First half of the season wrap-up: Berlin Liga (6th league)
After last season with Blau-Weiß Berlin’s wire to wire victory, collecting 91 out 102 possible points and scoring more than 100 goals, the league headed into a season which was looking pretty hard to predict a clear favourite. The usual suspects like Tasmania Berlin, SFC Stern and two-time runner-up Eintracht Mahlsdorf were on the list. Former Bundesliga side Tasmania Berlin in particular added some players to their squad, who had played in higher leagues, and were pushing to finally leave the Berlin Liga. The trio was joined by Sparta Lichtenberg, who were promoted in 2017 after a two-year stint in the Landesliga (7th tier). Winning 14 out of 17 games after the last winter break made them one of the favourites, even without major changes to their squad.
What went down at the top?
Tasmania had a rocky start. After winning just one of their first five games, self-proclaimed experts (me) already called off their race for the championship. But the Neukölln side belied these claims, winning eight of their last ten games and rising to 2nd place, just five points behind Sparta Lichtenberg. The Spartans also faced some problems at the beginning and lost two of their first games, one more than last year’s champion Blau-Weiß in the whole season. But on match day nine they won (back) the lead and haven’t lost it since then. By winning nine of the last ten games, scoring 23 (!) goals in the last four games and humiliating the (then) 2nd placed Berliner SC with 5:0 in December, the team from the east of Berlin seems to be unstoppable. But as we want to avoid the mistakes from the past: with only a five-point lead ahead of the rest, it is much too early for celebrations in Lichtenberg.
At 3rd place sits SFC Stern (34 points). The team from Steglitz ended the last three seasons in the top 5 and everything is set up for a fourth time. Being just one point behind Berliner SC is quite a surprise for the first half of the season. After reaching 3rd place last year, Stern lost some key players from their starting XI, but this doesn’t seem to have affected them too much.
… and at the bottom?
With SC Charlottenburg and Berolina Stralau struggling for points, two of the three promoted sides are in the relegation zone. Neither of them will be surprised. Berolina is playing their very first season at this level and is one of the only teams in Berlin’s higher leagues that doesn’t pay any money to their players. Leaded by 72-year-old Berlin legend Detlef Schneider, who just secured his eleventh promotion (!) as a coach with Berolina last year, the team from Stralau is just one point away from 15th place and will do everything to leave the danger zone as soon as possible.
At the very bottom, one of the best known names in Berlin non-league football is in danger of being cut off from the rest of the table. Füchse Berlin, the team that played in the 2nd and 3rd levels of German football throughout most of the second half of the 20th century, are getting closer and closer of what would be the second relegation to the Landesliga (7th tier) in their proud history. With just seven points in their pockets, the team from the district of Reinickendorf is already six points from safety. But having one game in hand and facing Frohnau at the end of January, they might be able to close that gap before the other teams have even finished their winter break.
What else caught the eye of the BHM team?
After five years in the Landesliga, Türkiyemspor, who just turned 40, seem to be more alive than ever in recent years. 9th place and twelve points clear of the relegation zone is a remarkable performance for the team from Kreuzberg. Even losing their best striker Bekai Jagne to Tennis Borussia in summer didn’t seem to affect the former Berlin Cup winners (1988, 1990, 1991). To find out more about the team who battled Hertha at eye level in the late eighties, you can have a look at the first issue of our e-magazine.