TeBe Party Army

E- Block International - A Weblog for "Away Fans" of Tennis Borussia Berlin.

Monday, March 26, 2007

TeBe Party Army On Tour: Vienna

Old men get 40 winks

The big Viennese 3rd Division Derby match, Wiener Sport Club - First Vienna, was the occasion for TeBe fans to make a wee trip to Austria and renew old acquaintances with various Vienna friends from tournaments past.

We set off on Thursday evening, got ourselves a compartment to ourselves, picked up z.Toni en route, got a bit of drink in us to help us sleep, then got there late thanks to a 1-hour delay in Nuremberg. Fact: Nuremberg station and environs is dead at 3.30am.

We picked up Roland on the way and made our way to our host's house to drop off our stuff. A breakfast and a doing the tourist thing occupied much of the day, then we headed to the ground early via a typical Viennese restaurant where much schnitzel and goulash was consumed.

Getting there nice and early, just before 6, we were perturbed by the continuous heavy rain, and to hear that the game was in doubt. We decided to drown possible sorrows anyway in the fan club, nicely located at the entrance to the stadium.

The match went ahead, but the weather was awful, possibly the 2nd worst conditions I've ever witnessed at a match after almost getting exposure as a 9-year old in torrential rain.

I was mightily impressed by the ground. 8 Euros in, it was a tight wee ground, the lucky away fans getting a stand with roof, while we were on an uncovered terrace, exposed to the elements. But it was enclosed and lent itself to a cracking atmosphere. Not many photos and unfortunately no films as it was too wet, we were literally all soaked to the skin and freezing.

The Wiener Sportklub fans were great. They sang non-stop, at least in the centre of the terracing where I was, and had a wide wide repetoire, most of which was in English, including their versions of 'Amazing Grace' and the Superman theme.

TeBe fans were well represented, with at least 8 fans there. They even get a mention and the flag is shown on this video:

WSC - First Vienna 23.03.07

Onto the match itself. The awful weather conditions made good football difficult, and especially by the touchlines, and in the boxes, the water was sitting, but I thought it was an entertaining game. Tbh, and I said it to the Sport Club fans later, I thought Vienna were better, certainly in the first half, and at the time deserved to take the lead, despite the goal looking blatantly offside. I kinda missed Sport Club's equaliser, having gone to get beer and being too small at the back to see, but it was a cracking shot from 20 yards. WSC came much more into it in the second half, but no team really looked like scoring the winner, and to be honest, a draw was probably a fair result on balance.

After the game, we were soaked, so we piled into the fan club along with hundreds of others. We soon dried off and got stuck into the beer again (including our two teetotalers, tut tut), chatted away with fans of both teams, who mixed freely, but most of us avoided the cheesy disco, and we headed home earlyish...

Saturday, hangovers, big plate of cold meats for breakfast, then a trip to the Prater, Vienna's year-round fairground. Except it was still pouring down, there was no-one there and so most of the rides were shut. We found a video arcade for some driving and biking, then a wee go-cart track, where Jim Alonso showed his skills, Roland impressed and z.Toni didn't :) We headed back home, and wired up the Playstation2, where Hancot ruled supreme in the music quiz game Buzz!, much to the chagrin and rage of 3000-album-possessing Endi!

Then it was time for our second football match of the weekend, Austria- Ghana in a friendly. Wolfi, WSC fan extraordinaire, organised places for us on a FairPlay (a group supporting anti-racist initiatives) bus, which turned out to be full of Ghanians. As such, let's say the journey was a lively affair, with drums and songs aplenty! 'Billy Bop' is still echoing through my head... The bus (2 hrs to Graz) plus ticket cost 20 EUR, bargain.

We got there in good time, and headed to a wee pub for a bite to eat - 2 schnitzel burgers and 2 beers, to be precise, mmm. It was still freezing, so we left it late before entering the stadium.

Ghana fans in full voice

Linfield here, Linfield there...

UPC Arena, Graz, Euro 2008 Stadium

Plenty of colour from the Ghana fans, but it was drums and songs in a chaotic fashion all over the place. The stadium was only half full (I think), it's one of the Euro 2008 grounds and was a nice wee stadium, if a little lego-esque. Some bad things were 1. that you had to pay to have a pee, and 2. only one entrance/exit to the away end, a bit dangerous.

The teams line up

The game itself was a leisurely affair, a big shame that Essien and Appiah didn't play. Ghana played some lovely passing football, and Austria seemed to let them do it. The press were surprisingly optimistic about Austria's performance the next day, but I don't see why, they were bereft of ideas, gave Ghana far too much time and space and didn't seem to pressurise as a home team should.

Austria on a rare attack

Austria took the lead during one of their few periods of pressure near the start of the second half, but their defence looked shaky throughout, and it was no wonder that a defensive mistake let in Ghana for the equaliser:

The celebrations were entertaining too (both my own work, I hasten to add! :) )

Players salute fans after the final whistle

We got back into Vienna late, then headed off to meet the others in a 'club' that I can only describe as a village disco in the city, complete with eclectic cheesy music, Scooter, No Unlimited, schlager, et al. And I loved it. VERY young crowd, I felt old, but such a variety of people, from pretty underage girls in fancy dress to shirtless beer boys, to lads in dresses, from the cool crowd, to randoms like us. It was nearly light by the time we got back, and a Singstar karaoke session ensued, where some hidden talents were revealed! Then Music Maestro Hancot saw off the plucky Austrian girls and old man Endi in Buzz. Endi was raging that I was some kind of modern pop guru, while showing how poor my taste in music is by not knowing the name of The Clash's album... Endi and Tobi wanted to then go to 2 more football games, but I was tired and wanted some proper sleep, so to bed. Late up, an all-you-can-eat meat feast at an Austro-Croat restaurant, then off to the station and the long journey home.

Great weekend, and a nice first trip to Austria for me. Thanks to the lads who educated me and entertained me, to Petra for putting us up, and for Wolfi for being a star. No thanks to the controllers who scooped me RIGHT as I got off at my stop in Berlin. Grr.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Standing Room Only

More reports on the plans to reconsider all seater stadiums in England from the BBC:

Campaigners for the return of standing areas at British football grounds say the Bundesliga provides evidence that it can be done safely.

Stadia in England's top two divisions have had to be all-seater ever since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

But the German FA resisted pressure to follow suit and at least 10% of tickets at Bundesliga games must be standing.

German stadium expert Professor Gunter Pilz said: "We have never had safety problems with standing in Germany."

Fans groups the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) and Stand Up Sit Down (SUSD) are leading a campaign to re-open the case for standing sections in England's top two divisions. And they both point to Germany as an example of how this can be done without jeopardising safety.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

BFC Dynamo 2:1 TeBe

Jahn Sport Park, Saturday 17th March 2007

Team: Ulbricht - Below, Thiam, Scholl (Griesert) - Savran, Camara, Petrowsky, Kurbjuweit - Schmidt, Lemcke (Ndoja) - Fuß.

Goals: 1:0 (15.) Kutrieb, 2:0 (62.) Ritter, 2:1 (79.) Kurbjuweit.

Attendance: 359 (maybe 15 TeBe fans?)

My ticket from today: 8 years old!!

TeBe U19 - Hansa U19

Today was one of my more bizarre footballing experiences. TeBe played an away match against DDR record holders Dynamo, the match being moved to a ground not a million miles away from where I live, for security reasons. This week also happened to be the Berlin FA's action week against racism and violence, 2 things that some fans of BFC are very familiar with. Similar to Babelsberg earlier in the season, TeBe fans decided to boycott their away match with Dynamo, so as not to financially support such a club where, at the VERY least, a blind eye is turned to racist, homophobic and anti-semitic chants, violence, and right-wing extremism. We intended to have someone at the match erect a banner saying

"TeBe Fans Against Racism and Violence - That's Why We're Not Here!"

and, because we still wanted to keep up-to-date with what was going in there, we sent a spy with mobile in hand to keep us informed of any developments, went to watch the under 19s match at our home ground, where any news was to be flashed up on the scoreboard.

So, in essence, I travelled 45 minutes to a match I didn't want to be at, just so I could look at a scoreboard for updates on a match taking place 5 minutes from my home. And I did this willingly. It was an altogether bizarre scenario, but it helped that there were around 30 eejits who did exactly the same thing (I imagine everybody else did the sensible thing and stayed at home). And it wasn't as tense as it should have been, mainly cos TeBe went behind early on and apparently played guy, with no chance of equalising. Here, in scoreboard picture form, is how the match unfolded:

Good work Mr. Bungle, those present at the match, and the eejit stadium announcer for keeping us informed throughout.

BFC believed a boycott was useless as we have no fans anyway. To disprove this theory, here's a few pictures of Block E, home of the Party Army, totally choca:


The match we were at was rubbish, Hansa juniors played really well, were far superior and fully deserved their 4-0 win. The most entertainment we had in fact was from 2 Hertha kids whose football boots and football mysteriously disappeared for a time... yes, that's how dull it was.

We got some reports through after the match. Which pissed me off. They have yet to be confirmed, but this is what I heard:

1. 15-20 TeBe fans there. One question to the non-rentner crew: WHY? Solidarity works both ways.
2. The wallpaper message stating 'TeBe Fans Against Racism and Violence - That's Why We're Not Here!' was not on display, and ripped/ blew away in the wind and rain.
3. Some stewards showed their allegiances and cheered on their team, especially in the last 10 minutes.
4. A separate TeBe banner was displayed. If so, WHY?

The only crumbs of comfort, bearing this in mind, were that there were no TV cameras there, the crowd attendance was so low and what with the police presence and increased security measures, it was a costly day for BFC.

On the footballing side, by all accounts, TeBe were poor and BFC, with a new trainer in charge, fully deserved their win.

And to finish, a couple of photos of the beautiful Mommse in all its glory:

Oh, and one last thing. Babelsberg, 13 points ahead, could only draw at home, and STILL they extended their lead. Typical TeBe. We really are too dumb to go up. Oberliga Forever.


Monday, March 12, 2007

1.FC Union II 2:2 TuS Makkabi Berlin

Hämmerlingweg, Sunday 11th March 2007

Attendance: ca. 120

A few of us decided to go to this match just out of interest, and because a Union II match had to be abandoned before Xmas because of fireworks being repeatedly fired onto the pitch; we wanted to see if it was a one-off, and to be eyewitnesses just in case.

In the event, only myself and N. could make it, and in the end we were very glad we made the effort, as we were rewarded with a glorious sunny day and a game of football which, although the level wasn't great - "Not gegen Elend", or 'Rubbsh vs rubbish' as one Makkabi fan described it - provided us with plenty of action and goals.

It took us a while to find the pitch, but we were able to walk in for free, and it was located right in the shadow of Union's old-school 'Alte Foersterei' ground, so I managed to finally have a look at it and take some pics. In fact, in the end, it cost me 4 EUR to watch the game, there was no entrance turnstile, the stewards walked down the line of fans during the first half with a kitty and tickets and charged the fans like that!

The fans themselves were seemingly just mad keen Union fans, or friends and relatives of the players out for a Sunday afternoon's stroll/ entertainment. One or two dodgy-looking characters, but no stress and no dodgy comments whatsoever, except for the 'lady of a certain age' standing beside us, who got quite carried away at times, using some colourful language! I reckon she must have influenced the Makkabi trainer sitting in front of her, who got sent off 8 minutes into the second half for muttering some choice words under his breath to the linesman, who had already warned him in the first half.

Onto the game itself. It was quite a niggly affair, though by no means dirty, and I felt the ref was quite anal and whistle-happy, Bierverteiler would have been proud of him! The classic case of his analness was when Makkabi went to restart the game after Union went 2-1 ahead, he refused to let them kick-off, did not think to inform anyone why, and it was only after a Makkabi player shouted to two Union fans "Get behind the fance, he won't let us re-start until you do!" that everyone realised what was going on, then just laughed at him.

For the first 20 minutes, Union were well on top, and looked more like a side gunning for promotion. But Makkabi hit them with a classic sucker punch in the 19th minute, a ball over the top to the No. 9 (Manu) and he scored an absolute belter, hitting an unstoppable shot first time from 25 yards from right to left that rocketed past the keeper.

Union II fought their way back into the game, and equalised 3 minutes later from a unfortunate OG from the Makkabi No. 5, a looping header from 12 yards dipping past the keeper and in just under the bar. The rest of the first half was a niggly, even affair.

The second half was a dream start from Union, who forced the ball home from a close-range header after a couple of mistakes from the Makkabi keeper and crosses flying across his goalmouth. Makkabi started to press again, and the tackles started to get dirtier. But Makkabi were rewarded for their persistence in the 58th minute when the No. 13 drilled a 20-yarder in at the near post from the right; the Union keeper really should have saved it at his near post.

Both sides pressed, but no-one could find a winner, and I thought a draw was a fair result. For me, MOTM was the Makkabi No. 9, scored a great goal and worked his socks off, with no shortage of skill. For Union, the big No.5 stood out, a very confident player, with presence, a cool head and good passing.

Sorry about the videos, I missed the 2 goals and cursed myself later for it.

First wasted free-kick

Another set-piece in vain

Last-gasp counter-attack wasted

Union's cost-cutting measures hit hard: here's their clubhouse!

Makkabis' pre-match huddle. Makkabi Chai!

Union II kick off

Makkabi frantically clear

Union has all the big games! An event not to be missed! It's free in, what more do you want?!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

TeBe 1:0 BFC Preussen

Friday 10th March, 2007.

Team: Ulbricht - Camara, Thiam, Schalle - Griesert, Petrovsky, Lemcke, Galic, Kurbel - Savran, Fuß

Goal: Schmidt (86)

Attendance: 412

Before the match, this looked like a home banker for us, despite Preussen's recent run of good form. In reality, it turned out to be a real tough battle, and although I felt we just about deserved to win, we were very lucky too, very Babelsberg-esque, if you will.

I wasn't looking forward to the game and didn't really want to be there at the start; big arguments and disagreements broke out among TeBe fans this week regarding the BFC Dynamo away match next week and how we would approach it, more about this possibly later in another thread, but I knew it would be tense and awkward, and sure enough it was, an uneasy congregation leading to what I thought was a very muted atmosphere from Block E. This was not helped by the rain, some fair weather fans preferring to stand under cover at the toilets or disused turnstile entrance, breaking up the unit. I didn't go near Block E at all in the first half, had no desire to, but luckily found a few old familar faces to chat away with about St. Pauli, Celtic and the like.

No video of the fans this week, cos it was raining and I couldn't be bothered.

So, onto the match. TeBe had more of the play, and created more chances, but were very wasteful. Fuss missed 2 great chances when played through that he should have scored, the second taking the ball far too wide left of the keeper and only hitting the side netting, but to his credit, he almost scored with a peach of a volley from a cross from the right. Savran also hit the post, but at the other end, we had once 3rd choice goalie Ulbricht to thank for some great saves to keep us in the game, one after a very unusual defensive mistake from the again mountainous Thiam. Bruno was a bit nervy at times but I thought he played great last night. He made at least 2 truly great saves.

The second half was more of the same, TeBe getting increasingly nervy and desperate as the game went on. They had all of the pressure, but were susceptible to the counter-attack on a few attack. By this time I'd made my way over to Block E with a few of the older crew, including Matze, back in Berlin for a few weeks, it was great to chat with him and take my mind off the poor show on the pitch.

Sure enough, I missed the winning and only goal. I was peeing against the fence when I heard a big cheer, I thought I'd chosen my moment well as we'd just missed a great chance before. But apparently Schmidt forced it home after a goalmouth scramble.

There were a lot more English speakers in Block E last night than usual, some very British, Australian and American-looking people, and it turned out that a manager guy (Jan?) from a nearby youth hostel who had grown up in the area and played at the Mommse with his school as a kid had brought 12 of the youth hostel guests along who were looking for live football! They seemed to enjoy it and praised the friendly, relaxed atmosphere; I think the large number of English songs helped too. Top marks to that man, he no doubt helped earn the club a few hundred Euros through entry, merchandise and beer! Then, in the clubroom Casino after the match, I was introduced to a group of 6 lads from Bristol who were over for the Union-St. Pauli match, and took in TeBe while they were at it, they enjoyed it and it was interesting to chat about Bristol Rovers and their progress with them.

Me and Doughnut Boy then headed off to a birthday party, where we got talking to a couple of confident Babelsbergers, who were telling us of their plans for their actions during the away match in Schoenberg tomorrow, good lads.

Can't see us going up, Babelsberg are still winning close matches, they've only conceded 7 goals in the league and we're still 9 points behind once FC Green Table get kicked out. I also think we're too weak in certain positions, I think our midfield isn't strong enough, and we miss Weidner. But you never know.

Beer stand, the old 'Beaver Beer Hut'. TeBe took over control of the catering at the Mommse recently, and while they're making some good improvements, this beer hut ain't one of them. I waited 10 minutes at the counter to be served while the guy filled 25 plastic glasses with foam just so I could get 2 beers. Apparently they hoked out an old beer tapping machine from the cellar as the old owners took theirs with them. Well, it doesn't work, and Hans said the beer tasted shit (I had the cold, I couldn't tell). Oh, and 1 EUR Pfand (deposit) for plastic pint glasses is a joke.

Block E, first half, looking somewhat emptier and wetter than usual

Lemcke 'high-fiving' with the fans after the match. The youth hostel guests were had thought this was cool, they'd never seen it, and thought it was a good sign of closeness between fans and players


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fighting on the Pitch

The scandal of the week:

Uefa has confirmed they will investigate the conduct of Valencia and Internazionale's players during the post-match brawl which marred their Champions League game last night.

The second leg of the last-16 tie finished goalless, with Valencia progressing on away goals following the 2-2 draw at the San Siro on February 21, but Valencia substitute David Navarro sparked a melee in the aftermath by breaking Inter's Nicolas Burdisso nose. Inter's incensed players chased Navarro all the way down the tunnel, though he later insisted he had been in a different room altogether as the Nerazzuri tried to force their way into the Valencia dressing room to confront him.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Paperwork Ready

The t's are crossed and the i's are dotted - TeBe have applied for a license for the division above. Now all we have to do is catch up and overtake Babelsberg for the title race.

1 SV Babelsberg 03 17 15 1 1 30 : 7 23 46
2 Tennis Borussia 17 10 4 3 30 : 17 13 34
3 Hansa Rostock II 16 10 1 5 37 : 19 18 31
4 Berlin Ankaraspor 17 8 6 3 31 : 17 14 30
5 Lichterfelder FC 17 8 5 4 29 : 19 10 29
6 SV Yesilyurt 73 17 7 3 7 28 : 25 3 24
7 Ludwigsfelder FC 17 6 5 6 20 : 24 -4 23
8 Türkiyemspor Berlin 17 6 4 7 21 : 21 0 22
9 FC Schönberg 95 17 6 4 7 20 : 20 0 22
10 BFC Preussen 17 6 3 8 26 : 31 -5 21
11 TSG Neustrelitz 17 4 6 7 15 : 17 -2 18
12 Torgelower SV Greif 16 4 6 6 18 : 21 -3 18
13 Germania Schöneiche 17 2 9 6 6 : 15 -9 15
14 BFC Dynamo 17 1 9 7 14 : 28 -14 12
15 MSV Neuruppin 17 3 3 11 7 : 25 -18 12
16 Motor Eberswalde 17 2 5 10 11 : 37 -26 11

Its going to be a tough one.

A big party army thanks to all those at the club who put in those extra hours to get the complicated paperwork finished.