analysis Krefeld Last summer, KFC Uerdingen had to put together a team at short notice. Since November, he had the opportunity to plan the next Oberliga season. Why the club is struggling with that this time too.
Two days before the end of the season, KFC Uerdingen is where it was most expected: in last place in the regional football championship. This is of course due to the team, which had to be put together at relatively short notice due to the insolvency proceedings which are now complete. The new board transferred the task to sporting director Patrick Schneider, but he had no experience in the regional league and not even in the senior sector. He likes to say that all this was “no alternative”. Training for the 2022/23 season, which starts on August 7, will begin in six or seven weeks. The fear that KFC are again not well prepared is not unfounded. A few reasons.
KFC lags behind: The team’s planning for the next Oberliga season has been progressing since November. Four new players have signed Uerdinger, one contract has been extended (see box). Patrick Schneider and coach Alexander Voigt assure that they are far in the talks. “Many have not yet signed a contract and with performances like the last, few will,” assures the manager. “We have spoken to the players we want to keep. We would like to have five or six with us. But we also have clear rejects who said in advance that they didn’t want to play in the Premier League.
KFC does not have a clear plan: A year ago, Schneider assured that he would focus above all on his own youth. It was of course daring, as if the A-Juniors of the Niederrheinliga could suddenly keep pace with the professional regional league. Not a single player from his own offspring was able to win. Moreover, Marcel Kretschmer is the only one to have come on a short-term permanent mission. Now (some) players from the Krefeld district have been signed for the upcoming season. But that’s not in the concept.
KFC is once again facing a major upheaval: The club are facing a difficult situation similar to a year ago. He will not approach the coming season with an adult team. This is a competitive disadvantage. Even if three or four players can be kept, a complete reconstruction is necessary. And more than a handful of players from the previous squad shouldn’t be retained.
Almost all players overestimate themselves: When signing up, the players assured Patrick Schneider that they were fit for the regional league and would help them stay in the league. This has been impressively refuted this season. Only a few have this idea. Only a handful of players have the format required for the fourth division. And chairman Damien Raths is absolutely right when he says it takes a regional league team to finish in the Premier League’s top three.
KFC must again pay the above rate: The Uerdingers were notorious for having to pay more than their third division rivals – a bonus for investors, so to speak. In the Oberliga too, the players want a better offer to be able to wear the shirt of the traditional Oberliga club. But it should be clearly related to table placement.
Fans and sponsors will not participate in another season like this: At the beginning, the supporters were happy that the existence of the association was assured. They also had a lot of patience with the team, which of course formed in a difficult situation. But even when a main sponsor supported KFC, many but only a few good players were signed. The traditional club has many loyal supporters and certainly has potential. But he must not try his patience, especially since otherwise – due to further sporting setbacks – confidence in the club’s new management will also decline. Football is a sport of results. KFC must deliver in the coming season.