Thursday, January 31, 2019
FC Eintracht Rheine - FC Gütersloh (25-05-2018)
On my way from Berlin to the Netherlands, I make a detour to see one of the few games that are played that Saturday -- and by a team I haven't visited yet. FC Eintracht Rheine plays in the Oberliga Westfalen (Fifth Division) and today's game is against Gütersloh.*
FC Eintracht Rheine was only founded in 1994, as a merger of VfB Rheine and SG Eintracht Rheine, but actually has a staggering 18 (!) predecessors. I pay €6, get a generic ticket (but a ticket nevertheless), and enter the Auto-Senger Stadion. Its official capacity is 7,500, but I doubt they ever have more than 750. The stadium has just one stand -- the Dr. Bernd Windhoff Tribüne -- and is in dire condition (see below).
Clearly Fc Eintracht Rheine is not ready for the Champions League -- or to host FC Feyenoord -- as there were bricks and rocks all over the place. Fortunately, no one cared about them.
As it is the last home game, they say goodbye to the players that are leaving at the end of the season before the game. The ca. 100 people applaud politely. The crowd is local and seems to be here more for the social contacts than the football.
I don't directly see any away fans -- Gütersloh is ca. 100 km away from Rheine -- but if there were any, these six guys will probably have been it..
The game is overall rather poor and slow but the weather is nice and there are some decent snacks, so I am having a good time. There isn't much atmosphere though. This changes a bit when they announce that there will be free beer after the game to celebrate the end of the season.
I have to admit that I left with still a quarter to go. At that time it was still 0-0, but it was getting cold, and I still had 4 hours to drive. In the end, FC Eintracht Rheine won 2-0. Not the most desirable groundhop destination, but not bad either.
* I wrote this report half a year later, so the details are a bit hazy.