August 23 2009, Jena
With every new dawn a few more fixture dates are verified and our planning for 09/10 takes ever more concrete form. However, as we all know, though such fixtures may be verified, such fixture dates are a long, long way from being set in stone.
And although we’re still waiting for the Regionalliga Nord dates we can already say that the weekend of 21-23.08 is certainly a weekend to make the hearts of all eastern German football followers beat just a tick quicker … although our gut feeling is that the alarm bells are ringing so loud in the Jena Police HQ that they’ve heard them in Frankfurt and the DFB are already working on spoiling the fun.
The weekend starts on the Friday evening with Union – Cottbus; one team on the up, the other on the down and both looking for the title of official challenger for Hertha’s dominance in Berlin and Brandenburg. Its five years since they last met in anger and being so early in the season both will still be looking to find their feet and establish themselves in the top half of the table. Should be good.
On Saturday it’s on to the first Sachsen derby of the 3 Liga season; Dynamo – Aue. Interesting in it’s own right, but much more interesting on account of the plan for the following day, Sunday 23.08.2009.
You may want to record this date in your diaries. Just in case your kids ever ask where you were….
August 23 2009, Jena
In addition to the Leipzig city derby, FCS – LOK, unnecessarily if predictably in the Zentralstadion, we have the Thüringen derby Jena – Erfurt and, somewhat inexplicably, if admittedly tantalizingly attractive, at the same time Jena II – Dynamo II in the Oberliga.
We’re not sure which brave soul decided that it would be a good idea while the Thüringen derby is underway on the main pitch in Ernst Abbe Sportfeld to have the Oberliga match on one of the outer pitches.
But we’d love to go mountain bike riding in the Rockies with such a freestyle, adrenalin junkie.
On paper the plan may seem good: stagger the kick-off times and the Oberliga match can serve as a tasty starter before the main dish. And for the FCC a bumper pay day what with the sold out derby and then, thanks to the fact that Dynamo I and Zwickau play on Saturday, 3,000 Dresden and Zwickau fans in town for the Oberliga match.
But sadly that is also the problem.
The Thüringen derby itself will generate a police presence to rival an average G8 Summit, and wherever the Dynamos raise their ugly heads the area is normally sealed off to normal citizens for fear of the raping and pillaging from the Elbe Horde. We can, and do, debate the pros and cons of police operations around football matches in eastern Germany, but love ’em or loath ’em the fact is they occur and we cannot for the life of us imagine that the Jena Police are happy with the thought of keeping three sets of fans apart.
Or indeed that there will be enough police available in Germany to mount the sort of operation the Jena police imagine will be necessary; especially given that Sachsen will already have booked all available officers for the Leipzig derby. (and this point you’ll forgive us if we don’t mention the fact that the Dynamos will need to change trains in Leipzig….)
We, however, would support and approve such a match constellation, simply to prove that if properly organised, planned and sensibly and maturely approached there is no reason why Jena, Erfurt and Dynamo can’t all meet inside the Ernst Abbe Sportfeld on a Sunday afternoon in August.
It wont happen, but once again thanks to the fixture planners for that flash of genius. Cheered us up no end.