The lights go out in frohnlach

Christoph boger

"The vfl frohnlach is as good as dead. We have no players left at the end of the season and no coach either. The perspective is clearly missing." christian tremel, sporting director of fubball-landesligist vfl frohnlach, says it quite clearly: "my attempt to somehow save the club after the withdrawal of sponsor klaus schillig has failed". The lights go out in the waldstadion.

The reasons for this foreseeable development – the tageblatt has already reported several times – are obvious, according to tremel: "we have not succeeded in attracting the financial resources that are needed to put a team on its feet that is suitable for the national league. Accordingly, both the coach and the team have looked elsewhere. That is absolutely legitimate. Logically, that then also no new coach or new players have decided for a change to the vfl frohnlach. Now we are forced to look for other solutions."

A success story of more than 40 years

This marks the end of more than four decades of success at the highest amateur level. Finally, the "blue-wheels" played not only in the regionalalliga, but also proudly 26 years in the bayernliga and 13 years in the landesliga. The bleeding time has been mainly characterized by willi schillig. In the 80s and 90s, the coarse-grained upholstered furniture manufacturer from the village had made it a point to put together a powerful team every year with enormous financial contributions. His team was also called the "cosmos-elf" in football circles called. At that time in the style of the american professional club, which bought the best players together.

Top-class players in the new waldstadion

In the specially "upgraded" waldstadion, which will later be called "willi schillig stadium the club received plenty of high-caliber players. Guests were werner lorant with the munchner lowen or mehmet scholl with the FC bayern munchen II. Games against spvgg bayreuth, against bayern hof, SC weismain or even the local rival vfb coburg in front of proud spectator crowds were the rule. Football fans from all over upper franconia made a pilgrimage to vfl frohnlach on saturday afternoon, saw great games and outstanding player personalities.

Springboard to the professional ranks

Harald sporl, carlo werner, markus wohner, markus grasser, bernd eigner and michael fonfara all used vfl frohnlach as a springboard and even switched to the professional game. Among the coaches were charly zapf, rolf lamprecht and manfred muller, later stefan braungardt, dieter kurth and local hero werner guckel, who was the goalkeeper during the glory days.

Slowly things went downhill

But these "fat years are long over. Although klaus schillig tried to continue the legacy of his late father and support the club as best he could, he was never able to break through to the top. The level is dropping.The frohnlacher duel no longer on the very rough amateur stage, but predominantly with local opponents such as DVV coburg, FC lichtenfels, SV friesen, TSV monchroden or most recently SC sylvia ebersdorf. It is quite possible that the up-and-coming club from the neighborhood will even replace vfl as the number one in the region in the foreseeable future. When klaus schillig, deputy chairman and representative of the long-time main sponsor willi schillig, had to declare the company's financial withdrawal in the middle of the corona crisis last year, the money tap was finally turned off.

How it goes on now?

"We have made the decision at least in the sense that we will play the season to the end, if it is still played at all. The team has made it clear that it wants to say goodbye to vfl frohnlach and the rest of the league rivals in a sporting and fair manner", tremel explains. And further: "we as responsible persons will then promptly inform the BFV that we will no longer claim the right to play in the state league in the next season. If and how it will go on, is not sure at the moment."

However, in this case it is certain that the vfl will be placed at the bottom of the table in the northwest regional league and will be the first team to be relegated. As a result, only one other club will be relegated – probably ASV rimpar. All the other teams benefited from the withdrawal of frohnlacher.

With tbvfl or a stammtisch troupe?

The question remains whether frohnlach will still be playing football at all after this, in which class and with which players! "It is currently possible to apply for the right to play in a league for the new season in the form of a joint venture with the tbvfl neustadt-wildenheid (A-class leader)", says tremel. However, on the part of the frohnlacher were not yet led to this effect. Tbvfl chairman bastian bieberbach: "so far nobody from frohnlach has contacted me. But we are always ready to help and lend a hand". His frohnlach colleague ulrich kossak fears that hardly any players will remain and that the vfl will therefore have little to offer above the sports facilities.

But it is also being discussed whether it is possible to create a team consisting of "a few old vfl warhorses" exists, as tremel puts it. One such "stammtisch team could then compete in the lowest division of the game. "The complete withdrawal of the vfl from bavarian amateur football is also a possibility – that would really be the very last option", according to tremel, who agrees with his chairman that all variants must be discussed in detail in the near future.

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