BSV Hürtürkel fights against its negative image

A translation from a Berliner Zeitung article.

Honestly,” Enes Akkoyunlu replies to the question of what was going on when the final whistle sounded in the game against the second team from Empor. “I was overjoyed. It was crazy. I took everyone I saw in my arms. I think I hugged 100 people.” This exuberance was not only the joy about a 2:1 victory at the season opener in the Bezirksliga, it was a satisfaction for his club BSV Hürtürkel.

The Neukölln-based club had not won since November 2016. That was 53 league games. They conceded 460 goals in the two seasons in which they went down through the leagues, not surprisingly. Last season, the team did not even take a point in the Landesliga and were relegated with a goal difference of minus 278. The B.Z. called Hürtürkel the worst club in Germany. This sting is deep, even with Akkoyunlu and Adem Aydin. They have been the men’s team’s new coach since the beginning of the season. They have set themselves the task of creating something new on the rubble.

“We just told ourselves we had to do something,” says Akkoyunlu, 25. He’s been in the club for five years. Last season he had the ungrateful task of guarding the Hürtürkel goal from time to time: “Adem and I have witnessed everything here in recent years – and it was usually just too frustrating. Nobody wants to play football when you’re down 8-0 after 20 minutes and that’s no exception.”

There was no regular training. Whoever showed up, played . If necessary, players were called just before kick-off. Discipline: No. These are not the best conditions to motivate themselves in the tortured club for a coaching position and these considerations plagued also Aydin and Akkoyunlu. “The club doesn’t have many chances anymore. This may be one of the last,” says Aydin. For them, the trainer duo builds almost everything from scratch.

Only three players from last season are still in the squad. Akkoyunlu, who looked after the A-youth a few years ago, called together many former players. Most of the team is therefore 21 or 22 years old. “It was almost impossible to get people interested in Hürtürkel at all,” says Akkoyunlu. Persistence and persuasion were therefore necessary to set up a squad of 21 men.

All the more Aydin and Akkoyunlu now take care of any sensitivities. Fresh fruit and drinks are available around the training units. And every player finds his name flocked on the red and white jerseys. For the Bezirksliga this is anything but a matter of course.

“The secret is motivation and love,” says Akkoyunlu and laughs. They shared their roles well. He is supposed to be there for the relaxed atmosphere, Aydin has a somewhat stricter role at the age of 46. Akkoyunlu had to feel this for himself. As a player of the second team, he was kicked out by former coach Aydin. “It was his belly,” says Aydin. “Well,” says Akkoyunlu, laughing with his right hand as he rides over the curvature of his T-shirt. You can laugh together again at Hürtürkel.

This had almost been forgotten in recent years. “There was chaos here,” says Aydin. Financially a lot was not right and also otherwise a lot went chaotically. Club life in the clubhouse on Sonnenallee has come to a standstill. Hürtürkel was smiled at tiredly or – worse – strongly pitied. “It’ll finally be different this season,” says Aydin. The coach duo, as the redemptive opening victory shows, have not only metaphorically rolled up their sleeves.

But the support is limited. Even in the club there were voices that didn’t think they were capable of much and predicted the next descent. That was motivating, says Akkoyunlu. Now they want to prove that you can turn the tide with passion and dedication and end the downward spiral – and perhaps even save an entire club from insignificance or abandoned ridicule.

The two of them have already taken the necessary steps. “The first men are important now. They have to stand up and achieve success again, so that the youth departments can also develop sustainably; and then the whole club,” says Aydin. With 31 youth teams, Hürtürkel has the fourth largest youth department in Berlin. The club wants and must become interesting again for sponsors and of course for its own offspring. But first of all we need a perspective for which young people can recommend themselves. That’s exactly what the first men’s team is supposed to be again.

The opening win was a small mark of respect. Last Sunday’s home game against Wartenberg was followed by a 2-0 lead by an own goal scored in the 6th minute of stoppage time. “That’s annoying,” says Akkoyunlu, “a draw would have been deserved. But we are not experienced enough and still make the individual mistakes.”

Six players are also on holiday and will join the squad in the next few weeks. The goal is to reach the first half of the table. People think very quietly of the places further up. “The first five games decide where we want to go,” says Adem Aydin. For Enes Akkoyunlu, they probably also decide how many people they will be allowed to throw him around the neck after the final whistle.

Translated with