“Schneller, schneller! Faster, faster!”
Manager Marcus Allbäck went from talking to yelling. The training session was just 15 minutes old, but Allbäck was enduring yet another Hansa player who stopped chasing yet another slightly inaccurate pass. Allbäck turned to coach Rade Prica and switched from German to Swedish.
“Titta på dem! Look at them! It’s like they don’t understand what it takes.” He suddenly stopped the drill and gathered the players around him. “What is up? Most of you just give up when it gets tough. It’s like the Bayern München game all over again.”
Some of the players squirmed and some looked down on the grass, but a couple of the players looked directly at Allbäck and one of them spoke up: “But boss! That was so unlucky!” striker John Verhoek said. “We were the better team”, winger Nic Omladic filled in. Allbäck interrupted their whining. “Yes guys, you are right! I’ll call the football association straight away and tell them. I’m sure they’ll give us a few extra points out of pity.” Allbäck had to nerve himself to withstand the urge to look away from the group of players. The team was doing slightly better than what had been expected of them before the season started. With the team resting comfortably in 7th position neither players nor supporters were disappointed, and there lay the problem. Allbäck was neither happy nor satisfied and he wanted the players to hunger for more than a mid-season seventh place in the third tier of German football.
“We lack the willingness to run the extra meter and the composure to score when the chances are there”, he continued. He was right. In the last couple of games the team had kept on creating chances like before, but the team, and Nik Omladic in particular, had stopped scoring. The only player who had impressed in the last couple of games was striker Pascal Breier and not even he had been great. No player should feel safe about their spot in the starting eleven. He wanted them all to strive for constant improvement. As the players went out on the pitch again Pascal Breier snuck up on Nik Omladic.
“I bet there’ll be a young Swedish winger arriving in the January transfer window to take your place if you don’t get your shit together”, he said with a smile.
Omladic didn’t smile back. Instead he decided to, for the first time in his life, try to run that extra meter.
This is the 2019/20 season review. Willkommen!
Both Nik Omladic and the team continued their superb form in September with four straight wins. A poor performance against FC Bayern II resulted in a loss ending the win streak and the team seemed to completely lose confidence. A winless October month ended with a disappointing loss against 2. Bundesliga leaders VfB Stuttgart in the 2nd round of the cup. The only good thing with the undeserved loss was the fact that the team looked really good against the best opposition of the season.
The good performance against Stuttgart set off an exceptional final two months of the year, with six wins in seven league games! A lot of the initially lost ground in the table had been caught up and Hansa Rostock went into the winter break in 5th place.
2020 started as well as 2019 ended. The only loss was an important one though. 2-3 against 3rd placed Braunschweig meant that Hansa Rostock didn’t manage to climb into the promotion spots, sitting just outside of them in 4th place.
The brilliant form continued and when we reached the end of April Hansa Rostock looked set for promotion! With a huge five point gap down to 3rd place the fans had actually started focusing on catching league leaders. Würzberg. This loss of focus came at a cost though. After only two points in three games, things were once again exciting, with one game left to play.
A loss against Jena in the last game of the season could mean a fourth place, while a win would secure a second place and automatic promotion. With a draw, the fate of Hansa Rostock would lie in the hands of Braunschweig and Ingolstadt. The opponents in the final game were Jena. Sitting at the bottom of the table, already relegated, they would have been the dream opponent if it wasn’t for the fact that Jena and Hansa Rostock are fierce rivals. Therefore Jena, despite having nothing to play for, gave their all and really pushed Hansa Rostock. However, the team stepped up to the challenge and won 3-1!
Promotion! In the first season! Absolutely fantastic since this gets us into a league where they actually pay out prize money. During this season the club has been bleeding money and if a rebuild is gonna be successful, they’ll need to start making some! Focus now is to find a few decent players to bring in and then basically survive in the 2. Bundesliga next season!
Until next time, auf Wiedersehen!