History German Football Club Singapore
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Welcome to a great excursion through the history of the German Football Team in Singapore. Fasten your seat belt and get ready for an exciting journey!!!
From the early years of the League, all I have is one photo of a German Team, considering the fit of the tight pants this could be a typical seventies shot. Anyone who has more info of the Germans here in the 70ies and 80ies, please send us your story to help us complete this history.
One of the first Team Pictures from the Seventies
When I arrived in Singapore in September 1994, the German Team had practically dissolved. At least, they had asked the Cosmo League to withdraw the Team until further notice as many players had left, no youngsters were recruited and the old stalwarts had gotten older and Tiger as well as dinner entertainments had taken their toll on the waistlines of these proud eagles.
In 1995 we played a few friendlies and finally, in the season 96 / 97, a German squad was registered again for the Cosmopolitan League.
At that time, every year a team was responsible to do the organization, match fixtures, fax information, league tables etc. The French had the ungrateful job in 96 / 97 and their Managers were Christophe Mallard and Zainudin. Zainudin today is a Member of Parliament for PAP and Christophe still plays – recently with the Italians in the EZPN League running up and down the flank like Lizarazu in his best days.
Germans started that season with a bang. We had some great players, especially young trainees like Sven Wagner, a lethal striker who played for SV Ravensburg ( trainee with Weinig ), and the Bruckner twins, who both played for Pforzheim ( trainees with BMW and Schenker ). Other backbones of the Team were Axel Wahne from Bosch, Harald Joss from Price Waterhouse, Wolfgang Reinel and Matthias Becker from Schenker, Gregor Ellegast from Phoenix, Norbert Ruemmler and Jens Wilhoeft who were still in the German School, Volker Schoch from Trumpf, Klaus Geisler from APA Hoefer Guides, Georg Gradl from SAP.
The first team in 1996
Problem was that we had no goalkeeper and several different trials ended in unnecessarily lost points. After some really disappointing results, I remembered my times as handball keeper and goalie in the old school days and took charge between the posts.
In the 96 season, the League was dominated by the Casuals ( who won it as well ) with their top strikers Richie Allen and Hugo Douglas, the Hotspurs ( runner up ) who had a striker that is still around ( old fart as me I suppose ) now plays with so many support bandages that he looks like “ The Mummy Returns III “ and slowly withdrew to a defender position, and the Swiss who finished in third place with their strike team Thomas Schnurrenberger and Urs Brutsch plus some phantastic midfielders like Stefan Kuenzli, Rene Weber, and Rino Binder. Swiss scored the record of 114 goals that season to conceding 44, Casuals were at 96 : 21. Germans finished in 8. position with 67 for and 69 against – 10 wins, 5 draws, 9 losses.
But the interesting thing for us was that we were able to draw with the Champions Casuals as well as with Hotspurs, and scored a famous victory against the Swiss in the epic battle of Yio Chu Kang Halfway House 4 : 3 with yours truly in goal.
Another great result was a 2 : 1 victory over SCC on a pitch in Yishun which was hard as concrete, the then famous and notorious Scottie Lumbsdane of SCC was red carded and I broke my rib a day before my wedding which nearly led into an outright divorce. To Scotties support I might have also swung a blow into Alex Bruckners face after the latter’s “ Doctor’s check up grip “ went unnoticed by the referee.
1996 / 97 was the last season the Cosmo League saw a team from down under, called the Singaroos, maybe we see some Australian action soon again after their great performance in this years World Cup.
We reached the semi final of the Cosmo FA Cup that season against the Dutch, but I do not remember the result nor who won.
Italians finished in last spot and seemed to have a lot of internal trouble as in the season 1997 / 98 there were 2 Italian Teams, Italians and Al Forno.
Half in the season 1997 / 98 most of our outstanding players from the first season had left back for Germany. We had to recruit local players to fill up and a professor from NUS who called himself Dr. Maestro took over the captainship of the team. His skills were limited but the young locals he brought with made him very important for the team, however, the spirit and atmosphere in the team began lacking. Somebody had to tell Maestro that he was not the ideal No 10 which at the end led to him leaving and with him the local talent.
We finished only 3rd from bottom, the League was won by a newly founded team, The Lions, led by Mark Newman and Matthew Blake. Swiss were runner up by only 1 point.
Friendly against cadets of the Gorch Fock during her visit to town in 1997
Our friend Danny Lim, now Manager of the Rangers, was also around, but I do not remember anymore for which team, I think he played with the Americans then who also provided the top scorer, Tim Aldous, with 29 goals.
1998 / 99 was World Cup season !
The Millenia Walk shopping centre staged a Mini World Cup with teams from all participating countries to play a footsal 5 a side. Our team consisted of (see photo below)
Indoor world cup tournament Millenia Walk
Sitting from l t r : Wolfgang Reinel, Gregor Ellegast, Slobodan Boskovic, a LH trainee
Standing f l t r : Klaus Schwarz, Tej Kumer, Dan Muntean, Chris Kitching, Markus Stummbaum, Klaus Gerhards ).
We beat USA, Jugoslavia, Iran, Belgium, and Argentina to reach the semis, beat Scotland to meat and loose to Japan in the finals ! The games were shown live on Premiere 12 in Singapore TV.
All in all this was another season where we had a reasonably good team that did not fully explore its potential. Tej, a guy born in Nepal, smoked one cigarette after the other but was able to run everybody in the ground for 80 minutes. Dan Muntean, captain, Romanian, our most technically skillful player, Chris our import from gods own football country England, and many more.
The problem was not enough identification with the team, too many individual groups, lack of teamwork, and as very often for the German teams, too much fluctuation as a huge number of players left back for Germany during the season or only stayed for a few weeks. We finished in 9th position with 36 points on 10 wins, 6 draws, 10 losses. The Casuals won the League yet again.
The season 99 / 00 started very well when we came in 3rd in the Cosmo Shield Seven a Side tournament on Sentosa. A lot of new faces were around, Wolfgang Bittermann from Austria, Sven von Aschwege, Eric Geyler and Christian Jerger , Ben, Will from Holland, and as a premiere in the Cosmo League we played a female player :
Saskia van der Verde, Will’s wife, who had played for Black & White Rotterdam ( Cup winners in Holland ) and if I remember correctly, also played for the Dutch National Team.
After winning something at the Shield
The same year we participated in the Bangkok German All Stars tournament. The result was embarrassing, we won the last penalty shoot out to come in second from bottom, and had a very strain relationship with the hosts which led to a kind of ice age between the two teams until recently.
The result might have been better if only our captain Gregor could have participated, but his wife Tania threatened with the divorce papers as his noose was still swollen and blue from a fracture he caught a week before against the Americans on the Geylang pitch. It was actually his defender Klaus Meier who hit him, and Tania fainted several times on the way to Gleneagles as she can’t see any blood !
BKK tournament 99
From left : Eric, Andrew, Glenn, Matthias and supporters from Thailand and Singapore.
BKK tournament 99 – last game – we had to play our training jerseys ( easier for the ref – 95 )
Dan left us in the middle of the season to join the Lions, the team disintegrated, there was no discipline. Every Saturday we hoped to get 11 players and on time. We finished second from bottom with a really disgraceful performance. The worst games we lost was 12 : 1 to the Lions with Dan scoring three against his former team. In another shameful two digit event, we lost 11 : 2 to the Dutch who had to lend us one of the benchwarmers to let the game begin with 7 players against their 11.
The only good thing about that season was that most of the games were played on Sentosa and the Beach Bar of Sunset Bay managed by Cindy – Anne was a focus point were 4 teams met after the games and had beer, frozen margaritas, and strawberry daiquiris until the last bus would bring us back to the mainland.
Sunset Bay Sentosa with Sabine Duwe, our longtime treasurer and loyal supporter
Once Matthias, Chris, and Klaus wanted to show their own interpretation of The Full Monty – “ you can leave your hat on “ – which led to a exiting discussion with the Park Rangers who were called by some law obedient citizens concerned for their daughters.
I remember another incident of a similar kind when one of our guys freshly arrived from Germany thought to be in the English Garden in Munich and decided to shower naked at the open and public showers next to the beach volley ball fields full with local broads.
Eric at Sunset Bay Sentosa, after sunset
The new millennium brought some hope for a revival. As Sigi Wiegert who had played with us on and off joined more regularly. And he was one of the best we have seen in all the years. A gifted left foot in midfield – what a waste that we had not enough depth in the team around him to provide him more support – surely he would have enjoyed this !
We were constantly short of players and every weekend every guy in the pub who said he can play football was dragged to the pitch, with sometimes hilarious results. We used friendlies to poach the best players from the other team, which helped us recruit some Austrians and Belgians who became the backbone of the then more professionally organized team of the last few years, Franz Lanthaler, Koen Mestdagh, David Callaert, Frank Ghesquiere, Peter Suiter, Dimitri, David Debaerre just to mention a few. The best motivation for our Belgian friends was to play Holland – that alone proves they deservedly played for the Germans.
We always had a contingent of French players. The first was Fabrice Garambois, a striker with the ability to score the most difficult and miss an open goal from 2 meters. At his farewell party, I recruited Alan Chrun, who played with us until recently when he got transferred to Hong Kong and who collected the top scorer trophy of the team twice if I am not mistaken.
Said from Algeria, Luigi from Italy, Rhyan from Australia, Dschihad from Lebanon, Tony Waugh, Darren Cahill and Roy White from UK, Nenad from Serbia, now Zafer from Turkey, we were and are a very colourful, United Nations team.
Lets not forget our local friends who play or played with us for ages : Trevor Fernandez, Wee Khim, Jason Koh, Ben, Bobby Lim, Azmi, Osman, Naveed, and many more.
Martin Luest, Marcus Zylaiew, Andreas Binder, Alain Chrun, Tony Waugh, Gregor Ellegast, David Callaert, and myself , who all captained and managed the team for some years, Christian Jerger, Matthias Zimmermann, Matthias Becker, Andreas Schulz, Eric Geyler, Glenn Riemer, Dirk Kronshage, Martin Hschinn, Helmut Kurzboeck, Joern Blanken, Manuel Frueh, Martin Schweinle, Martin Breitenbuecher, Ralf Kirschmer, Juergen Schuebel, Patrick Asante, Thorsten Kipp, Joerg Krahnert, Christian Brixi, Nils Walle, Karsten Grimm, Mamadou, Jens Ruebbert, Franko Radewaldt, Klaus Meier, Christian Raeuber, Thomas Wiege, Lorenz Mueller, Thorsten Schwick, Kai Deininger, Uli Witte, Joerg Roehl, who all contributed to our performances over the years ( sorry if I have forgotten any players, please send in an email and we will include you ).
Some players seldom got a chance to play league but were there for every training : Rudi Rolles, Christian Kleeberg, Carsten Gelhaar, Dirk Wagnaar, Steffen Treiber. Also there commitment helped the team immensely.
And a thank you to Sabine Duwe in Hamburg, who during her years in Singapore with STILL volunteered as the teams’ treasurer.
A big Thanks also to our sponsors over the years. Besides the German Club, who washed our jerseys foc and shared in for the league fees, later the Swiss Club, our main sponsors were Lufthansa, donating the jerseys for many years, thanks to their Managers Dietmar Kramer and Klaus Peter Meier, Helu Trans who sponsored our league fees in 1999, thanks Dick Chia. Recently Paulaner and Rudi’s Finefood joined.
Our main sponsor up to today is Daimler Chrysler. Their importance to the team can not mentioned highly enough.. Not only did many of our regular players work for the company, they also did so much on the social level by inviting the team to the Octoberfest or sponsoring a brunch in Paulaner, the good spirit in the team was always nurtured by their Managers, especially Wolfgang Huppenbauer, whose contribution will always be remembered ( he is currently posted to Bangkok – hope to see you back soon, mate ! ).
I think this is it from my part about the teams history, whoever was not mentioned / forgotten by me, my sincere apologies. Who ever can contribute some more to the history of this Club, especially from the years before 1994, please do so and we can add on parts to our heritage which is so far lost !
I can only say for myself that I do not wish to miss a single day with this team ( except maybe the games on Sunday after Octoberfest and the ones when I boobooed ) .
All the best for the team for the upcoming season, we end this column with our favorite :
Zicke Zacke, Zicke Zacke, Heu Heu Heu !
History German All Stars Singapore
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The years 2001 – 2006
I joined the Team at the beginning of the 2001-02 Cosmoleague campaign via a contact at the German Center.
Right from the start the Singapore climate conditions were the only spoiler, especially for a blond fella like myself.
A few sunstrokes after the matches, knocking me out for any further evening celebration, speak for themselves.
I guess everyone doing outdoor sports here for the first time finds it difficult to deal with it, underestimating the cruel afternoon heat and overestimating one’s stamina.
Anyway, due to a lack of match-fitness (cynics say lack of football skills) I offered myself to help out in organizing the team a season later, with Klaus (who up-to-date still helps out as a stand-by keeper, especially for tournaments) happily surrendering the full job to me before the 2003-04 season.
Since then no other volunteer appeared and I’m still stuck with it J
It seems like once you’re getting older (wiser) you cherish memories much more than when you’re a young son of a gun. How else to explain Klaus’ excellent memory in Part I of this history, whereas I don’t really have a proper detailed re-collection of the past 4 season.
Anyway, I do remember that my first 2 years in charge can be considered quite successful from a sporting point of view, with a 3rd and 4th place Cosmoleague finish.
Due to a lack of consistency and a high fluctuation rate during the last 2 seasons we had only mid-table finishes though (I think 8th and 9th).
However, after dropping out of the Cosmo Cup competition in the first rounds we progressed to the Final of the newly created Plate Round each year, winning it in 2005 with an emphatic and hard-fought 2:1 over Pulau Ubin, only to hand it to the Rangers this year, deservedly going down 1:4.
Still the Cosmoleague is and was dominated by British Teams during the recent years, with SCC, Brewerkz and Casuals sharing the glory amongst them.
You can fairly say that the level of play has constantly risen, especially amongst those top teams, surely another reason for our mid-table drop.
Throughout the years the team considerably benefited from short-term players (interns) as well as a good bunch of foreign imports and local players.
Especially the Belgium bulk proved to be quite a backbone of our team, with long-term regulars like Koen Mestdagh, Frank Ghesquiere, Arnaud Bruyere, David Debaere, Alain Eeckman to be mentioned and our unforgettable former captain David Callaert who provided a few highlight performances each season, most memorably a hattrick within the last 12! Minutes of our season opener 2004/05 against the Brewerkz, winning us the game when we were 0:2 down with a left footed cracker from 30 yards right below the cross bar.
The current Brewerkz Manager still talks about it every time we see each other.
Therefore, whenever we play the Brewerkz we ask David to show up for the game, just to scare the opposition.
Another highlight of the past years was a last minute turnaround win against the Casuals in the 2003-04 season.
After being 0:3 down at halftime we managed to close up to 2:3, when Jason Lew stepped up and scored twice within the last 2 minutes.
Generally our local players have also contributed tremendously, with Trevor Fernandez, Naveed Mohammed Abdullah (both still active), Jason and Whee Kim Low deserving a lot of praise for providing stability to the team and being with us for years.
Whee Kim, our Makalele at that time (now Heiko Pohland took over these duties), unfortunately had to stop playing football due to a severe back injury.
Injuries forced other highly influential members like David Callaert and Volker Giebitz to retire recently as well, their long careers and age finally taking their toll.
Unfortunately part of being in Singapore is saying goodbye to many good lads, team members and friends.
Therefore special mention at this point to some of the guys who had a deep impact on the team during my period in charge, but had to leave Singapore for various reasons:
Martin Luest, Martin Breitenbuecher, Ralf Kirschmer, Alain Chrun, Uwe Helmes, Nik Wolthuis, Alexander Bolz, Joerg Merz, Dirk Noldt, Tomas Porizek, Steffen Schacher and more recently Matthias Wree as well as our last year’s captain Andreas Binder.
Since every year players come and go it is impossible to mention everyone in this report who might deserve it, please forgive me guys if you’re not all named here.
Even though it’s always been a struggle for me as the Team Manager getting a team together week in week out, it has brought deep satisfaction playing and celebrating together with such great guys, thanks to all of you for sharing your passion and commitment.
Recently I also joined the Cosmoleague Organizing Committee, first as Disciplinary Secretary (who can be more qualified for this job than a German) and now as Vice Chairman, with the goal to even more professionalize the Cosmoleague, this wonderful institution which helps us so much to stay in shape and providing a real football community similar to Football Club levels back home.
Since its incorporation some 31 years ago the Cosmoleague has come far, certainly being one of the best Amateur (Expat-) Football Leagues in the region. What an achievement by its founding fathers of the Seventies (1 of them by the way a German, current head of the SCC Sports Section Juergen Martiens).
Today’s Team targets to be much better organized, with now 5 more Team members assisting me in the organizing job.
A proper pre-season preparation has been put in place, and we are also on a good way to achieving our financial goals, thanks to our current sponsors Mercedes-Benz (main sponsor), Paulaner Brauhaus, DHL, Rieckermann and Rudis Fine Food. An excellent tactics scheme has been developed by Joerg, Sascha and myself, suiting our style of play as well as our individual skills. Numerous off-the-field activities have already been planned, with the season highlight once more being the Far Eastern Easter Tournament in Bangkok early 2007.
Now that we call ourselves the German All Stars Singapore I’m certainly looking forward to my 5th season in charge, let it be a huge success.
Thanks again to everyone involved during my years in charge, without you and your commitment Singapore would only be half as “geil”!
Your Duo Infernale
Marcus Klinsajew & Katze Klaus