Pandemonium in Drochtersen

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A small village in northern Germany is currently going wild. On Saturday, FC Bayern travel to Drochtersen - some 30 miles north-west of Hamburg - to compete in the first round of the DFB Cup. While it's an obligatory task for the Reds, and one they must win, for the players of SV Drochtersen/Assel it's the game of their lives. Drochtersen's mayor Mike Eckhoff is looking forward to it, remarking in an interview with the German Press Agency: "It's the match of the century. There's never been anything like it here before."

Drochtersen play their football in the fourth tier and usually ply their trade against other northern clubs like TSV Havelse, VfB Lübeck or USI Lupo-Martini Wolfsburg. Now, however, the record cup winners are coming to this town of 11,000 inhabitants and everyone is thrilled. "People are fired up" Eckhoff explained, "something like this may happen here once in 100 years."

A memory for eternity

"People are in a frenzy," added Drochtersen's defender Meickel Klee. "They've been up for this game for weeks. Some of them are even more up for it than we players are." That's why the memorabilia in the club's fan shop is currently in demand more than ever, and the decision was taken in-house to increase the capacity at the club's home, the Kehdinger Stadium, from 3,000 to 7,500 with the use of temporary stands. The idea of moving to St. Pauli's Millerntor Stadium was quickly rejected despite financial advantages. "We wanted to stay in Drochtersen. We want a game for the people and the region that will live on in memory," club president Rigo Gooßen proudly said.

It will, for the players especially, certainly be unforgettable regardless of the result. It's the much quoted duel between David and Goliath. None of the hosts play football full-time. Defender Klee, for example, works as a bricklayer and could face Franck Ribery on his right wing. For him, it's a dream come true. "I've been a fan of Bayern for 23 years. It's like winning the lottery," Klee enthused, whilst dreaming a little of causing an upset. "Otherwise, there'd be no point in turning up."

The anticipation in northern Germany is enormous, especially since Drochtersen/Assel were already close to causing an upset two years ago when they lost just 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the first round of the DFB Cup. FC Bayern have been warned.


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