Any attempt to write fiction about a football team who had conceded 185 goals in a season and whose goalkeeper’s name is Block would be ludicrous trite. Luckily we don’t need fiction, for we have SV Adler Berlin.
My dad still sends me newspaper cuttings from articles he finds particularly amusing. My favourite of these will always be those which give the statistics of the worst football teams in England. It’s an impressive feat really, to be that diabolical. Having 15 points and conceding 80 goals just isn’t enough to make it into these lists. Points have to be single figures and goals conceded triple figures. This is what caught my eye about SV Adler:
Goals scored: 16
Goals conceded: 185
I could be wrong, but I believe there is no worse record in all of the Berlin leagues. And if there is, the name of their goalkeeper is far less ironic.
I didn’t go to SV Buchholz in search of a drubbing, but rather a miracle. A point for SV Adler. Or maybe just a goal? Not a win of course, I’m not so delusional. Of course I checked against whom it was the Adler had gained their one point. Is it worse to be the team with one point, or to be the team against whom they got that point?
For the opening twenty minutes there was a clear nervousness from the home side. Buchholz clearly didn’t want to be the team who couldn’t score against the Bezirksliga’s serial capitulators. It’s fair to say that their apprehension was resulting in some fairly poor finishing. Buchholz had another reasonto be nervous too, finding themselves just one point above the relegation zone after last week’s 2-0 defeat against second bottom SF Kladow. The home fans too grew frustrated within the opening twenty minutes. There aren’t many teams against whom you could expect a goal so early in the game, but Adler are certainly one of them.
The inevitable then of course happened. In the 24th minute Buchholz did what they had been threatening to do since
kick off and got their opening goal through Dennis Schmoldt. This would be Schmoldt’s only goal of the afternoon; it would not be Buchholz’s only goal. Indeed, just five minutes later their second goal arrived courtesy of Eric Anders, who would score four goals, almost half of Buchholz’s goals in what became the rout everyone had expected. The match would finish at 9-0 for the home side, who despite their strong start to the season, had not won since October 18th in their match against who else other than SV Adler Berlin. The last goal of the game would come on the 90th minute through a penalty by Markus Oser. After the ball crossed the line, the referee mercifully blew the final whistle, and no one celebrated more than Adler’s Florian Block.
I hadn’t been sure what to expect from Adler. A team who had simply stopped trying? Maybe embittered after the punishing season? I had hoped for good humoured in spite of their horrendous season. The latter was established fairly early in the game.
I can’t believe that anyone can feel a heavy defeat more than the man who has to pick the ball out of the net every time a goal is conceded. Nine times in one game is bad enough, but 194 times so far this season? Soul crushing. Block looked far from crushed though. He seemed to be the most upbeat player on the pitch, never mind his own team. He joked with Buchholz players when they had added to his rapidly increasing tally of goals conceded. He shouted encouragement to his teammates during the moments they actually broke forward and managed to land a cross in the eighteen yard box. Block seemed to pick up an injury to his shoulders early in the game, but as Adler had turned up with only 11 men, a substitution was out of the question. What could he do but shrug his (injured) shoulders and play on. I’m sure this didn’t really have much of an impact on the scoreline; maybe it would have been 8-0 if he had been fully fit.
You could call it a season to forget for Adler, but it’s likely those who played ever will. I hope they don’t. A story of abject failure can be just as enjoyable as resounding success. As they left the pitch after being torn apart by a team just three places above them, nothing was stopping them from laughing amongst themselves, most likely at themselves. Everyone knows self deprecating humour is the best.
Watching SV Adler play was akin to watching 11 friends decide to meet up for a game of football, but find themselves up against organised teams, with tactics, who actually have training sessions. The fact that they got promoted into the Bezirksliga last season seems to have been a miracle enough. That pride should be enough to see them through to the end of this season. For the life of me though, I will never understand how SV Blau Gelb Berlin managed to be held to 1-1 draw against them. Adler can laugh at their season, Blau Gelb should probably have a good hard think about that one.