Next stop: Reeperbahn. Well, almost. In fact, we’ll be right around the corner at the Millerntor stadium; hopefully our fans can celebrate another three points in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn after the match! But before a night of (celebratory or sorrow-soaked) drinking, VfL Bochum are up FC St Pauli – we've taken a look about our northern opponents before tonight’s fixture.
“Hamburg, meine Perle…“ (“Hamburg, my love“) – oops, sorry. Wrong club! Nevertheless, FC St Pauli originates from the city of Hamburg, in fact from the red-light district. St Pauli are based right next to the world-renowned Reeperbahn. The city is not only known for this hotspot, though. About 1.8 million people live in a city that has a harbour, warehouse district, and several theatres, in addition to the newly-built Elbphilharmonie Concert House. Water is a running theme throughout the city: The city is connected together with hundreds of canals, called dikes. The inner and outer canals serve as a reservoir right in the middle of the city centre.
In April 2019 Jos Luhukay became head coach of FC St Pauli. Even before the current season had kicked off, the 56-year-old Dutchman caused a stir in the club. “I’m going to speak out of turn”, announced Luhukay at a press conference. And he was right: His explanations, in which he blamed the club for its “laziness” and for “not ever leaving its comfort zone”, must have come as quick a shock to all FCSP supporters. However, the Dutch coach might have hit the panic button at just the right time, as the Hamburg side had a remarkable start to the current campaign. This perhaps showed Luhukay’s experience in the professional game: He has amassed a record of 485 fixtures as a Head Coach, managing several Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga sides as well as some international and lower league clubs; the teams he has managed include sides like Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hertha BSC Berlin and VfB Stuttgart.
The history of FC St Pauli 1910 does not really start in 1910, in fact; rather three years beforehand, at least! The club’s origins are deeply connected with Hamburg – St Pauli Turnverein was founded in 1862, a club that still exists today. Football became an activity played in the club in 1907, although they didn’t compete in a league format until 1910, when the club joined the Northern German Football Association. In 1911 they played their first ever league games, and in 1924 they separated from the “Turnverein” side of the club and founded FC St Pauli.
FC St Pauli’s home ground is located right in the middle of the St. Pauli borough of Hamburg, right next to the red-light district. Today, the Millerntor Stadion has a capacity of 29,546 – as a result of numerous reconstructions over the past 12 years – with standing terraces for 16,940 supporters and 12,606 seats. The stadium usually sells out every home game. The visitors section is located at the north stand. Anyone who has ever witnessed a game in the stadium will have noticed that before kick off, even the visiting side’s club 'song’ is played right before kick off – a nice gesture!
Back in 2010, the Millerntor received the PETA Progress Award for the “most animal-friendly stadium” as they offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan food.
The ACDC song “Hells Bells” is played when the teams enter the pitch.
Head to Head
There have been 10 Bundesliga and 20 2.Bundesliga clashes between the two sides, in addition to three Pokal match-ups. St. Pauli edge proceedings with a slightly better record against us than we over them; VfL have only mustered 7 wins out of a possible 33 matches thus far, with the last victory almost six years ago. In February 2014, Holmar Örn Eyjolfsson scored the winner at the Millerntor Stadion for the Bochumers. Ever since then, our record has been a difficult four draws and six wins for St Pauli. VfL‘s last away match at Pauli was rather recent, in May, when VfL cam eaway from Hamburg with a goalless draw- definitely an improvement on the four defeats that had preceeded that result! Nonetheless, it’s high time we got that winning feeling in Pauli again lads!
Pauli- So Far
It has been a season of highs and lows for FCSP, perhaps indicated by the trouble caused by their manager’s statements before the season began. They had a poor start to the season, picking up only one point from their first three games, before scraping past amateur side VfB Lübeck 4-3 on penalties in the German Pokal. There were smatterings in fact, of manager Luhukay’s days being numbered amongst the media. But the “Kiez”-team put trust in their management and the team soon got back on the track. After home victories against Kiel, HSV and Sandhausen, St Pauli have found themselves in the top half of the table. However, of late they have only managed to earn two points from their last four league games, having also been dumped out of the cup by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt (granted- a predictable result giving Frankfurt’s strengths). Against Darmstadt and Karlsruher they conceded late goals, which them the chance to move even further up the table. Currently, Pauli are 9th on 14 points. A win and we leapfrog them!