Stone Chains

Series | SV Wehen Wiesbaden

In 2023 I discovered football for myself, in the form of the club of my hometown Wiesbaden (Hesse, Germany). How it came to this I have described in the initial article “My Hometown, My Club” of this series, in which I report in loose order of my experiences and encounters in the stadium and around it.


Following 10 posts belong to SV Wehen Wiesbaden ...

SVWW vs Paderborn @ 2024-02-23
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Paderborn @ 2024-02-23

An odyssey and a defeat

1:2

Matchday … and another evening game and this time against SC Paderborn, who had to endure quite a debacle (4:0) against Kiel last week, but are still knocking at the top of the table.

This time I also got some extra tickets for friends and my wife, because one of them is from Paderborn and has been following his team for years and had no problem travelling 3 hours there and 3 hours back just for one game. My wife comes from the Sauerland region and Paderborn is not far away, so she felt a bit of sympathy for the SC, even though she now lives in Wiesbaden. The other two are actually Eintracht fans and know the Waldstadion with its 58,000 seats and wanted to see the cosy atmosphere of the Brita-Arena.

The meeting point was 90 minutes before kick-off at the railway station. There was enough time to delay the boys’ arrival, take a short walk to the stadium (about a kilometre) and enjoy a stadium sausage or two. My wife and I had decided to take the bus for the sake of convenience. We were on time and waiting for the others when I realised that instead of my smartphone, I had my wife’s almost identical one in my pocket. F***! How were the others supposed to reach me if they were late or something else was wrong? I don’t know how we survived without these mobile gadgets at the end of the nineties!? I felt amputated, blind and deaf. ME, without my smartphone … that never happened before!

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SVWW vs Nürnberg @ 2024-02-09
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Nürnberg @ 2024-02-09

A game among friends

1:1

Tim and I have known each other since we were at school, which is over 40 years now. He has always been a fan of 1. FC Nürnberg and I can still remember him teasing me on Monday mornings at school about my HSV’s poor performance at the weekend and me teasing him when his Nuremberg team had lost again. Now we were both just sympathisers of our clubs rather than real fans, because I’d never been to a stadium in Hamburg and I don’t think Tim had ever been to the Nuremberg arena either.

Now my passion for football with my hometown club SV Wehen Wiesbaden has awakened in the last year and I have a season ticket for this season and the possibility to get 4 more tickets for every game. So it made sense to ask Tim if he would like to watch the home game in Wiesbaden against his 1. FC Nürnberg, which are playing in the second division again since their relegation in the 2019/2020 season. It’s the first time that Tim and I have gone to the stadium together and he convinced his son Tom and two of his mates to go along, even though the three of them didn’t really seem to have anything to do with FCN.

The spectacular game in the first half of the season a few months ago, with a total of 3 red cards, unfortunately ended in a 2:1 loss for the Wiesbaden team. So we had something to settle with the Nurembergers and at least the fans in the stadium were highly motivated.

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SVWW vs Hertha BSC @ 2024-01-27
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Hertha BSC @ 2024-01-27

First home game this year ... and another win

3:1

After four consecutive defeats, the last of which came a week ago away against Magdeburg, the first home game of the year in the second half of the 2. Bundesliga against Hertha BSC was on the programme this Saturday.

I was a little tense, as the team was slowly slipping down the table, but confident that we could win against the Berliners as we had done in the first half of the season, even though Hertha had been unbeaten for almost 10 games. Bärbel, the good soul to my left, was also back in the stadium and we encouraged each other in the best football weather (a little cold but sunny). We had to win again to avoid falling into a mental downward spiral. We and 10,454 spectators believed in it … no, less, because a good quarter of the spectators were quite vociferous Berlin fans. The visitors’ curve was packed.

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SVWW vs Braunschweig @ 2023-12-08
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Braunschweig @ 2023-12-08

Third defeat in a row, this time at home

1:3

Our last home game of the year. The last two away games against Greuther Fürth and Holstein Kiel were unfortunately lost. One 2:0 and the other 3:2, so you could say that our good run had come to an end. But well … anyone who thought it would go on like this should have seen a doctor. After all, we’re the promoted team and we have to win against far stronger teams with far more Bundesliga experience. We can only ever catch them at a weak moment and hope that in the end it will be enough to stay in the 2. Bundesliga.

Eintracht Braunschweig was one of the teams we thought had a chance, as they were in a relegation spot with just 8 points before the matchday (we have 21) and hadn’t won an away game for months.

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SVWW vs Kaiserslautern @ 2023-11-12
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Kaiserslautern @ 2023-11-12

The winning streak continues in curious fashion

2:1

Travelling by scooter in Germany in the middle of November is no fun. Just like on Sunday. Light rain at just under 9 degrees Celsius and quite a bit of wind. Brrr… but what can I do, there are no car parks at the arena. Not at all today, because it’s against Kaiserslautern, which is only about 100 kilometres away from Wiesbaden and therefore a lot of visitors are expected. It’s a kind of derby.

1. FC Kaiserslautern is one of the great traditional clubs in Germany, which has celebrated a total of 4 German Championships in its history, but has really lost momentum since its relegation to the 2. Bundesliga in 2006. Between 2018 and 2022, the team even only played in the 3rd division pf German football, but after their last year’s promotion, they are hoping to be promoted to the top division again soon. Recent results in the cup have shown that they have a strong team and it was to be feared that they would overrun Wehen Wiesbaden in their run, although their last league game was lost against Fürth.

It was also rather uncomfortably cold in the stadium and I wondered once again how the young lads do it on the pitch in their shorts, especially the goalkeeper.

But the fans created the right atmosphere. As expected, the entire guest stand was full. 12,100 spectators in total; a new season record. The SVWW fan block was also packed this time and the ultras had come up with a nice choreo with complete stand banners and red smoke (see photos).

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SVWW vs Hansa Rostock @ 2023-10-29
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Hansa Rostock @ 2023-10-29

Another step to class retention

1:0

Football again. After my little excursion into the Europa Conference League, my team from SV Wehen Wiesbaden was called upon again on Sunday and with them the fans in the stadium. On the one hand because it was raining (and that is sometimes no fun in the front row) and on the other hand because the boys had won the last away game in Osnabrück and now had the opportunity to temporarily establish themselves in the midfield of the 2. Bundesliga. Another win was needed against an opponent from Rostock who, after a good start at the beginning of the season, had lost the last 6 games!

Since I have no chance to park my car anywhere at the stadium, I have already planned before the season to always go there with the scooter, which is a pure pleasure in the summer. With 10 degrees and light rain it was diemal but rather suboptimal conditions. But anyway…

I had expected that a lot of police, water cannon and other executive equipment would be on site, as it was already the case at the Schalke game, because the Hansa fans have a pretty bad reputation … But no. Not particularly many Rostockers have taken on the 700 kilometer journey and so the opposing stand was only half full and the police relaxed.

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SVWW vs HSV @ 2023-10-07
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. HSV @ 2023-10-07

Two hearts beat in my chest

1:1

Since my youth I am a (small) fan of the Hamburger Sportverein (HSV). Magath, Hrubesch, Keegan were my sporting heroes back then. This was certainly also related to the fact that the club was one of the best in Europe in the early 80s. Two championships, European Cup victory and a strong team left an impression on me. As the last founding member of the 1. Bundesliga, however, it was always in danger of relegation in the last 10 years and then really relegated to the 2. Bundesliga in 2018 after 55 years. What followed were sad attempts to climb back up. Always so close that the saying prevailed: “How can you tell that it’s springtime in Germany? The trees are sprouting and HSV is fucking up the promotion!”

In my first post in this series, I described how my hometown club from Wiesbaden made it into the 2. Bundeliga and this particular home game this weekend has a special appeal for me, of course. The favorite club from my youth against the one from my present. My Wehen Wiesbaden against my HSV.

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SVWW vs Schalke @ 2023-09-02
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Schalke @ 2023-09-02

The fight of the promoted against the relegated

1:1

On this game, some in my circle of friends have feverishly awaited, especially my neighbor and friend, who for years is an ardent fan of one of the traditional clubs Schalke 04. We got six additional tickets for the game in time and with a crowd of 11,003 fans, this was also urgently necessary. The stadium (12,566 standing and seated) was full to the roof. Only one of three blocks of the guests was empty. Some Schalke fans seem to have expected nothing from the game in Wiesbaden. No wonder after table position 15 after the last match day.

Since season ticket holders get into the stadium a little faster and my friends sat a little scattered in different blocks, I lost sight of them at some point, but that was not tragic, because they had fun.

To my delight, the booth operators, who I had to criticize last time, actually did a better job today. Two cash registers: one for cash and another for card/smartphone/watch payers. The sale of beer and bratwurst went much more quickly, only I had to stand in line a bit at the fan shop, because I was not yet recognizable as a fan: it had to get a cap and a jersey, of course, finally.

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SVWW vs Karlsruhe @ 2023-08-18
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Karlsruhe @ 2023-08-18

My first home game in this season

1:0

I already had my season ticket on the first matchday of the 2023/2024 season, but was unable to get into the stadium for the team’s first home game and thus missed the 1:1 draw against Magdeburg.

First Impressions

So, Friday was my premiere on my season seat West 3, Row 1, Seat 1. That this seat was free when I booked it was a coincidence, but being so close to the pitch appealed to me. In front of me, the concrete railing of the spectator block, where I can put my beer, and directly below it, the SVWW coach’s bench under a plexiglass roof. You can hardly get any closer to the team.

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SVWW vs Schalke 2017
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

My Hometown, My Club

How I became a football fan over 50

I was born in Wiesbaden (Hesse, Germany) and I consider this city my home, even though my father built a house in a small suburb called Taunusstein-Wehen in the 70s and I practically grew up there. In this small town, where practically everybody knows everybody, there is a small football club called SV Wehen since 1926 and some of my schoolmates played there in their youth.

This small club played only a regional role at all until 1979, when a local business man put money into the club and it worked its way up one league after the other over the years:

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