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6 Emotional Years – 6 Years United

No time for a break, this party went straight into overtime – the euphoria of having abducted one point in the match against league leader Blau Weiss Dingden was still high, when the caterers set yet another buffet at Stade Marek Tuffner:

The city’s brass was about to shuffle in to celebrate United’s sixth anniversary and took the odd snapshot with former players. The team’s archivist had prepared a retrospective of the club’s history – and there was a lot to be seen, indeed:

  • faded pictures dating back to 2006, when the club was founded as West Axe United
  • 6 championship trophies
  • An infinite loop of Oded Slupsky’s 150 goals for United
  • ‘Tough guy’ Tuffner signing his newly released book ‘My most spectacular fifty-fifties’

In his festive speech, the Management pointed out the club’s key success factors:

The Management

The Management

The sustainable scouting and training of mostly local talents and a conservative financial policy. With great éclat he underlined that everybody on the team was still ‘in it for United’ and they had ‘not reached the end of the line by far’.

“So far, our return to league IV has been significantly more successful than we expected. Our goal after promotion was to avoid a direct relegation. With 3 matches to go, we’re only one point away from that milestone. Needless to say that we’ll do our best to defend the fourth position. We’d rather have a well deserved long season break instead of an all-or-nothing play-off battle, even though that would mean additional training and revenue. Avoiding the play-off, we might have the honour to represent the state of Baden-Wurttemberg as the top 20 teams will participate in a federation battle against Thuringia. Doesn’t sound like rock and a hard place to me. Whatever may come – we’ll be up for it!”

 

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United Hung Over

Slowly, very slowly, the Management awoke. There was something on his right cheek. He tried to wipe it off his face and realised that it was the changing room floor.

Bit by bit, his memory returned: The home game against DFC Wurm looked like a classical goalless draw even when he worked out the tactics on the board. As if! A 3:1 win – after 3 free kicks. 3 standards, 3 goals. Slupsky, Slupsky, Slupsky. “Snipers can’t be choosers,” as he likes to put it.

He got up, looked around: United hung over. Drunken stiffs everywhere. Players, hall of famers, supporters, even the director was lying there, a bottle of champagne still in his hand. What a fat cat, beer wouldn’t do for him. Then he remembered: Champions – two weeks before the end of the season!

And what a season it was: Out of the cup in round 1, the future looked more than bleak. What followed after that disastrous start can only be described as a response of defiance: Unbeaten for 9 weeks, 6 consecutive wins – 2 more, and we should even avoid the play-offs and go straight to league 4.

Then he realised that it was far too soon to think about that yet: He wasn’t hung over, he was still drunk. Let’s have another beer, fix breakfast for everybody and party on until tomorrow. Thank God for tomorrow’s bank holiday in Germany! As long as everybody’s sober by next Saturday for the match against Fembots… and someone cleaned up the mess in the changing room by then.

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Crack his Wings and Fly

In a high quality and most entertaining match, The Damned United defended their top position in the league. Beating immediate pursuer FC BÜSCHING at home on Saturday evening, they are now 6 points ahead.

After a hattrick by Emil Kollenda and two more goals by Seidberger and Wasmundt, the final score was 5:2. Newly appointed skipper Gregor Wasmundt did not only stick out because of his goal, but also by a brutish tackle against BRÜSCHING’s all star winger Blane early in the game. The latter sustained a severe knee injury and had to be replaced by inexperienced Frenchman Sollier. The youngster was obviously intimidated by Wasmundt’s interpretation to keep opponents of his patch and turned out to be the weakest link in the away team’s squad.

United’s Management was happy with the final score: “We achieved a clear result against an equivalent opponent. That will boost our self-confidence for the upcoming challenges. These will clearly be winning the championship and promoting to league IV.”

At the same time, the Management did not fail to address Wasmundt’s exaggerated motivation: “I am not sure whether I would like to call it ‘exaggerated motivation’. Can one really be too motivated? I’d say there are situations in which seemingly fifty-fifty tacklings are rather ten-nineties, and Gregor decided to take it anyway. There have been rumours of him becoming the teams coach soon – I do not wish to comment on that yet – but this guy is not only hot, he’s on fire. Anyway, none of my players would ever injure an opponent deliberately. I hope Carl Blane will get well soon!”

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Cousins, Task Forces and a Winning Streak

After more than one season, The Damned United finally climbed the top of their league on Day 8. Yet, this achievement was dearly paid for: With player manager Felix Merkl out with an injury, the pole position seemed hard to defend. “Felix is a goalkeeper with exceptional abilities and one of the few players on the team that can’t be replaced easily,” the shocked Management stated after last week’s match.

What the Management chose not to mention was that backup goalkeeper Marc Pascal Frohnheiser was about to start preparations for the celebrations of his 40th birthday. Worse, Frohnheiser arrives at games and trainings far earlier than the rest of the squad – not driven by ambition, but mere time pressure: Applying his harness of tape bindings, braces and several ointments takes him the best part of an hour. Gradually, he had become more of a mascot than a match-fit backup.

A secret task force consisting of key players and the Management adressed the situation in a post-training pub session. The following conversation will always be denied in public, but have been confirmed by reliable sources:

Management: “I think we agree that we’d rather post 3 points to Kickers Pirna than travelling there with Marc between the posts?”

Player 1: “We’d stand a better chance if we’d dress a broomstick with a jersey and 2 gloves and place it between the posts!”

Player 2: “I second that – my son would have saved some of the shots Marc let pass in his last game.”

Management: “How old’s your son?”

Player 2: “Just turned 11, why?”

Management: “Nothing, forget about it.”

Player 3: “I have this cousin who plays for a 3rd league Ukrainian team as a goal keeper…”

Management: “We’ll sign him!”

Player 3: “But he’s 34, overweight,…”

Management: “Which part of ‘We’ll sign him!’ did you not understand?”

Player 3: “I just don’t want to be blamed for…”

Management: “Bring him along!”

Eran Verano

Eran Verano

And so, out of nowhere, just on the day before the match at Pirna, The Damned United signed their new goalkeeper: Eran Varsano (34) will act as a substitute for Felix Merkl and leave the club after regular number “1” recovered from his injury.

Varsano turned out to be a reliable last man in the counterattack-oriented away game. Though conceding one goal, United defended the pole position as top scorer Oded Slupsky hit the net twice.

Meanwhile, Marc Pascal Frohnheiser kept doing what he does best: He assisted in the warm-up of the starting goalkeeper, sat on the bench and kept the Management updated on the live scores of United’s league mates.

 

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Your Supporter Subscription will Expire in 2 Days!

The Damned United have recently been contacted by the Hattrick Football Association (HFA) with urgent calls to hand in the required documents that will pave the way for another year of professional football. This comes at a remarkable price: “We’re steeply approaching 40.- €,” commented the Management, “having started out in the area of 25.-€ – lean back and admire the miracle of inflation in its purest form!”

So far, the Management has not made a decision whether or not to maintain professional structures around the team’s working environment. Should he rather retreat to the no-cost comfort zone of an ambitious amateur club?

Help him make up his mind by commenting on this posting!

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*** Damned United FC goes English ***

Today, the Management of the Damned United FC confirmed, that future PR activities will also include blog articles for English speaking supporters and sympathisers: “That is correct, from now on we’ll blog in English. We are not afraid of estranging our fans and supporters, they will be kept updated by regular press releases on the team’s page. Blogging in English on hattrickunited makes sense in many aspects – the list is topped by the fact that we see no point in publishing German press releases to an international community.

We’ll start out with a mere translation of the latest German press release, but new material is bound to follow soon. So here we go – enjoy and feel free to comment:

“Desperate situations call for desperate actions”, the Management contemplated while watching the ink of his signature dry under the contract of his new player. Zorro Puffky, Zorro… Puffky – yes, that certainly was the name of the young lad with the massive thighs. His birth certificate, passport and Boots loyalty card left not a shadow of a doubt.

Zorro Puffky

United’s scouts pitched the 18 year-old as wingback with an incredibly powerful left foot. “I certainly agree. Zorro – blimey, I’ll have to get used to that name – can shoot a traffic light from red to green from 40 yards”, the Management stated.

Puffky will have to prove himself in United’s U23 before he’ll get a chance to play for the first team. The Management’s plans seem to reach further into the future: Puffky underlines United’s strategy of signing young players on a long-term contract with the goal of supporting them on their way to become exceptional players. “Puffky will certainly become a most entertaining player in the future – not at least because of the countless wordplays that come with his name.”

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Rettet Zorro die Verdammten?

“Verzweifelte Situationen erfordern verzweifelte Maßnahmen,” sinnierte das Management, als es der Tinte unter dem Arbeitsvertrag seiner Neuverpflichtung Zorro Puffky beim Trocknen zusah. Zorro Puffky, Zorro… Puffky – ja, so heißt der junge Mann mit den überdimensionierten Oberschenkeln tatsächlich. Familienstammbuch, Personalausweis und eidesstattliche Versicherung ließen keinen Zweifel an der Echtheit des Namens.

Zorry PuffkyUniteds Scouts priesen das achtzehnjährige Defensivtalent als durchsetzungsstarken Außenverteidiger mit präziser linker Klebe an. “Das kann ich bestätigen, Zorro – verdammt, an den Namen muss ich mich erst noch gewöhnen – kann aus 30 Metern Entfernung eine Ampel auf grün schießen,” schloss sich das Management den Vorschusslorbeeren an.

Puffky wird sich zunächst in der U23 durchsetzen müssen, um perspektivisch in den Kader des Fünftligisten zu rücken. Das Management plant offensichtlich schon viel weiter: “Mit der Verpflichtung von Puffky – hm, auch nicht viel weniger witzig als ‘Zorro’ – sind wir unserer Linie treu geblieben, hoch veranlagte Talente auf längere Zeit an den Verein zu binden, um sie zu herausragenden Spielern auszubilden. Zorro – ich sag jetzt nichts mehr dazu – bringt die erforderlichen Anlagen mit, um die langfristigen Pläne des Vereins zu verwirklichen. Wir werden mit ihm noch eine Menge Freude haben – nicht zuletzt wegen der zahllosen Wortspiele, die uns seine Namen bescheren werden.”

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Von den Tropen in den Regen in die Traufe

Vor dem Relegationsspiel am Samstag, 2. Juli, beklagen die Profis die ungünstigen Trainingsbedingungen.

Ausnahmsweise ist nicht der Rasen zu lang, kurz oder holprig: Unfreiwillig werden die Kicker von United auf alle möglichen Wetterkonstellationen vorbereitet: Gestern schwitzten die Profis bei tropisch-feuchten 36° Grad literweise, heute wird von oben nachgegossen – Schlammschlacht, Markierungshemden zwecklos.

Das Management bleibt unbeeindruckt: “Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur… ich spar mir den Rest. Die Aufstellung für Samstag nimmt Formen an, wir werden bereit sein!”

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Glücks-Spieler

“Riesentalent”, “bester Spieler seines Jahrgangs”, “kommende Lichtgestalt des schwarzen Kontinents” – dies waren noch die sachlichsten Verkaufsargumente, mit denen der Spielervermittler Uniteds Management die Verpflichtung des Kenianers Safan Mathani (17) schmackhaft machen wollte.

In einem schwachen Moment (am späten Samstagabend) wies Uniteds Sportdirektor die Transfersumme (in bar!) an, und bereits am Sonntagabend bestritt der Youngster seine erste Trainingseinheit mit dem Seniorenteam. Spielertrainer Merkl gibt sich bei einer ersten Leistungsbewertung noch zurückhaltend: “Der Junge hat sicherlich Talent. Zweifellos ist er der schnellste Spieler, den ich je über den Platz gejagt habe. Allerdings muss er dringend noch ein paar Kilo zulegen, sonst sind wir ihn bei Gegenwind gleich wieder los.”

Ach ja: Eine Quittung über die Transfersumme steht bis dato noch aus.

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Noch eins!

“Ich sage das fast wöchentlich”, seufzte das Management bei der gestrigen Pressekonferenz “aber dieses Spiel war symptomatisch für Saison 45! Eine Gala vor Minuskulisse mit einem Ergebnis, das bei der SOKO ‘Tippschein’ wieder alle Alarmglocken schrillen lässt”. Zuvor hatte United gegen den Tabellenführer seine bislang stärkste Vorstellung abgeliefert, den Schwarz-Gelben ein 4 Tore schweres Paket mit auf den Nachhauseweg gegeben und das Titelrennen in Liga V.27 weiter spannend gehalten.
Vor dem letzten Spieltag steht somit fest, dass The Damned die Klasse nur über die Relegation halten können. Mit diesem Umstand kann sich das notorisch optimistische Management offensichtlich arrangieren: “Wir werden diese kurzfristige Planungssicherheit nutzen, um uns optimal auf die beiden verbleibenden Partien vorzubereiten. Und um gleich zum Positiven zu kommen: Auch wenn uns Play-offs natürlich lieber gewesen wären als Relegation – ein zusätzliches Spiel ist nie verkehrt”.