It was a wild rollercoaster ride that SV Siegfried Hallbergmoos has had in recent years. 2013 the voluntary withdrawal to the fourth-rate Bayernliga after 49 years of permanent membership in the first or second division. Then immediately the march to the top and in 2016 the return to the Bundesliga. But in 2019 there was another voluntary departure from the German elite class in the direction of the Bavarian Oberliga, at the time the second highest class below the Bundesliga. Then came Corona, the canceled round of points in 2020, the Oberliga season 2021, which was canceled shortly before the end, and – because you were the current table leader at the time – promotion to the reintroduced 2nd Bundesliga. There, the SVS starts the new season this Saturday at 7.30 p.m. with an away fight at the RG Kurpfälzer Löwen.
The return of the first team to Bundesliga territory is taken relatively calmly in the traditional wrestling club, despite all the joy. How the club is ticking after all the turbulence of previous years can be seen quite clearly in the statements made by chairman Michael Prill: When asked about the past few months and the preparation for the season, he speaks of a “sportingly very successful time” – and by that he means the performance in the junior section: second place for the student team at the German championship and the strong performance of B-youth Daniel Meyer, who won DM silver in the individual event last weekend. And then of course there were the celebrations for the club’s 100th anniversary, including the organization of the German Beach Wrestling Championship. Youth work and an intact club life are always very important at SV Siegfried. This is the daily bread. The first team and the 2nd Bundesliga as figureheads, that’s sort of a bonus. Nice to have , but nothing that defines the club necessarily.
The competition has intensified, the level in the league is high
Nevertheless, the SVS naturally wants to sell itself as expensively as possible in the coming season and not have to start the way down again straight away. “The primary goal is to stay up in the league,” says the club boss. Knowing that this could be tricky. The last team in the 2nd Bundesliga South, which consists of eight teams, is relegated directly, the penultimate player has to go into relegation. The competition, including traditional clubs like VfK 07 Schifferstadt, have “a lot of quality” in their squads, says Michael Prill. “The other teams have strengthened significantly, the league is at a high level.” The competitors, estimates the SVS chairman, “have at least as good wrestlers as we do from the individual athletes”. But it also depends on how you work as a team. “What’s important is what happens on the mat. And you also need a bit of luck to get through the season successfully and without major injuries.”
That applies to the SVS maybe a bit more than to other clubs. After all, the Hallbergmoosers have a “brutally old team, the average age should be somewhere around 30 plus,” says the chairman, who also belongs to the “Club of the 30s” and will be back on the mat next season. The many young talents of SV Siegfried should first of all gain experience in the reserve team in the upper group league. In the Bundesliga team, on the other hand, there are veterans who, together with the foreign reinforcements, should ensure the necessary points.
Above all, homegrown Ergün Aydin, who has already played for the German association in international tournaments and has returned from the first division club RSV Rotation Greiz together with the Turk and Hallbergmooser by choice Ahmet Bilici. Coach Mohammad Jawad’s team is also building on the qualities of 35-year-old Romanian George Bucur, according to the club “one of the most successful point collectors in the Wrestling Bundesliga of the last decade” and eight times victorious in eight fights in the past Oberliga season. The second division squad of the SVS also includes the 34-year-old Romanian Andrei Dukov, who has been decorated with two European Championship medals, the 25-year-old Swede Ardit Fazljija, who came second at the Junior European Championships in 2017, and the young Turk Hasan Gör, who with his aggressive fighting style for could provide a spectacle in the Hallberghalle.
How many fans will find their way to the home fights is difficult to estimate. “I assume that maybe one or the other spectator will come than in the Oberliga,” says Prill. On the other hand, in these difficult economic times, some people’s wallets are no longer so easy. “And you also have to keep the corona situation in mind.” The SVS is hoping for an average audience of 300 to 350. However, the club is not taking any financial risk with its involvement in the second division, even if the expenses are significantly higher compared to the Oberliga and the costs for the long away trips as well as the flight tickets of the foreign reinforcements are not to be despised. Despite Corona, the reserves have recently been increased, says the club boss, “financially we are in good shape”.