Don Bosco / Alemannia vs Füchse Berlin Reinickendorf
Ever since I wrote about Traber Mariendorf, I’ve wanted to go and see Don Bosco. Like Traber, Don Bosco previously played in the Church League. Actually, they completely dominated the Church League, with a win rate of over 79%. Unlike Traber, they chose to leave the church League for the Freizeitliga. As one of those ‘guaranteed goals’ teams, I was keen to visit them. It was just unfortunate I chose today to do so.
The Landespokal is, at least in the opening rounds, a great tournament. There are always some interesting fixtures, and like today, you’ll get a Freizeitliga/regular league crossover. For those unfamiliar with the Freizeitliga , this is a league system which exists outside of the German FA. A hobby league, but with (often questionable) organisation. The winner of the Freizeitliga cup will receive a place in the Landespokal for the following season. Last year the winner was Don Bosco.
Don Bosco won their first round tie 8:1 against Kreisliga B side NFC Rot Weiß. An impressive victory and a clear indication that Freizeitliga is by no means an indication of lower quality football. Well, for the most part. But their tie against Füchse Berlin was a big ask. Füchse Play in the Verbandsliga (Berlin Liga), four leagues above their previous cup opponents, NFC Rot Weiß.
It was a long shot, but I was hoping maybe I’d see a giant killing. It turns out there were better odds of Uncle Rico throwing a football over them mountains than of Don Bosco beating Füchse.
I have visited the ground on Ollenhauerstraße once before. FC Polonia had scheduled a friendly in the winter break against a team from Poland, but when I arrived the Polish team had cancelled and the match went ahead against a much less interesting side from Berlin. Cold and only vaguely interested is a pretty usual occurrence at winter friendlies. Today, cold wasn’t on the cards. Being the pasty Englander that I am, I made my way directly to the only spot of shade available on the pitch-side, which was luckily directly behind the goal Füchse were attacking. ‘Luckily’, because Füchse absolutely pummeled Don Bosco. It was relentless. As far as I remember the half-time score was 7:0. And that was with some great saves from the Don Bosco keeper. He was replaced at half time. I’m not sure if it was for his mental health or because he took a mild knock to the head with a few minutes to go in the first half. Both would be valid reasons. But a quick mention to the Don Bosco player who noticed his team mate had taken a hit to the head, wouldn’t listen to the goalkeeper who said he was okay, and notified the ref who immediately stopped the match so he could be checked out. Nicely done by both the player and the referee.
So the second half began and I was determined to remain in my spot in the shade. I really hate being in the sun. Factor 50 or not, I just don’t like the sun. Cold and vaguely interested is an absolute joy compared to hot and vaguely interested. To be honest I’d take cold and vaguely interested over hot and enthralled. My determination however was trumped by the lack of any action at all in front of Füchse’s goal. I really wanted Don Bosco to mount a comeback for the ages, not just so my pasty English skin could stay in the shade, but because it was the result I had gone to see. Obviously it didn’t happen, so I reluctantly made my way into the direct sunlight.
I often wonder what English people are doing playing cricket. Why did we invent a sport that requires us to stand in a field with no shade for several hours a day? It seems completely masochistic to me. There’s not even the chance of shade. This is also why I don’t understand going to Tempelhofer feld in the summer. Sometimes I think I only married an Italian to ensure some melanin got into my bloodline.
The pulverisation of Don Bosco continued in the second half, though perhaps with slightly less brutality. But it was still one of those fixtures where you lose track of the score. At the time of writing, fussball.de are yet to show the final score, but I do remember that Don Bosco almost managed to score. It was a big moment. So the final score was Don Bosco (0:Many) Füchse Berlin*.
Though this was not the giant killing I was looking for, the magic of the cup still exists. Perhaps I’m a bit of a fool for always attending these miss-matched fixtures, because an absolute drubbing isn’t that interesting to watch; but the possibility is what is so fun. Maybe this is a part of the ‘magic of the cup’? Of course by the time the final comes, the magic has usually worn off and BFC Dynamo win it again.
Füchse won 10:0…fussball.de updated after I finished writing.