Reds get set for Germany trip
With a break in league action this weekend United have been presented with a great opportunity as they’ve been invited to take part in a prestigious tournament in Riesa, Germany.
After taking seven points from three games over the festive period, 2008 looks like it’s starting off on the right foot for Margy’s men. Before the Manchester Premier Cup Quarter final against Flixton on Wednesday 9th January, United will take part in a well known indoor tournament that will be televised throughout Germany.
The tournament consist of six teams split into two groups, each team plays there respective group members with the two group winners facing off in the final to find an overall winner.
In United’s group are FC Energie Cottbus and FC Erzgebirge Aue, we will play both teams in a five-a-side format over ten minutes each way, the team being made up of one goal keeper and four outfield players made up from a squad of twelve.
FC Energie Cottbus currently play in the German Bundesliga and currently lie second from bottom with only 15 points from the opening half of the season.
Their season can be described as a little disappointing, but in their last match before the winter break they hammered Hannover 96 5-1, no mean feat against a team that are currently 7th in the league.
Cottbus were the first German team to field a starting eleven made up entirely of foreign players on April 6, 2001, and none of the three substitutes were German.
The other team in United’s group is FC Erzgebirge Aue, who currently play in the second tier of German football in 2.Bundesliga.
Originally formed in 1946 the club didn’t take it’s name it has today until 1993, when Erzgebirge was added to their team name, which roughly translates to Ore Mountains in English.
The club were champions of the old East German league on three separate occasions in the 1950’s and even appeared in the European Cup on three occasions, most notably beating IFK Gothenburg in 1959.
The club is nicknamed Veilchen (violets) because of their club colours. Currently they are 15th in the league with 16 points so far this season. They will be looking to build on last season’s performance which saw them finish a very respectable tenth.
The other teams that make up the tournament are Duisberg, FC Carl Zeiss Jena and our old friends FC Lokomotive Leipzig.
Fans will be well acquainted with Leipzig following a friendly match between our two sides at the end of our inaugural season, in a fantastic match and occasion which ended in a 4-4 draw
Duisberg are another Bundesliga team, but they have been a little disappointing this season, as they currently prop up the table with 13 points so far.
The club were promoted to the top tier of German football last season when they finished third in 2.Bundesliga,
They did recently hold Bayern Munich to a 0-0 at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, but there hasn’t been too much for the team to shout about this season.
FC Carl Zeiss Jena are another team that play in the 2.Bundesliga. They have a steep history though as they were East German champions on three occasions between 1963 & 1970, and they were the runners up in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1981.
Their performance this season has been less prestigious as they currently sit 17th in the league with 13 points from 17 games.
All in all the tournament can only be a success in terms of learning and that view has been expressed by Manager Karl Marginson, who said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be playing against some top quality opposition”.
“We will be using it as a team building exercise and see it as a fantastic opportunity to give our young players some great experience.”
Those fans unable to make it out to Germany should be able to watch the action on Deutsche Sportfernsehen or DSF. Fans should be able to watch it on the internet by searching under "Sendefrequenz DSF" action is due underway at 11.15 UK time.
The team will include:
03-01-2008 at 13:32