Pushing but also critical fans of the Giessen 46ers

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Of: Sebastian Kilsbach


Some of the 500 Gießen 46ers fans who supported the team in the derby victory at Frankfurt Ball Sports Hall had traveled by train. © Sebastian Kilsbach

The Giessen 46ers are being relegated from the Basketball Bundesliga. 500 fans supported her in the derby victory over the already relegated Frankfurt Skyliners. The success was a consolation to the fans for the messy season, but they also got a lot of air. We listened.

There was something remarkable about the vocal force with which the approximately 500 Gießen 46ers fans supported their team before, during and after the Hessen derby at the Frankfurt Skyliners match. The chance to stay in the league has long been only of a mathematical nature. Nevertheless, the 76:75 victory in the basement duel was largely celebrated. Even before the team bus, the players who arrived from the hall were greeted with shouts. CEO Sebastian Schmidt thanked him for his support on social media Sunday night.

The fans – that is, the hard core who still come to matches at home and away regardless of performance – are the club’s last remaining constant. The fact that this became clear with the derby victory of all things closes the circle: The neighbor duel on the Gießen floor in March 2020 was the last Bundesliga match before the Corona problems in the following years. The derby this weekend in Höchst was the first since then without major entry restrictions.

Since then, the 46s have cast twice at managerial and sporting director level and three times at the coaching post. Fans are aware of the abuses, even though they give their all in the stands. On the way to Hessenderby, some of these newspapers provided answers to what was burning under their nails before the club was reorganized.

Christan Heck criticizes Nuni Omot’s staff in this way: “I can not believe that the team accepts that he has so much freedom.” Most recently, Omot must have skipped team training. He is said to have star airs, Heck speaks of a “stink boot” character who has been punished far too rarely.

“He completely destroys the team structure with his behavior.” Heck remembers a match under former coach Denis Wucherer, who once completely suspended Benjamin Lischka for a match. There were no similar interventions in this very complicated season.

Matthias Rompf, who has supported the 46s as a fan for decades, reports via voicemail. He prefers to spend Sundays with his son rather than travel to Frankfurt: “I am disappointed and angry about the situation.” He thinks less of the acute threat of relegation and more of everything that has happened since the resignation of Heiko Schelberg and later Ingo Freyer: “Functioning structures were simply destroyed here.” Given that no lessons and consequences have been learned, today’s sporting downturn is even worse: “One has the feeling that things always go according to schedule F, both sportingly and in the background.” Rompf’s hope for an improvement in the subsequent season is similarly low. “First and foremost, everyone needs to be brought back on board, including at the shareholder and sponsor level. Broken trust among fans needs to be restored.”

When fans got off at Frankfurt-Höchst train station on Sunday, Steffen Brück spoke up: “BJ Blake’s failure was just tragic,” said the longtime supporter of Gießen, circling the moment the season took a negative turn. Blake’s brother was shot and killed in the United States. The team heard about the tragedy on game day seven against Crailsheim and lost 70-104. Blake returned to his homeland shortly after. The problem: “The signs were a disaster. We are sporty now on the abyss. The mood can not be compared with the downturn in 2013. “

At the time, the 46s filed for bankruptcy around Christmas. As a result, CEO Schelberg had almost ten months in advance to prepare the location for the restart of Pro A. It was initially very difficult, but later an optimism spread. One is currently waiting for such signals, not least because the descent can still be prevented by sporting means.

It takes a little miracle to do that. The fans, who became quite clear this Sunday in Frankfurt-Süd, are sticking with their club. Your critical voice should not only be heard in the stands.

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