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Which football team to support

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Hi everyone, 

My family are moving to Berlin in a month. We have sorted removals, a flat, kindergarten places for our kids, storage for our stuff, a bürgeramt appointment, health insurance, and have a long list of insurances to get after we arrive. We are all working hard at learning German. So, we're pretty on top of things. 

 

To break up the drudgery of giving/selling/chucking most of our belongings to fit into small city flat, our thoughts have turned to what football team to support. We are keen fans in England - Fulham FC. My girls are getting very into it. So we want to be able to make family trips to support a team in Berlin, but we don't know which one to go for. It's odd being able to choose a team - usually they are thrust upon you by family history. Does anyone have any suggestions on which club is good for family trips to see games? We'll be in Pankow in case that makes a difference.

Thanks so much! 

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Well Darmstadt 98 obviously, if it's good enough for a certain Barack H. Obama...:lol:

 

Berlin is not a football city really.    The two league teams are not big crowdpullers often.  I go to both league teams from time to time (mainly to see my team playing and so as an away fan there but also other matches).   There are others.  I've always been a football fan and usually the expedient of whatever's nearest.   My Berlin base is near 1. FC Union and the local fan scene around that is certainly strong. 

 

Both are cheap for standing and Hertha is to sit (Union is extortionate for away fans, no idea of home) and, as is normal here, your travel is included, although neither are central (one out west towards Spandau, the other south east in Köpenick).    You can usually get tickets on the day, especially at Hertha because it's such a vast ground (although it means you can be with 30,000 but is less than half full and not much atmosphere).   An oocasional trip on a nice sunny day at the Olympic stadium, especially when your team wins :ph34r:, but you can find yourself a long way from the pitch.

 

They are different from a sportsfan perspective because of history.   Union's history is of East German football, which tends to be rather written out and is of a different track.    Last I was there, they were memorialising one of their rare internationals - a 60s GDR player, not someone stepping out for the West vs England in the famous 1966 Wembley final, and he'd won the GDR Cup, but that's gone, it's not the one recently won by Frankfurt.   Hertha's background is rather more familiar to western fans.  It's a history with Carl Zeiss Jena and Karl Marx Stadt, and that national team vying with Poland and USSR for Olympic gold, not Beckenbauer and Bayern and all of that.   I  am watching a sport with a different national history that I am in Darmstadt (although we do have GDR management to be fair), or even at Hertha.

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 @swimmerthank you so much for this kind reply. This is all very interesting. It seems both clubs are friendly enough for young kids. Hertha is vast and sometimes crowdless. Union is passionate but all standing and sometimes expensive. 

It's so strange to be choosing a team. It doesn't feel natural! Thank you again for your comprehensive response. 

 

@jeremytwo Ach we're not that kind of fooball fan. Fulham are far too gentle for any of that! 

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The other difference which is so obvious it went without saying is that they are in different leagues at the moment, a situ that may not change anytime soon.  Hertha will get you all the big names (such as they are here) and they recently became the first host for several years not to sell out Bayern.   Union have looked like they might make an impact in recent seasons at the upper end of league 2 but their form dropped off last year and they rather unexpectedly changed management again at season end, after a mid-season switch, so you might not put their chances of moving up so high.   It's tipped to be the hottest league 2 for a while though, possibly ever, with Hamburg and Cologne and some other strong rivals.  

 

Hertha are imho more attractive than for a long time (one viewing used to be quite enough to make sure the casual viewer did not go again for a long time) with quite a stable and effective coach and, reports suggest today, they will put out a very young team next year. 

 

You can sit at Union, the away prices for that just make you feel like you should get at least a throne :lol:.  So I paid 12 Euros for Union last time (standing), I think, and it was 15 for Hertha (seated) and they kindly gave us free drinks there :D.    Union are building a new stadium, and Hertha have long talked about moving out of the Olympic stadium but not sure that's finalised, so times will likely change for both soon.   

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Ha, a ticket to my team cost £40 a match last season and as we've just be promoted they'll go up the £60! 

I knew about the league differences. We are used to watching lower league football, which can sometimes be very exciting and occasionally a bit dull, so it doesn't put me off. Really we just want a team that would be a good day out for the kids too and fun to watch. And we didn't know if there were particular patterns to who supports which team, besides one being East and the other West. 

Thanks again!

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I would suggest initially going along to games of both teams, andthen making a decision based upon your experience.

 

BTW - welcome to TT!

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@robinson100 That is what we've decided to do, knowing now that both are happy prospects for family trips. 

 

Thank you! I hope that after some German life-learning I can be as kind and helpful to others on TT as you all are. 

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You cannot pick a football team to support; it picks you. No point in me trying to persuade you there's really only the FC St Pauli that's worth supporting (even though it is); you'll have to discover that for yourself.

 

Just get over here, follow football on the tv and maybe in person and then see what team draws you in.

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10 hours ago, Kattyface said:

And we didn't know if there were particular patterns to who supports which team, besides one being East and the other West. 

 

Union's the hipster one, if that's what you mean :lol:.  League 2 has all of them :D.  Both draw on suburban fan bases.  League 2 is often small scale here.  Although we have those two giants this year, and some bigger cities with substantial followings (like Pauli and Union), some of the games I went to in the south had under 10k.    This is not helped by size of the country, which is also why Hertha get smaller crowds for southern teams from small places.  (Augsberg and co will never fill the place unless Hertha are about to win the league).

 

Robinson's right, I really go because you get drawn in.   It is a lot of fun.  We also go to some away games when we can, not least as it's a very cheap (the travelcard usual covers the whole region), so it's a good way to see places.   The fixture list is out in the next couple days (league 2) and so we're waiting to start planning such as Magdeburg (promoted) and both Hamburg teams are in league 2 this year and that's not so far from Berlin (compared to my southern home at least).  

 

There is also non-league, we only have three divisions.  That's OK, I am one who's seen all leagues, we only recently got upwardly mobile :lol:.    I believe Viktoria Berlin (prime Tempelhof location) is being sniffed around by foreign investor sorts sensing a chance to set up a plastic club (not that this is so easy to do here) and there's also Dynamo Berlin, and their very dodgy past and many state-assisted championships "wins" .  That'd be your "local" in Pankow I think :o.

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Just to note that there's a considerable far-right whiff to Dynamo (even though better now than in the 90s)

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Hertha BSC wouldn't be bad in Berlin. They're currently 8th in Bundesliga. I'm sure you and your family will be very much entertained if you supported them. It's not only about winning but also about having fun.

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Doch!  Eisern Union - getting better this season (currently 4th), quaint stadium where you can bring your own furniture (on occasion :) ), totally dedicated fans and a great intro song: 

 

 

(not saying that I'm biased at all ...)

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We have family base there and indeed often see the away teams, who stay just down the street.  My team is due there soon and so these days I tend to be in the away end which is a blast because it's such a popular trip :lol:.   Lucky I made the effort to get tickets as soon they went on sale two days ago, as they are already unavailable (best part of 3k usually).   

 

It's not a big away sector and so we cram in and, while it may only be 12 Euro, I am not that tall and so don't usually see much for that.  I normally happily pay to sit but away seats are extortionate, over 40 Euro, for which one might expect some sort of throne, practically :rolleyes:.

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I’m new in Germany and I attended 2 games. One in Leipzig and the other was here in Berlin for Herta.

man Leipzig’s fans are AMAZING ?.. a lot of fun I had

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I've just been to the game I mentioned and really the Union experience is about as easy as football gets, and saying that as an away fan.   Easy to get to, and in and out of, very pleasant staff,  the cheapest refreshments anywhere probably, and you can be back on the main drag with the fan groups or chilling by the river in the old town in about 10 minutes :lol:.  

 

You could put a cross in a box for them not including transport but if feels grudging when the ticket is only 12 Euro and the coffee is 1.5.

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