Need help finding football (soccer) team near Heidelberg for my 14 year old

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Greetings everyone!

 

My family of four is relocating to Heidelberg in January 2019 with my husband's job. We are working on getting the kids (I have an 11yo girl and a 14yo boy) into the local International school and we are securing an apartment in Heidelberg. We are all incredibly excited to begin our adventure! Everything seems like it is falling into place...except for soccer for my son. I need help.

 

My son is an athlete and very competitive. He plays multiple sports with school, but his love is soccer (football). He has played soccer since he was four and played competitively on travel teams since he was 7 (so for 7 years.) He plays games year round, has practices/team training 3 times a week, or if he's not with the team, he's in the yard juggling - so basically soccer is every day for him. His only stipulation and request with our relocation was that he wanted to train and play with a German football team. I have got to find him a team. (Our family's life depends on it! :D)

 

I have no clue what would be the best steps to take. Do I contact clubs? Should I contact clubs? Local sports recreation districts? Leagues? What is the best option for an American boy to play in Germany? My hope is that someone there (or here) will appreciate his love for the sport and point us in the right direction or give me some idea of what to expect or who we could contact that might be able to help. Please?

 

Thank you in advance!

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Just contact clubs. Most of them have the information about the teams and contact informationof the coaches online.

For example, SGK Heidelberg seems to have a large youth team selection and they also have more competitive youth teams. And its a short bike ride from the international school.

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Thank you! I have been searching the internet for different clubs and their profiles and was getting a little confused with the leagues and rankings, etc. It helps tremendously to have a starting point of what to look for.  I will definitely follow up on SGK Heidelberg. 

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Lucky you to be coming to Heidelberg!  It's a wonderful, beautiful place to live. 

 

There are many soccer clubs for kids your son's age in HD.  He's able to compete (and will get a player-passport) according to his year of birth - if he was born in 2004, he'll be playing at "C-Jugend" level.  Nearly all C-Jugend teams will be practicing at least twice a week (Mon-Fri, for 2 hours each time), or even 3 times (6 hours a week), plus games/tournaments on weekends. This schedule continues year-round, indoors and outdoors. (One of my kids is 2 years younger - at D level - and his team and ohters at that level practice at least 4 hours a week, some more than that). You can get data about the different Heidelberg clubs and their C-Jugend teams (including their place in their respective league according to autumn league tables, for instance) via this website.  That way you can weigh different criteria in your choice - proximity to home or school (as @vronchen wisely suggested) as well as record (if that's important to you), whether they have space for a player in your son's position, and so on.  The indoor season goes roughly from now until Easter (although since Easter is late this year the season might end before then).  And then outdoor again. (Note: even during the indoor season many teams continue to have at least some of their training hours outdoors.) Whatever club you decide to join will then apply to the Fussballbund for a player passport on your son's behalf; only once he has that can he participate in league play.  (He can practice before then, though for insurance purposes clubs will want to make sure he's a paid-up club member if he attends more than a couple try-out practices.)

 

There are also academy-teams run by Bundesliga clubs (e.g. Hoffenheim, which is relatively near HD).  If you think your son might be of that calibre you could always contact them and inquire about whether they would consider him.

 

Good luck! 

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p.s. re: your questions about how to do things once you have identified potential clubs: each club has a website including contact information for the C-Jugend coaching staff.  Get in touch with the C-Jugend coaches of as many individual clubs as might come into question in order to inquire about the possibility of your son joining the team (or at least coming to have a look-see or try-out) once he's on the ground here in HD. 

 

If your contact is via email, don't be surprised if you don't get a response for a while (or ever); Germans don't tend to favor email (even though they offer their email address as a means of contact, which seems kind of contradictory but there you go). If they think they have to respond in English it might delay their response even further, so if you do email them in English, mention in your mail that they're welcome to reply in German (which you can then google translate, if need be). That will increase your chances of getting a response sooner rather than later (or at all). 

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I experienced with gymnastics clubs in Germany that they do respond to your emails, but it takes a week or so. The reason is also that the coaches do this in their free time - its not their full-time job where they get paid for. If you do not get any response, look at the training times in the internet and just show up for training times and talk to the coach. 

 

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As @lieblingmentioned your son would be at C-Jugend (also callled C Junioren or U 15) age level.

Then there are different leagues. I think in your area and age group the leagues would be

Kreisklasse (Heidelberg)

Kreisliga (Heidelberg)

Landesliga (Rhein-Neckar)

Verbandsliga (Nordbaden)

Oberliga (Baden-Würtemberg)

Regionalliga (Süd-West)

Bundesliga (not for C-Jugend, starts at B-Jugend)

(leagues getting more competitive from top to bottom)

 

The more competitive teams will probably have try outs once or twice a year and might require that he has played at least in a specific league before. So, I would look for a club near by that has many teams for his age level and ask if he could join

training a couple of times to figure out if it is a good fit.

 

Here are some of the clubs near Heidelberg with many C Jugend teams:

SGK Heidelberg (top C Jugend team plays Verbandsliga, also C Jugend teams in Landesliga, Kreisklasse)

SV Sandhausen (top C Jugend team plays Regionalliga, also C Jugend teams in Verbandsliga, Kreisliga)

FC Astoria Walldorf (top C Jugend team plays Oberliga , also C Jugend teams in Verbandsliga, Kreisliga, Kreisklasse)

 

Maybe the international school has some insight (or knows someone who has) into the comparison between the league in the US your son played in and the leagues in Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, and if you want to find other teams you can just google a specific league and age group and look at the current table.

 

So for example

Landesliga Rhein-Neckar C Junioren => https://www.fupa.net/liga/c-junioren-landesliga-rhein-neckar/tabelle

Verbandsliga Nordbaden C Junioren => https://www.fupa.net/liga/c-junioren-verbandsliga-nordbaden/tabelle

Oberliga Baden-Würtemberg C Junioren => https://www.fupa.net/liga/u15-oberliga-baden-wuerttenberg/tabelle

 

That also gives you some idea how much traveling would be required during the season.

 

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16 hours ago, vronchen said:

For example, SGK Heidelberg seems to have a large youth team selection and they also have more competitive youth teams. And its a short bike ride from the international school.

 

From HIS ? It's at the other end of town virtually, with training at Sportzentrum Süd (outdoor) and both there and at various schools around Kirchheim (indoor).

 

Physically located closest to HIS would be TSV Wieblingen, with their outdoor training grounds next to the SRH college two tram stops away. Although in which area of Heidelberg OP would live then should be more important in my opinion...

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12 minutes ago, kato said:

 

From HIS ? It's at the other end of town virtually, with training at Sportzentrum Süd (outdoor) and both there and at various schools around Kirchheim (indoor).

 

I guess it depends on the definition of short bike ride ;)

For me, up to 30 min is still a short bike ride. And it is about 15 min from HIS to Sportzentrum Süd.

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