Die Roten Adler fliegen!
Tirol, a region divided between Austria and Italy, known for many things: the Alps, the stunning views, the Stelvio Pass, yodelling, snow and wine. Not particularly known for their football. While in the north side the perennial bankrupt Wacker Innsbruck has had their glory years in the 70s and 80s, even once reaching the Quarter Finals of the European Cup in 78, the german speaking italian side has had no football of notice. AC Bolzano has had the best result ever of a team from the region, finishing 12th and getting relegated in their Serie B appearance in 47/48, when it was still divided onto 3 groups. In the last 20 years, only one team has been able to break past Serie D and become professional, FC Südtirol, from the region capital, Bozen. They are backed by local business and entrepreneurs, and have been a steady presence at Serie C1 and C2 levels since the early 2000s. No other team from the region has been able to get close to this record, and even when they manage to get to Serie D, they quickly fade back down to regional levels - even teams from the bigger towns of the region. I am here to change this.
So what do I want to do:
- Get as many teams from the region to become professional (be it through direct control, or through helping affiliate teams)
- Get as many (South) Tyrolean players onto their national teams.
How will I get to this point?
- Manage lower level teams from the biggest South Tyrolean cities and get them promoted
- While keeping the team's unique DNA, hiring mostly local players and keeping in mind that the main language in the locker room is german.
It will take a while, but who cares?! Where will I start this adventure?
Füssball Club Obermais is an amateur football team from Meran, the ancestral capital of Tirol, and the second biggest city in South Tirol, home to 38198 souls, which doubles when considering neighbouring suburbs. Officially founded in 1972, it was originally a local amateur team representing one of the cities' districts, it suddenly became the biggest team in the town as U.S. Passirio Merano, up to the 80s the biggest team in the team (at at several points a Serie C team) slowly declined down to the regional leagues and went bankrupt in 1993 (even though a new team to represent to whole town was formed in 2002, it seems it never really took off as they yo-yo through the regional leagues and is currently two tiers below us).
We currently play in the Promozione Trentino/Alto Adige - Südtirol, in the group with all South Tyrolean teams (the other group being teams from Trentino), but german speaking teams just call it the Südtirol Oberliga. To give you an idea of how low we are, the Italian structure goes Serie A, B, C, D, Eccelenza, and then Promozione. We play at Sportplatz Lahn and as you can imagine our facilities are quite poor. Despite all this, the team has a quite active left-wing Ultras group for this level (think Clapton).
And since I'm writing this up at work and don't actually have access to the save, I'll leave the rest for later.