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Wednesday 19th June 2024

Euro 2024 -  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland v 🇨🇭Switzerland

kick-off 8pm

German Tour

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If Werder Bremen were presented as a work in progress, the Dons' final opponents on their pre-season trip to Germany, have gone for the full rebuild.


FC St Pauli perhaps the most bohemian of Bundesliga sides, their stadium received an award for being the most animal friendly from PETA in 2010. That was in recognition of the vegan and vegetarian fare on offer at the Millerntor, not an invitation to bring your cat, dog or goldfish along.


Last season proved a frustrating one for St Pauli as they returned to the second division after a brief stay in the top flight. Despite defeating one of their promotion rivals, SC Paderborn 5-0 on the last day of the regular season they missed out on a place in the Relegation (play-offs) by 5 goals. "Hell's Bells" might well have been the reaction, but that's the AC/DC anthem that brings St Pauli and their opponents onto the pitch every other weekend of the season-a spine tingling event, particularly on a winter's evening under the floodlights.Millerntor Stadion


For the Dons' visit only two of the four stands will be open as the St Pauli ground is in the midst of a long term rebuild. Anyone who hasn't visited the Field of The Holy Ghost (as it translates) is in for a bit of a surprise. From the shabby ground of yesteryear, two gleaming new stands have arisen. It's those that'll be open for business when the Dons visit, with the price of a seat not more than 15 euros. The South Stand was the first to be completed behind one goal in 2007, including what always appeared anathema to St Pauli fans, Business Seats.


Famously, the club portrays itself as "non established since 1910" its fans comprising a very broad church. You'll also see a few Celtic scarves no doubt as a fan friendship exists between the Kiezkickers and the Scottish champions.


In 2010 the new main stand was opened, which just leaves the long term temporary North Stand and the "Gegengerade" opposite the main stand to be redeveloped. A new stand is already rising there in time for use in the coming season.


In charge of St Pauli is Andre Schubert (40) who took them to a 4th place finish last season in Bundesliga 2 after arriving from Paderborn. At the time of writing he'd made seven new recruits. Mostly young talent such as Lennart Thys (20) who has arrived from Werder Bremen. An attacking midfielder, he'd spent 5 years at the Weser Stadion. Most of his appearances last season were for Werder's second eleven in the Third Division, though he did make 3 appearances for the first team. He's taking over the No.18 shirt from last season's ever present Max Kruse who's left for top flight SC Freiburg. Kruse was top scorer too with 13 goals last season.


Marius EbbersUp front 21 year old Daniel Ginczek has also been recruited along with 20 year old Akaki Gogia, who arrives on loan from VfL Wolfsburg. He's been capped at junior level for Germany and was a member of Wolfsburg's U-19 Bundesliga winning side last season.


They'll complement the experienced Marius Ebbers (34) up front as Schubert seeks to employ a 4-4-2 set -up. The prolific Ebbers hit the headlines last season as St Pauli chased promotion to the Bundesliga. On 11th April they were being held 1-1 at home by Union Berlin when the towering blonde striker rose to net at the far post. However, though the ball struck him square on the forehead, it then reached the net via his left arm. It looked as if it would have gone in anyway, but when asked by the ref, Ebbers said he'd handled and the goal was chalked off. The righteous reward arrived as Bartels scored a late winner to ensure St Pauli took the points.


Last season's shirt sponsor promised "A Place in the Sun" which wasn't to be. Indeed Trainer Schubert was thought to be in danger of losing his place at the helm of the harbour club. He's survived that uncertainty as he seeks to steer the club into smooth waters. This season the shirt is emblazoned "TV Lottery" and they'll hope to be among the prizes this time.



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