A Big Year for Grünwalder Stadium
But there’s another stadium 18km away that deserves an honourable mention this year. A little closer to the city centre, not far from our training ground at Säbener Straße, Grünwalder Stadium is an old-school, unassuming ground. It was our home for almost five decades – the precursor to the Olymipiastadion, and later the Allianz Arena.
Our first team may have moved on, but this stadium is still very much alive, hosting not just one, but several of the city’s football teams. Within its grounds you can cheer on FC Bayern Munich II, TSV 1860 München’s first and second teams, and Türkgücü München. Until recently, Bayern Frauen also shared the pitch. What is very special about this year, is that they’re about to be hosting no fewer than an impressive – and unusual – three teams in the same league, thanks to Türkgücü’s promotion to the third league. Let’s have a look at those three teams:
To say that Bayern Munich II have had a big year would be quite an understatement. The newly promoted side took a little while to warm up in the third league, but by the second half of the season they were storming their way up the table, demolishing their competition week after week. Not content with just remaining in the third league, Bayern II have managed to finish the season at the top of the table. The top of the third league is the highest position a club’s second team may rise to in Germany, so this is an undeniable achievement for our boys in red. There have just been a few transfers in and out of the squad, so it will be interesting to see how the team play this coming season, with the injection of new blood, but also without notable players like Wreidt who scored an impressive 24 goals in 2019/20.
Türkgücü München has just been promoted to the third league. Formed in 1975 by a few Turkish immigrants who shared a love of football, Türkgücü’s short history has seen promotions, relegations, injections of funds, insolvency and finally a merger in 2009 which has seen the ambitious side go from strength to strength. In the past few years they have had quite a financial boost from a generous investor, but it’s still great to see what was a small community team 40 years ago become such a success story.
TSV 1860 München need no introductions – our geographically closest team have been our most bitter rivals for decades, the rivalry just as strong off the pitch in the years when the two clubs found themselves in different leagues. Die Löwen were once giants in the Bundesliga – from humble beginnings in a pub during the 1848 revolutionary period, they steadily became a prominent feature of German football, and in 1963 became one of the 18 clubs selected for the first Bundesliga campaign – an honour that was not given to our beloved Bayern. They finished this year in eighth position, four spots above where they were placed in 2018/19. It felt special this year each time Bayern II met them after a long time apart – there’s no atmosphere like a derby!
Grünwalder Stadium has been a firm fixture in the histories of the biggest teams in Munich, and this year will be no exception. The stadium that witnessed our first Bundesliga win, Gerd Müller’s record breaking year, and the making of Bayern Munich as an international force to be reckoned with is about to have another exciting year, with its occupants battling against each other for glory. If you get a chance to visit this stadium for a game after coronavirus is over, don’t pass up on it. It’s got an old-school, no-nonsense charm about it, and it’s filled with our history – and there’ll be more on-field action than ever to choose from.