Rusthold is champion: SpVgg Bayreuth moves up to the 3rd division

It happened as it should after this season: SpVgg Bayreuth are champions of the Bavarian regional league and move directly up to the 3rd division. Timo Rost wrote the next chapter in his success story in Upper Franconia.

The Bayreuths around Timo Rost and Markus Ziereis played an excellent season.

On September 4, 2018, Timo Rost took over as coach of SpVgg Bayreuth. It was to be the day that had a lasting impact on the club’s recent past. The Oberfranks had just played 2-2 in Pipinsried and were after four matches only four points in last place in the Regionalliga Bayern. The then coach, Joe Albersinger, had to leave – and ex-professional Rost took over the squad. The 145-time Bundesliga player immediately radiated confidence, despite the difficult task. It is now clear why.

After the miserable start, the Bayreuth team finished the 2018/19 season in ninth place and even kept the class very confident. And in the ensuing season, which was marked by Corona interruptions, the old town was suddenly a top team. The season could not be played normally due to the pandemic, but the champion was still determined in the playoffs: Aschaffenburg, Bayreuth and Schweinfurt played the first in the Bavarian regional league. At the time, Schnüdel was too strong for SpVgg.

The Bayreuths were possibly still a little too green behind the ears. But the general tenor was: learn from experience and attack again immediately. That was exactly what Rost & Co did. The Bayreuth team played an incredibly consistent 2021/22 season and almost never slipped up. While competitors from Schweinfurt struggled with the negative experience of the lost promotion round against Havelse, and SpVgg Unterhaching had too many construction sites after the relegation, SpVgg simply did their job. Rost and his team had developed further compared to the year before and radiated the mentality as a top team.

Decisive match 4: 0 against Bayern

In the struggle for promotion, the duel between Bayreuth and the small Bavarians crystallized more and more. The Munich team, which lost key players (Motika, Batista Meier, Arrey-Mbi) in the winter, also played a strong season. In the end not strong enough. The Rost protégés took the decisive step towards the championship and promotion on Monday Easter, when the home game against Bayern was played in front of more than 10,000 spectators. It was clear 4: 0 to the home team, and the old town pulled away in the table. With the completely unexpected 0: 4 blunder against the bottom Rosenheim came another setback. But in the end, the Bayreuth team secured the well-deserved first place, which was arithmetically secure, after FCB II lost 4-0 to Burghausen on Friday night.

The reasons for the success

Sebastian Kolbe

Secure support: Bayreuth’s goalkeeper Sebastian Kolbe.
IMAGO / Eibner

The reasons for this Bayreuth success are complex. But of course, the coach has a big role to play. Rost brought the success back to Bayreuth, building a team that could play for promotion. He made the team and the individual players better. The former Bundesliga player has a clear playing philosophy that the team has always implemented. Bayreuth were the best transition team in the league, creating problems for many teams with their quick counter-attacks.

The old town could also mostly rely on their strong defense with Dennis Lippert, Edwin Schwarz, Steffen Eder, Tobias Weber, Felix Weber and Marcel Götz. No team conceded as few goals as Oberfranken. There was solid support from a strong back line, where goalkeeper Sebastian Kolbe on one or two occasions showed his quality, for example in the important 1-0 away win in Illertissen recently.

Regionalliga Bayern 2021/22

In addition, Bayreuth could rely on their goal scorer: Markus Ziereis was on the spot with his usual precision in the Regionalliga Bayern and thus played a major role in the team’s success. However, the champions’ offensive must not be reduced to him alone, Stefan Maderer, Alexander Nollenberger and Ivan Knezevic also played a very strong season, which ends with direct promotion and renewed qualification for the DFB Cup.

After the goalkeeper, defense and offensive have already been mentioned, the midfield must not be left out. Benedikt Kirsch was an absolute top signing for the 4th division this summer. Rost immediately made him captain – and the 15-time double-division player paid back with strong performances. Shortly before the end of the transfer window this summer, Nicolas Andermatt was another highly qualified player for the regional league, having already played 42 times in the 3rd division. All in all, Bayreuthers had one of the best teams in the league on paper, living up to their reputation against strong competition from Munich, Schweinfurt and Unterhaching in an impressive way – especially away: SpVgg have remained unbeaten in 18 matches so far and were the winner 16 times.

What’s next for rust?

Behind the sporting success, however, right now lies the big question: What’s next for coach Rost? There are several media reports that the Bayreuth coach is already said to have signed for the new season with Erzgebirge Aue relegated to the second division. A departure of the 43-year-old would no doubt hit Bayreuth hard, for the success of recent years has the coach’s clear handwriting.

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