SC Freiburg Takeover Report
and 2022/23 Preview
There is plenty to get through, but I'll try and make this as succinct as possible!
SC Freiburg is a German football club, based in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg. Freiburg has traditionally bounced between the first and second tier of the German football league system, leading to the fan chant, "We go down, we go up, we go into the UEFA Cup!" during the 1990s.
Since 1954, the club's stadium has been the Schwarzwald-Stadion. Volker Finke, who was the club's manager between 1991 and 2007, was the longest-serving manager in the history of professional football in Germany. Joachim Löw, current manager of the Germany national team, is the club's all-time leading goal scorer with 81 goals in 252 games during his three spells at SCF.
SC Freiburg also have a supporters base in the West of Ireland. A group of Men from County Mayo set up 'The Full Irish Freiburg' on Facebook which is the first Freiburg supporters group from outside Germany.
2021/22 Catch Up
The club were relegated in the 2019/20 season and had finished fifth in the 2.Bundesliga in the following season. I took over the club in April 2022, with five games left of the season and little by way of expectation.
The first three games were frustrating. We were ahead against both Paderborn and Kaiserslautern, but conceded late goals in both games and had to be happy with a draw instead of all three points. Frankfurt at home was equally frustrating as we had the better of the game, but the final two games were much better and to end with two clean sheets was good progress.
An eighth place finish wasn't what the club wanted at the start of the season, but having the best defence in the league gave me confidence going into next season.
2022/23 Season Preview
I had forgotten how good the prize money was in Germany, so was surprised to be given £8m for finishing 8th last season. That boosted the bank balance to about £12m, but didn't stop the board from only giving me £3m to spend this summer, with a wage budget of £195k per week.
About £1.5m came in from player sales as I looked to get rid of one or two of the high earners that weren't deserving of such riches. Christopher Ader is a 16 year old winger that, despite being highly rated, doesn't look like much at all, so taking £400k + 50% of next sale off Augsburg seemed like a good deal.
Coming in is Michael Hammann (loan from Karlsruhe), Ole Kauper (£400k from Werder Bremen), Michael Buscher (loan from Leverkusen) and Yannick Stark (free transfer).
I have decided to limit my signings to just German players. It obviously has it's limitations, but feels like something Freiburg should do. I am also hoping that we can utilise our youth system because we have excellent youth facilities with well established youth recruitment.
Off the field, the club is in decent shape. Add a 31,250 capacity stadium to the mix, with superb training facilities and good junior coaching, and there are the foundations there to build a pretty big club.
Pre-season was OK. We played a few lower league German sides away from home, before entertaining Mechelen and Standard back at home. We ended with a 100% record and managed to have goalscorers from all over the pitch.
At the moment I am setting up in an asymmetrical 4-5-1 that has a AML instead of a flat five across the midfield.
Only a 90th minute equaliser from St. Pauli stopped us from winning on the opening day of the season. Another late goal is perhaps something I need to look at tactically, as we can't keep conceding so late. We backed that up with a 1-0 win away at Hallescher, before beating Armenia Bielefeld 3-0 infront of our own fans.
The DFB Pokal has started and a much changed side won 7-0 at lower league Bissingen.
1860 Munich away up next and that promises to be our first real test. The transfer window hasn't closed yet (the 2.Bundesliga starts really early, doesn't it?!) but I don't envisage any more signings.
That's me up-to-date. Any questions, just ask.