Bayern Reserves crowned third division champions
The Bayern Reserves have been crowned champions of the third division for 2019/20 in their first season back in the league following promotion from the fourth-tier Regionalliga. Sebastian Hoeneß’s side finished a point clear of Eintracht Braunschweig despite a final-day loss to Kaiserslautern and are the first reserve team ever to win the league.
FCB are, however, ineligible for promotion to Bundesliga 2 because the club is already represented in the top two divisions. It means Würzburger Kickers and Braunschweig, who finished second and third respectively, go up and fourth-placed Ingolstadt contest the play-off.
The Reserves have followed in the footsteps of their first-team counterparts, who have won the Bundesliga again this year for the eighth straight season and are going for the domestic double with the DFB Cup final on Saturday evening.
A number of players have featured for both FCB teams this season and will be entitled to winner’s medals in both competitions, such as Michael Cuisance, Joshua Zirkzee and Sarpreet Singh.
Hoeneß’s charges were in fact languishing down in 15th place of the 20-team league at the halfway stage, but stormed to the top of the table with a remarkable second half of the campaign that saw them lose just two of 19 games and claim first place on Matchday 33 with a 5-1 win against Meppen at the Grünwalder Stadion.
Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of the title: “That was an outstanding performance by our second team.”
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: “You can’t overestimate the size of this success, which is something the whole of FC Bayern can be pleased about.”
A particular highlight of the season was the 2-1 derby victory over 1860 Munich to ensure the city remains red. Malik Tillman netted the winner 11 minutes from time as FCB set a new record for points by a reserve team in the third division.
Leading the charge to the title was the division’s top scorer Otschi Wriedt, who ended the campaign with 24 goals in 33 games and was also named the Player of the Season. Hoeneß picked up the accolade of Coach of the Season.
The performances of the likes of American defender Chris Richards and England U17 international Jamal Musiala have also seen them handed first-team debuts by Hansi Flick this season, following in the footsteps of club legends such as Thomas Müller, David Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm in coming through the Bayern academy to break into the senior team.
Read about the five youngsters who have made their Bundesliga debuts this season: