Before we get back to actual Bundesliga competition, there’s the matter of the first-round DFB Cup match.
The 1. FC Köln will pay a visit to Freie Turner Braunschweig on Saturday, August 16 for a 15:30 CET kickoff to the 2014-15 tournament season, as announced Tuesday by the DFB.
The FTB has yet to announce where they will host the Billy Goats, but it would seem certain the club will forgo the quaint charm of their usual digs at Stadion im Prinzenpark for single-day use of the stadium of 2.Bundesliga Eintracht Braunschweig and its 23,ooo-plus capacity.
I personally have a bit of a mad crush on the opening round of the DFB Pokal, some of which can be seen in a piece I published last year at Bundesliga Fanatic. Ideally, the announcement of the fixtures for the opening round would be shortly followed by me detailing a travel plan that would allow me to take in the maximum number of matches over the four days on which the first round is played, making sure I paid a pre-match visit to the home ground of the hosting side in each tie, assuming they weren’t using it for the actual match.
I just eat that stuff by the bucket.
Also super-consumable . . .
Men and women of a span of generations gathered at long tables to enjoy some beverages while awaiting the drawing of their club’s name to learn their first-round opponent. The greatness of this sort of thing is many-fold.
It’s a safe guess that these folk would reserve the largest outcry of celebration were they to draw FC Bayern München, which is likely the same hope held at similar gatherings of the vast majority of the other 31 clubs which will host a first-round match with a club well above them in the German football ladder. Bayern is the grand prize, and Borussia Dortmund has definitely earned a status of 1a in the top-prize listings. From there, it’s likely that you’re hoping to get any of the other larger clubs from the Bundesliga, preferably one from nearby.
I have no idea as to where the FTB would have ranked Eintracht Braunschweig among desired opponents, but coach Uwe Walther seems to have been somewhat pleased to have drawn the Effzeh, laughing while saying that meeting 1. FC Köln is “better than Ingolstadt!”
That seems like a fairly obvious statement, but the 46-year-old coach went on to say that he was “satisfied” as Köln is a “huge club with an immense tradition.”
Yet, as much as I’m charmed by all these plucky amateur sides in their DFB aspirations, I’ll be hoping the big club that pays them a visit in a few weeks will leave them with nothing more than a tidy influx of cash for the club coffers and fond memories of their short-lived first-ever participation in Germany’s biggest football tournament.