On Sunday (13:30KO CEST) VfL Bochum 1848 meet 1. FC Heidenheim in Heidenheim, BW. Frank Schmidt’s side is undefeated in four games and have established themselves in the top 6 of the table after a mixed start to the season. Here’s a look at FC Heidenheim:  

Situated in far eastern Baden-Württemburg, on the Bayern border, lies the town Heidenheim an der Brenz. With approx. 49,500 inhabitants, the city is the third largest city in the district of Heidenheim in the north-eastern corner of Swabian Alps. With the Dualen Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Heidenheim is home to an important university and has therefore become very student driven.

The Voith Arena, 1. FC Heidenheim’s home, is located on the “Schlossberg”, not far from Hellenstein Castle, a major landmark of the city. Since the stadium’s reconstruction, the ground has a capacity of 15,000. Up until 2009 though, the former Albstadion was used  as a multi-purpose stadium for various sporting events. In 2010, the stadium was converted into a single-purpose football stadium, which also increased the capacity to what it is now.

Golden Era 
FCH are currently in their sixth season in the Bundesliga leagues. After five years in 3.Liga, Frank Schmidt’s side were promoted as champions in 2014 and have remained an ever-present of the 2. Bundesliga since. What’s more, last season the club finished fifth- the best ever placing in the club’s history. At the moment, the side have managed to consolidate their position last year; they currently sit fifth with twelve points from 8 games.

The Coach 
Frank Schmidt is an institution of 1. FC Heidenheim. The coach has been in the dugout of his home club since 2007. Since then, the 45 year old has coached 440 competitive FCH matches and has secured an averaged of 1.6 points per game. Born in Heidenheim, he took the club from what was then the fourth division to the 2. Bundesliga. In 2014 he won the 3.Liga ahead of RB Leipzig and SV Darmstadt. “It’s a special place,” the coach said in a recent interview. After twelve years, he says he feels ‘no signs of wear and tear’.

Head to Head
To date, there have been 10 matches between the two sides in the 2. Bundesliga. The balance is even- four wins to both sides and two draws. The last, and thus far only, away win for VfL came some time ago. In May 2016, VfL’s Terodde scored a hattrick, with a further goal by Terrazzino securing a 4-2 victory. Ex-VfL player Smail Morabit scored the wo goals late on for the hosts.

The Balance
“I am convince that we’ve been in all the games since the Nuremberg match,” Frank Schmidt said after the fifth matchday match against 1FCN. After 80 minutes the side from Brenz were 2-0 down before a late charge secured the draw, with strikes in the 82nd and 84th minutes. Since this turnaround, FCH have been in great form; two wins in a row against Holstein Kiel (3-0) and SV Darmstadt 98 (1-0) followed. Schmidt’s side remain undefeated in this period, after last week securing a 1-1 draw at Karlruher SC.