luís Júnior starts the season as first-choice in midfield. And the tactic for this season remains very similar to last, with the holding midfield role switched from a Regista to a Segundo Volante. Edgy.


Into The Unknown In Season 2

The media predict nothing to have changed, again saying Zwickau will finish 13th with odds of 33/1 to win 3. Liga. Ingolstadt are 5/6 favourites followed by Dynamo Dresden (13/8), Holstein Kiel (13/8), 1860 Munchen (2/1). Magdeburg (10/1) and Erzebirge Aue (11/1). Magdeburg and Energie Cottbus joined Zwickau in the third tier, meaning six of the 20 clubs in the division are from East Germany - and Prusseit had half an eye on how Dresden and Magdeburg performed, in case an opportunity arose.

In truth, Prusseit didn't quite know what to expect from his Zwickau side this season. He was fairly sure they were stronger in attack and defence, but he was worried about the midfield and lack of strength in depth. His new-look team, which included six debutants starting on opening day, began season two with a trip to Waldhof Mannheim. A poor game saw little happen until Júnior sent Pourié through to slam home the opener on his debut after 75 minutes, only for the hosts to equalise immediately. But two more debutants had the last laugh as Nollenberger created the winner for substitute Kalajdzic five minutes from time.

Their first home game saw Wehen Wiesbaden come to town and dominate the first half only for striker Noel Eichinger to convert Johan Gómez's cross just before half-time. The same combination combined again in a devastating counter-attack just before the hour mark. And Zwickau strolled to a 2-0 victory.

A dire run of form

Gómez was at it again in the next game at Bayreuth, creating the opener for Nollenberger before Papadopolous also scored his first goal just after half-time, then scored the third. But Gómez and goalkeeper Johannes Brinkies picked up injuries, which saw Ali make his 16-year-old Ali debut at Energie Cottbus. The perfect start unsurprisingly ended with a 1-0 defeat after Adriel missed a penalty and the same result followed for an exhausted team at Osnabruck. They got back on track with a 3-1 win over newly-promoted Lubeck thanks to goals by Eichinger, Kalajdzic and his replacement Pourié, but the away struggles continued with a 2-1 loss at favourites Ingolstadt.

Next up was a first clash with fellow East German side Magdeburg, who absolutely dominated with 26 shots to 10 but found Brinkies in inspired form. However, they eventually broke through after 85 minutes and won 2-0. And it didn't get any better with a 3-1 loss at 1860, which took them to three consecutive defeats and five in the last six.

That forced Prusseit into a change of formation, switching to a 4-2-3-1 ahead of a big game at home to local rivals Dresden. And it at least stopped the rot with a 0-0 draw. What they didn't need next was Dortmund II, who battered them twice last season, and another goalless 90 minutes saw a 1-0 defeat. This was not looking good!

But it got even worse as they conceded inside 30 seconds at Meppen and lost 2-0 then scored early but threw it away to lose 2-1 at home to Elversberg. Prusseit was getting desperate and switched to a 3-4-3 formation that started well at Dusseldorf II as Pourié scored after half an hour. And this time they held on for their first win in eight games!

They backed that up by conceding in the 95th minute to lose 2-1 at home to Freiburg II, which set up a crucial trip to fellow struggling East German side Hallescher that the fans dubbed "season-defining." You'd think that'd fire the team up but it didn't as they conceded after 20 minutes. Pourié dragged them level but they immediately conceded again and looked to be drifting to yet another defeat. But in the 94th minute, Nollenberger curled in a delicious free-kick to claim a vital point.

A 15-day break gave Prusseit a chance to rest players then drill them in training as he reverted to his preferred 4-4-2. It nearly worked as they led 2-1 at home to Unterhaching only to yet again concede in injury time then led twice at Holstein Kiel but also drew 2-2. That took them into another crucial rival clash in the Sachsen Derby at home to Erzgebirge, which saw 16th play 17th and it showed in a terrible game. But it swung on a special moment as young striker Luis Cortijo-Lange, who signed on a free transfer mid-way through October - scored his first senior goal to nick all three points.

The year concluded with a 2-2 draw at home to Mannheim and a massive 2-1 win at Wiesbaden thanks to a brace from new hero Cortijo-Lange. That took them to six unbeaten and two wins in three to arrest a really shaky spell that saw the media speculating Prussiet would be fired.

But as they headed into a month-long winter break, Zwickau looked relatively safe in mid-table. They had 26 points from 21 games and were seven points clear of the relegation zone and were just three points behind 8th position. But any chance of a surprise playoff push this season was well and truly out of contention. Nollenberg has the second-most assists in the league (8) and Adriel leads the way with bookings (10).


Big East German cup clash

Zwickau beat a team from a higher division for the first time as they beat Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0 in the DFB Pokal first round. That set up a massive clash with East German giants Union Berlin, who finished 14th in Bundesliga last season, in their first game against a Bundesliga side. The game was also chosen for live TV, which saw Zwickau given £475,000! Union obviously dominated the game and scored a screamer, but Zwickau did well to hold them to just a 1-0 defeat.

Could Prusseit continue to drive Zwickau up the table? Or was a relegation battle on the cards in season two of OstDeutscher Sieg? We will find out next time!

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On 15/11/2022 at 16:52, ClemB said:

Wouldnt Babelsberg be an eastern german team as well? Last time I checked they were in the 3rd division.

Nope, they weren't available. I'm guessing they're down in Regionalliga now.

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Second season syndrome appeared to have struck for Ruprecht Prusseit as his FSV Zwickau flirted with the relegation places then clambered back into mid-table in the first half of the 2023/24 campaign. But luckily, he still had a B- rating with the board and C+ rating with the supporters.

Prusseit now had a month-long break to reflect on a tricky few months and do a few deals in the transfer market. The first was forced by summer signing Daniel Kaladjdzic getting his knickers in a twist because he "hadn't played as an advanced forward" despite doing so in six of his last 10 games. And he joined Vorwarts Steyr for £59k rising to £82k, which could become the club's all-time record signing, surpassing the existing record of just £69k set back in 2013. Centre-back Robin Ziegele signed a deal with local rivals with Magdeburg in January, so Prusseit agreed to flog him now for £50k.

Kalajdzic was replaced by former Dortmund striker Timo Bornemann on a free. Prusseit also loaned a couple of players he was looking at signing on permanent deals in the summer in centre-back Andi Hoti from Inter and midfielder Nathan Wicht from 1860 Munchen. He was also keen to keep strengthening the youth side, which included the free transfer of Leipzig winger Cedric Zajkowski.



Looking to climb 3. Liga

Zwickau somehow managed to suffer an injury crisis despite having a month off. But they started 2024 well as a brace from striker Marvin Pourié and a delicious Alexander Nollenberger free-kick earned a 3-1 win at home to Bayreuth. That took them to seven games unbeaten and up to 11th in the table. Prusseit then had TEN players injured for a trip to Dortmund II and they unsurprisingly lost to them yet again, but only 1-0.

A rival clash with Energie Cottbus followed and they drew 1-1 in a fairly even game before surviving a battering from in-form Osnabruck to nick a 0-0. They then fell behind early on at bottom side Lubeck but raced into a 3-1 lead and, despite more defensive horrors, won 4-3 led by a Pourié brace.

A decent run of form ended dramatically with a 3-0 loss at home to Ingolstadt and a 5-3 battering at Magdeburg, which saw promising striker Tino Kaufmann, who'd scored 27 in 11 for the under-19s, score his first goal for the club. Just what they didn't need now was games against the top two! Zwickau got robbed by a horrendous refereeing decision at home to 1860 Munchen who, with the score at 2-2, clearly fouled striker Luis Cortijo-Lange then went down the other end to score a winner. They then went to second-place Dresden, which saw an opponent score their first shot for what Prusseit guessed to be the fifth game in a row. But the hosts dominated and won 4-1.

Dragged back into a relegation scrap

That took Zwickau to four straight defeats and one win in eight, which saw them suddenly just four points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining.


First up was a game at home to Meppen who, shockingly, didn't score their first shot on target. However, they did score an injury-time penalty to nick a 2-1 win. And Zwickau were now just three points above the dropzone. Prusseit decided to change things up by switching to a simplified 4-3-3 and dropping goalkeeper and captain Johannes Brinkies for 16-year-old Feisal Ali. The youngster did well to hold Elvesburg out until Bornemann scored his first goal, which meant Zwickau obviously had to concede the opponent's next effort. And they eventually lost a close game 2-1, which put them two points clear of the relegation zone.

Next was an absolute must-win game against 19th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf II. They got a great start as Pourié drilled home after 20 minutes, Luís Júnior scored a brilliant volley and Noel Eichinger scored a bizarre third just before the break. Surely even Zwickau couldn't throw this away? They couldn't and Adriel smashed home a fourth from the penalty spot to seal a much-needed win and Ali's first career clean sheet.

Next was a write-off against Freiburg II, who strolled to a 1-0 win in a terrible match. That dropped Zwickau to 17th but, crucially, five points clear of Erzgebirge Aue with four games remaining. Zwickau had a decent run-in with three games against teams also in the bottom six, but the season could easily hinge on a final-day Sachsen Derby.


Game 1 - Hallescher (18th, home): The first game in the relegation scrap was a massive local derby as Zwickau hosted Hallescher. A dreadful game saw nothing happen until Pourié won a penalty that Adriel tucked home after 58 minutes. Pourié hit the bar and Hallescher offered nothing until the 92nd minute, when Zwickau's awful defence crumbled yet again to concede an equaliser. Erzgebirge won at Wiesbaden to close the gap to three points.

Game 2 - SpVgg Unterhaching (8th, away): Prusseit brought Brinkies back into the team and immediately regretted it. Unterhaching scored their first shot from a direct free-kick and strolled to a 3-0 win without Zwickau laying a glove on them. Erzgebirge drew 1-1 with Bayreuth to move within just two points.


Game 3 - Holstein Kiel (15th, home): This, as Sir Alex Ferguson would say, was squeaky-bum time. The first of two potential relegation six-pointers saw Zwickau entertain Kiel, with three points splitting 15th from 17th. Another change of formation saw Prusseit move to a 4-4-2 Diamond, as wingers clearly weren't working, and throw Kaufmann in to line up with four youth products starting. And that worked well as Eichinger scored his first goal in months after seven minutes then won a penalty that Adriel converted. But Kiel had dominated the game and got a goal back just after the break then predictably equalised. Zwickay were all over the place and, despite several changes found themselves 3-2 down late on. Eicinger though he'd equalised but it was ruled out for offside.

Erzgebirge somehow drew 1-1 at Dortmund II to make it one point gap before a massive final-day Sachsen Derby clash.

Game 4 - Erzgebirge Aue (17th, away): Probably the biggest derby clash in East German history saw Erzgebirge and Zwickau lock horns with relegation on the line. Prusseit reverted to his 4-4-2 formation for the biggest game of his career.

An edgy start saw Erzgebirge firmly on top with seven shots to two in the first half hour then miss a huge chance just before the break. Prusseit thought he'd rallied the troops with a rousing half-time team talk, but they immediately conceded from an indirect free-kick. They then smacked the bar after an hour and Prusseit was seriously worried and desperate, so he made four subs and went to three up front. That nearly worked as Kaufmann immediately hit the post from 25 yards then Cortijo-Lange missed an absolute sitter at the back post in the final few minutes. But they couldn't find a goal and lost 1-0.


FSV Zwickau were relegated from 3. Liga. And, as a result, Ruprecht Prusseit was sacked as Zwickau manager!


Prusseit had been let down by some truly awful performances by his defenders, especially the full-backs. They only won one of their last 12 games and lost 10 of them! While they only won three times in 17 games after the league restarted in January.



East German update

Elsewhere in Germany, RB Leipzig finished fourth in Bundesliga and Union Berlin finished eighth. Hansa Rostock avoided relegation from 2. Bundesliga by a point. Dresden won 3. Liga and were joined in promotion by Magdeburg. Zwickau and Hallescher were both relegated with Erzgebirge and Cottbus avoiding the drop.

So what now for Ruprecht Prusseit? Is this the end of the save? Or can he find himself a job elsewhere in East Germany?

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Ruprecht Prusseit found himself on the managerial scrapheap within two years of starting his Football Manager career. The Dresden-born coach was unceremoniously sacked when his FSV Zwickau side was dumped out of 3. Liga in dramatic fashion by local rivals Erzgebirge Aue. It was safe to say that Prusseit didn't have the most appealing profile for clubs in East Germany. In 80 matches, he'd lost more than he'd won (36 to 28), had a win percentage of 35% and a goal difference of -5. But he did at least have a National C licence and two seasons of management under his belt.


It took a while for relevant jobs to become available but when they did Prusseit wasn't considered, as Energie Cottbus and Magdeburg didn't even offer him interviews. A year on from departing Zwickau, he remained jobless and offerless, as even newly promoted Bayern II (who obviously aren't an available option) didn't offer an interview. Eventually, he was offered an interview by third-tier strugglers Hallescher who, despite the interview going pretty well, decided to look elsewhere. He even considered new approaches like international management or under 23 international sides purely to try and build his reputation and attributes. However, even Costa Rica weren't interested in his services, which tells you it's time to give up the ghost.

The end of OstDeutscher Sieg

This is a real shame, as I really liked the concept of trying to win a first title with an East German side. However, the decision to create a manner with such a poor reputation limited our effectiveness in the role and made finding a new job with a professional club absolutely impossible. Furthermore, even if we had found a new job - such as Hallescher - fighting against relegation would have been a really hard task and we probably would have been sacked again!

Additionally, this save highlighted some of the severe shortcomings of FM23. For example, the new recruitment system is terrible and I honestly don't understand why they've implemented it. I wasn't allowed to use the player search screen so I could only sign players that had been recommended by my scouts and wasn't allowed to sign players I didn't have any knowledge of. That made discovering and signing players of sufficient quality almost impossible. So I will not be doing that ever again.

Watching Zwickau matches was probably the most painful experience I've ever had in any Football Manager save. I don't know why they routinely conceded the opponent's first shot / first shot on target - and I tried multiple tactics, instructions and player roles to try and prevent it - but it was excruciating knowing it was going to happen in every match.

So we have no choice but to call an end to OstDeutscher Sieg, for now. I do like the idea, so I might revisit it in the future, but for now it's time for a new challenge. And, luckily, I have one in mind that kicks off on Monday! The clues I'll give you are that if you like wonderkids, youth development and nation building, then is going to be the save for you!

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6 hours ago, wearesporting said:

That sucks!

One of the Aue or Cottbus jobs should hopefully become available and interested in your services. Can't ignore your successful first season.

See who comes up too.

Afraid not, our manager was just too bad! It was an error to start without any coaching badges or experience... 

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4 hours ago, robilaz said:

it's time for a new challenge. And, luckily, I have one in mind that kicks off on Monday! The clues I'll give you are that if you like wonderkids, youth development and nation building, then is going to be the save for you!

Looking forward to it, those are my favourite kinds of save. I had a great on in Denmark last year

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  • 2 months later...

Don’t forget Hertha Berlin this time!

It’s not only that the East German clubs haven’t been successful, but that not many players from Berlin or East Germany have made the national team since the unification. I think the current most successful player (also from Berlin) is Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.

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