25.05.2018Bayer 04

Werkself friendlies against Roßbach, Siegen and Wuppertal

Seven weeks ahead of the first competitive match in the new campaign, the Werkself start the pre-season for 2018/19 in the first week of July. Three weeks after that, the Bayer 04 set off for the training camp in Zell am See-Kaprun (29 July to 5.August). In the meantime, Lars Bender, Kevin Volland and Co. have three friendly fixtures. The first of those games is against Rhineland-Palatinate League side SV Roßbach/Verscheid (18 July, 18.00 CET).

Thanks to their success on the pitch, the club on the River Wied are no longer just familiar to fans interested in regional football: The team who have been in the Oberliga for many years have twice played in the first round of the DFB Cup against top-flight teams (against Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2006 and Mainz 05 in 2012). After relegation to the fifth division four years ago, the Rhineland Cup winners of 2012 chose not to play in the sixth tier Rhineland League but instead started rebuilding in the District League B. SV Roßbach/Verscheid immediately achieve promotion to the A league (Westerwald/Wied). Since then, the team coached by Uwe van Eckeren have twice maintained their status – shortly before the end of the current campaign, the club from the spa town are fourth in the table with the last game of the season to play.

friendly in Siegen on 21 July

Three days after the match against the A League side, the Werkself have a second pre-season friendly – away to fifth division Sportfreunde Siegen (21 July, 15 CET, Leimbach Stadium). Bayer 04 face one of the biggest clubs from South Westphalia who the Werkself played four competitive matches against 50 years ago in the Regional League (1963/64 and 1972/73) (that was followed by eight more meetings in the Regional League with the Bayer 04 Reserves). Since then the club from Siegen can look back with pride to a season in the second division (2005/06) and bringing through four well-known professionals – including Patrick Helmes, who played for the Werkself from 2008 to 2011 (72 appearances, 38 goals). After relegation from the second division in 2006 and the departure of their main benefactor, Sportfreunde Siegen are now in the Westphalia Oberliga – the young group (average age: 21.8) are established in mid-table under SFS coach Dominik Dapprich.

friendly in Wuppertal on 24 July

Five days ahead of departure to the training camp in Austria, the Herrlich team have a friendly away to Wuppertaler SV (24 July, 19.00 CET, Stadion am Zoo), who finished last term third in the Regional League West – the fourth tier of German football. The Werkself have played the team from 30 kilometres away in the Bergisches Land 25 times between 1962 and 1979 (Oberliga, Regional League, Second Division) with Bayer 04 winning nine times (seven defeats). The greatest achievements of the team from Wuppertal were a while ago: In 1972, WSV were promoted to the Bundesliga and the blade in the UEFA Cup a year later. The absolute low point followed in 2013 with an insolvency application that led to relegation to the fourth division where Wuppertal have remained since the 2016/17 season. The most famous player in the team coached by Christian Britscho (average age: 25) is probably the captain Gaetano Manno (35) who used to play for VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga and for VfL Osnabrück and SC Paderborn in the second division. In the season that has just finished, the WSV squad included former Bayer 04 youth players Andre Mandt (24; 2008 to 2014), Emre Bayrak (21; 2013 to 2015) and Yassine Khadraoui (21; 2012 to 2016) as well as a number of players with experience of the second tier.




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