Kimmo Vallema blogs about his floorball experiences in Germany. Want to know more about him? Click here to read his introduction article.
“The season 19-20 of the 1. Bundesliga in Germany is at hand. The very first round of the new season will take place on the 14th of September across Germany. From what I can see, the season, like the previous one, is going to be an exciting one. The middle of the table will be extremely even and the battle for the positions in the play-offs vs avoiding the play-downs is going to be fierce. We are surely going to see an upset or two during the season, but the question remains if anyone can stop the march of Weißenfels and Leipzig to the finals.
I contacted all of the Bundesliga-teams for their perspectives for the upcoming season. Unfortunately only very few ever answered. In any case, here are some notes and remarks on each of the teams. As we are fast approaching the season, it is entirely possible that some of this data is already out-of-date, and for that, I do apologize.
So here it goes. I present to you the 1. Bundesliga Season 2019-2020:
Berlin Rockets (previously BAT Berlin)
Last season for Berlin ended in the middle-table and looking to shake some things up. The team has since changed not only their name (previously BAT Berlin) to the new Berlin Rockets but also the logo as well as the home location. The team has had some changes with people leaving, has had them turn to their own junior-talent for support. It will certainly be interesting to see how these youngsters answer the call. If this will be enough to reach the play-off rounds this year remains to be seen.
COMING: Jonas Bestgen, Tim Lemke
LEAVING: Ismael Hallbäck (Sweden), Fabio Witte (IBK Runsten Sweden), Felix Klein (retired)
After a very successful debut into the 1st Bundesliga (reaching Playoffs in
the first year), DJK is looking forward to the next season. Some of the core-players (Ilari Suuronen to Finland, Simon Lange and Essek Svåren to Sweden) have now left the team and it will certainly hurt the team, but so far they have managed to sign up Jesse Backmann (TV Lilienthal) as a trainer as well as the German national team player Janos Bröker (TV Lilienthal) to offset any losses. Whether any additional signings will follow, that remains to be seen. The goal for the team the first year at the highest level was certainly to remain in the 1st Bundesliga. Having not only succeeded at that but actually reaching the playoffs, they will certainly set their sights slightly higher and aim to reach the playoffs this coming season as well.
LEAVING: Jannick Pfeiffer (retired), Simon Lange (to Sweden), Ilari
Suuronen (to Finland), Essek Svåren (to Sweden)
COMING: Janos Bröker (Lilienthal), Jesse Backmann (Trainer; Lilienthal),
Samu Pietilä (NST Finland), Niklas Bröker (Lilienthal), Matej Vaculciak
(Tatran Stresovice, Czech Republic), Torben Kleinhans (Lilienthal),
Maximilian Spöhle (Lilienthal)
ETV Piranhhas Hamburg
After major changes last year, Piranhhas will start the second season
under the coaches Johan Nilsson and Mathis Wittneben. The very young team is complemented by other young but internationally experienced players. Jakob Bohls (SV-Wiler Ersigen U21) returns from Switzerland and joins Tjorven Dethlefsen (Thurgau U21), both U19 internationals. Even if last year the team did not start so well and was stuck on the last place in the middle of the season, an outstanding second round managed to climb up to 5th place coming close to sending the eventual runner-ups from the play-offs. They certainly wish to keep this momentum from the start and establish their position in the top 5 in Germany. Piranhhas will also be the first team in the German 1st Bundesliga to try to stream all of their home games in the upcoming season. The games will be produced by their partner Crocodile Media on their YouTube-channel.
COMING: Jakob Bohls (SV-Wiler Ersigen), Tjorven Dethlefsen (Thurgau U21)
LEAVING: Mike Dietz (Gävle GIK Sweden), Tipi Koivisto (retired)
Floor Fighters Chemnitz
Chemnitz was struggling slightly last season during the regular season.
Often showing up good, but not quite good enough. This was only good enough for relegation-rounds for them. During these games, however, they seemed to find a new gear and managed to secure their first league position in the end. Convinced not to repeat this performance again this year, the Floor Fighters have managed to lure not only one or two, but 4 Finns to their service. These young mercenaries are surely hungry and eager to prove themselves on the German floorball-scene and could indeed help the team to the right end of the table by the end of the season. This would surely fit well with the club and their fans celebrating their 10y history this year.
COMING: Jarmo Lepistö (FC-Tuusula Ry, Finland), Jani Kiljander
(Blackbirds United RY, Finland), Juho Kivinen, Max Syrjälä (M-Team,
Finland), Gustav Peters (HC Rychenberg Winterthur, Switzerland)
LEAVING: Tim Sigmund (Denmark)
After a sensational season in 18-19, Leipzig is set out to repeat it in 19-20. Even if the team has now lost their trainer Matthias Persson together with some players, Tommi Uosukainen has his sights set on a title. Their chances will certainly get a boost as Samuli Granlund will trade-in his Wernigerode-colours for the Leipzig-ones and is himself ready to tear up the league scorer-sheets….again.
COMING: Samuli Granlund (Wernigerode)
LEAVING: Robert Ecke (retired), Atte Ronkanen (SC Potsdam), Mattias
Red Devils Wernigerode
Wernigerode has had certainly an interesting begin to their campaign for 2019-2020 season. Where they were previous seasons still going head-to-head with Weißenfels and Leipzig, this season has seen them struggling to get going a bit. The Renew-Cup saw Wernigerode ending up on 5th place and the following Sparkassencup week later showing some signs of progress with a good showing against Weißenfels, there is still a bit to do. Rumor has it that they are still planning to enhance their squad with some Finns. This might be just enough to get the machine firing on all cylinders again and ensure them a place in the Play-Off rounds.
COMING: Linus Nilsson (IFK Gnesta Sweden), Philip Andersson (FBC
LEAVING: Samuli Granlund (Wernigerode)
SSF Dragons Bonn
Bonn certainly surprised everyone, perhaps including themselves even by taking home the RenewCup just a couple of weeks ago. Nevertheless, they do face an uphill battle coming to the 1st Bundesliga. Having lost their Czech forward Kolisko from last year, the team will need to lean heavily on their youngsters to remain in the league. So far no major moves on the transfer-markets have come to my, relatively big, ears so perhaps the cohesiveness of the team will work for them as they know each other for years. Will this be enough remains to be seen.
LEAVING: Jan Kolisko (return to Czech Republic)
Schriesheim was still last year in the 2nd Bundesliga and managed their promotion comfortably by beating fellow promotees SSF Bonn in the 2nd BuLi play-offs. The team certainly has the talent to compete at the first level, but it will not be easy. As they did not play in the 1st League last year, I have very little information about them….so time will tell. Do they have what it takes to stay or even qualify for the playoffs?
UHC Sparkasse Weißenfels
The team of Weißenfels has been the team to beat in Germany for so many years and this year is most likely not going to be much different. Even if the team has left some key players, they have also managed to secure the services of a couple of Finnish players again and are sure as a team one of the top favorites for the final rounds. Having secured a Finnish trainer for the team as well, they are definitely, with Leipzig, the team to beat and a yard-stick of sorts for the League.
COMING: Ilkka Kittilä (Trainer)
LEAVING: Jonas Hoffmann, Anssi Soini (both to Switzerland)
VfL Red Hocks Kaufering
Kaufering had a rocky season last year. As the middle-field on the table was heavily contested, they lost the vital points and ended up missing on the play-offs and were rather fighting to stay away from the relegation matches. This they managed in the end by showing good form by beating DJK HoBü and taking Lilienthal to the wire…so the capacity is there. It is only a question of getting the machine running and theoretically anything is possible. This team has also stayed relatively stable and have suffered no major losses although they have also not managed to lure any foreign support either so far. How far will it take them this year?
FIRST ROUND GAMES (Home team always first)
14 September 18.00 – ETV Piranhhas Hamburg – DJK Holzbüttgen (Sporthalle Hoheluft)
How to start the season with a bang. Both of the teams managed to reach the playoffs last season after finishing 5th and 6th respectively in the league. The two times, these teams met last season, and two times did Piranhhas leave with the points. Both teams suffered a similar fate in the play-offs as Piranhhas lost to Lilienthal in three games whereas DJK went down to Wernigerode in 2 games. The past history would indicate that Hamburg will go into the game as home-favorite, but DJK has certainly not stayed still on the transfer-markets by luring 4 players from Lilienthal to their ranks. Both teams are certainly hungry for more this year!
14 September 18.00 – UHC Sparkasse Weißenfels – TV Schriesheim (Weißenfels Stadthalle)
Is there a better way to start the 1st Bundesliga for the promoted team than start against the vice-champion in their home-cave? There is no soft-landing for Schriesheim and they will certainly have their work cut out for them if they are to upset the home-advantage of Weißenfels.
14 September 2019 18.00 – SSF Dragons Bonn – Berlin Rockets (Bonn, Sportpark Nord)
The second promoted team Bonn has a chance to start their 1st Bundesliga journey against the newly labeled Berlin Rockets. It should be an interesting test for the Bonn and Berlin alike as Bonn will want to start the 1st league with a bang whereas Berlin will definitely want to take the points home. The season with only 18 games, is relatively short and every point counts so expect a hard-fought encounter between the two.
15 September 16.00 – Red Devils Wernigerode – Floor Fighters Chemnitz (Wernigerode Stadtfeldhalle)
Another interesting to game to kick off the league with. Even if Wernigerode has been slow to start, the last couple of weeks have given them a chance to iron a few things up, perhaps sign a player or two. Chemnitz on the other hand already have secured their 4 Finns and will certainly not just lay down and hand the points over. Could this be the first surprise of the season?
15 September 16.00 – VfL Red Hocks Kaufering – MFBC Leipzig (Sportzentrum Kaufering)
If Kaufering started their season slowly last year and were finding the points difficult to win, this year is certainly not going to be an
easier start. Leipzig as reigning champions are coming to town. They are certainly in no mood to entertain any ideas of surrendering any points home or away. So Kaufering will certainly face an uphill battle on this one.
So that is it from me, just days away from the first round.
Oh. Almost forgot. Remember the article I wrote about the competitions
in Germany? Well there’s this Cup right, the lottery for the first
round has been done and it looks like this:
ETV Piranhhas Hamburg 2 – TSC Wellingsbüttel
TV Eiche Horn Bremen II – Blau-Weiß 96 Schenefeld
ATS Buntentor Knights – USV Halle Saalebiber
Floorball Club Potsdam – Hannover Mustangs
ETV Piranhhas Hamburg 3 – Floorball Grizzlys Salzwedel
Hannover 96 II – BSV Roxel
Lilienthaler Wölfe – MTV Mittelnkirchen
ETV Piranhhas Hamburg 4 – TV Eiche Horn Bremen
Eisbären Juniors – TV Dinklage 04
UHC Elster – SCS Berlin
SG UHC Berlin / VfL Tegel – Floorball Tigers Magdeburg
UC Braunschweig – Black Lions Landsberg
Bye on the first round: SG Bordesholm/Preetz/Gettorf, PSV 90 Dessau, Baltic Storms, Baltic Storms II, Hannover 96 I, TSG Füchse I, SG Fläming, BTG Teutonia Bielefeld.
SV 03 Tübingen Sharks – Sportvg Feuerbach
Floorball Mainz – Lumberjacks Rohrdorf
VfL Red Hocks Kaufering II – Unihockey Igels Dresden
UHC Döbeln 06 – Donau-Floorball Ingolstadt/Nordheim
SG Hochdahl/Aachen – SSF Dragons Bonn II
Black Pitballs St. Wendel – USV Jena
Floorball Griedel – FC Rennsteig Avalanche
SG Schriesheim-Mannheim – Floorball Club Heidelberg
MTV 1846 Gießen – TSV Calw Lions
MFBC Schkeuditz/Leipzig – SC DHfK Leipzig
ASV Köln – PTSV United Lakers Konstanz
TV Augsburg – Dümptener Füchse
Bye: Tollwut Ebersgöns, USV Halle Saalebiber II, UHC Sparkasse Weißenfels II, SG Black Panthers Altenbochum 1/2, FC Stern München, TSG Erlensee, Frankfurt Falcons.
The teams from the 1st Bundesliga have traditionally free first round and will only join the cup in the second round. The lottery for that will be done usually about a week after the first round games have been played. This will take place during the weekend of 14-15 September as the 1st Bundesliga has their first round in the league.
But now….I am really gone.
P.S. I did get some sleep after the RenewCup as apparently, perhaps even
surprisingly, neither Kohonen nor Kotilainen expressed a sudden interest to play for DJK during my slumber. Imagine that!”
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