Spandau’s rising star

Staaken – a place you will not come across in any of the Berlin guides. And to be honest, most Berliners have never set foot in the tiny district in the very west of Spandau. Founded in 1273, the place got its name from the middle low German word “staken“ (engl. stakes).

Just 750 years later, the district has a new pride: Sportclub Staaken. Since 1919, the club has been a constant fixture in the lower Berlin leagues. This was briefly interrupted by a very short successful period after WWII, when Staaken reached 3rd place in Berlin’s highest league in 1946.

In 2010, Staaken finally returned to Berlin’s top level, the Berlin-Liga. From then on, their star began to rise. In 2015/16 Staaken reached the semi-final of the Berlin Cup, only to tragically lose 2:3 in extra time against BFC Preussen. But they handled the defeat well and just one year later reached promised land with their first ever promotion to the Oberliga, Germany’s 5th league.

This was in no small part due to Staaken’s inspirational trainer, Jeffrey Seitz, who also grew up in Spandau. At just 31 years old, Seitz became manager of the first XI in 2016 after previously training youth teams at the club. After guiding Staaken to promotion, Seitz was named Berlin Amateur Trainer of the Season 2016/17.

After a bumpy start to the season, losing their first three games, the Spandauers were finally settling down in the Oberliga, reaching 7th place before today’s game against local rivals CFC Hertha 06 from Charlottenburg.

The game in Sportpark Staaken started well for the hosts. Florian Wündsch had a shot at CFC’s goal just one minute into the game. But under very bad conditions, with grey skies alternating between snow and rain, there were not many highlights in first half. In the 25th minute, Staaken’s defender Tim Lampert powered past three CFC players. But then he remembered he was a 5th league defender and missed the goal by almost two metres.

At the end of the first half, CFC Hertha became stronger and after a series of corners had their first chance with a header over the bar. In the 80th minute it was CFC’s number 10 Ali Ayvaz who served the ball with a good cross for striker Ergin Cakir – but Staaken’s goalkeeper Lukas Hesse saved.

Just three minutes later, Staaken finally had their big opportunity. After a foul on Staaken captain Malte Guske, the referee gave a free-kick just 18 metres from the CFC goal. Steffen Voigt took the ball and did what every fan wants to see when it’s 0:0, raining and your team is playing badly: he hammered the ball into the left corner and most of the 80 spectators in the Sportpark went wild.

CFC Hertha tried everything to equalize. But after a quick counterattack by Staaken, the wonderfully named Jesucristo Kote Lopez passed the ball to Philipp Schulz, who scored with a magnificent mixture of shot and cross.

The 2:0 home win keeps Staaken at 7th place. Meanwhile, local rivals CFC Hertha stay in the dropzone at 15th.