Bayern reserve head into the winter break
Not few outsiders repeatedly described the Bayern reserve as candidates for the title before the start of the season. When Hermann Gerland was introduced as the new youth academy, his goal was to be promoted to the third division.
Of course, before he knew that it would wash the TSV 1860 down to the Bavarian regional league two weeks later. From that point on, the lions put together a squad that is outstanding for a fourth division. Based on the young Under-23 team, which finished second in the previous season, they built up a powerful team with the second division players Sascha Mölders, Jan Mauersberger and the third division players Daniel Wein, Philipp Steinhart, Timo Gebhart and Markus Ziereis.
Tim Walter consistently stated that the official goal for the season was: “We want to win as many games as possible and bring the young talents forward”. No wonder, because the Bayern reserve went into the season with the youngest squad of all time.
Three outside additions were made: including Angelo Mayer as back up for the second addition, Derrick Köhn. The left-back came from the Hamburger SV, where it was told that they were a little surprised about FC Bayern’s interest in this player. However, the fact that Derrick Köhn has now been nominated by the DFB for the junior national team for the first time shows that there has not been any wrong scouting.
At the vacant centre forward position, the search for several experienced strikers was unsuccessful. FC Bayern were unable to reach a financial agreement with Anton Fink and Sascha Mölders, but it was only with Otschi Wriedt from VfL Osnabrück that the general conditions were met. After only a few hours in Munich without any training session he also scored in his first match in a red and white jersey.
The spectacular 2-1 win over the highly regarded team from Schweinfurt raised expectations. After all, the injury-stricken team won the match in a 3-5-2 system they hadn’t even trained before. With a central striker they only knew for a few hours.
Quickly it became clear that reality would look more laborious. At the narrow 3-2 in Eichstätt, Niklas Dorsch scored the late winner in extra time.
In Garching, Dorsch did not succeed in repeating this feat, despite a top-notch chance in the final minute – 2-2, and the team finally hit the bottom of reality when they lost to FC Pipinsried 0-1 at home. Against a promoted team where the coach is also a player and was thrown off the court after 70 minutes.
It was the most difficult phase of the season for the reserve, during which the team spent two weeks in England. At times, around ten injured players were occasionally joined by the permanent sending of players to games of the first team, including the “Traumspiel” and the “rescue game” in Offenbach.
Normal training operation was out of the question. The team of coaches had little opportunity to work on the weaknesses they encountered. So the team, which at that time consisted of only 13 or 14 fit outfield players, slid further and further into a low. A mixture of uncertainty and overload due to the lack of experience of the very young players.
The biggest blow was the 1-5 in Augsburg. Christian Früchtl was sent off in the seventh minute of the game as a result of an unnecessary action. However, despite a deficit and a shortage of players, the team did not give up and scored the equaliser they deserved. But after another goal conceded, everything went downhill. The 17-year-old Michael Wagner, actually a substitute goalkeeper for the Under-19s, was not to be envied at his forth division debut.
Rarely has a season of the Bayern reserve been as diverse and inconsistent as the current season. Outstanding games against top teams alternated with almost embarrassing point losses against relegation candidates. However, the team’s positive development has long since become undeniable.
Just in time came the two free weekends, which gave the reserve a break from international matches and a match-day off. With their head and legs rested, the young Bavarian team won 2-0 against the Club in Nuremberg and then 5-0 in Bayreuth. But the time for consistency was still too early, and from the following three games the team only gained a meagre point.
There was a great fear among the fans that the coming derby against TSV 1860 would lead to a real beating. No one expected to win, for everyone a draw would have been an honourable result. But the team’s performances were too volatile to enter the city duel with self-confidence.
After the 2-0 victory in Rosenheim, a very positive conversation between the team and the fans took place at the team bus. The perhaps decisive minutes for the excellent attitude with which the team played in the derby a few days later. The broad grin of Christian Früchtl, who was insulted by the lion fans when warming up, spoke volumes. The young Bayern team never seemed to be impressed by the not exactly friendly atmosphere. On the contrary, they were the more active and passionate team on the pitch. You will find a detailed game report on the historical derby victory here.
Afterwards the amateurs lost no more games, there were clear victories in Fürth (3-0), Unterföhring (5-2) and Buchbach (4-0). In the last eight games before the winter break, Tim Walter’s team clinched 20 out of 24 possible points. The triumph in the city duel gave the team the long-awaited self-confidence they needed in the defensive. At the same time, the cogwheels in the offensive also increasingly interacted better with each other, although Otschi Wriedt was absent from most of the games.
A special feature of the Bavarian fourth division is the long winter break of nearly three months. In order to fill this huge gap, the Bayern reserve are taking part in this year’s Premier League International Cup for the first time.
Here the reserve teams of the English teams and the second representatives of some international teams compete against each other. The first match was won by the Walter-Elf 1-0 against FC Reading’s Under-23s. The Bayern reserve (without Friedl, Köhn, Fein, Tillman and Wriedt), fought bravely against the Englishmen who had upgraded their team with players from their first team. Niklas Tarnat scored the golden goal for the 1-0 victory. According to Miasanrot information, it was his last goal in FC Bayern’s jersey for the time being, his transfer during the winter break is a done deal.
At the end of January the team travels to England again and then takes on the Under-23s side from Arsenal and the second team of FC Porto before heading for the training camp in Spain. Other high-calibre test match opponents are third division club Unterhaching as well as the Austrian second division teams WSG Wattens and FC Liefering. The first league match against VfB Eichstätt is currently scheduled for February 23rd. In terms of personnel, no external new additions have been planned recently, but the departure of Niklas Tarnat could not be the only one. However, it is quite possible that one or two other players from the Under-19s move up to the reserve.
The term “second half” is actually not quite accurate, as it started in November. Twenty-one games have been played, and the Bayern reserve still have 15 to play.
A gap of nine points to the top of the standings, but also one game less can currently be seen in the table. Though it is not impossible to get to the very top, it is not very likely. The recently strikingly weakened lions will come out of the winter break more confidently with their monster squad. At the same time our team is now more stable, but will still have to suffer some point losses.
It is also questionable whether all players will be available to the coaching team in the preparation phase. Köhn, Fein and Tillman were already in service on the Under-19s before Christmas. The Under-19s team will start into the second half of the season in January, so they may be allowed to claim them again. After the transfer of Sandro Wagner, Otschi Wriedt will probably be available to the reserve again. With Marco Friedl, this will probably depend on the personal situation of the first team.
Second place in the standings, which would be a respectable result for this young team, is within reach. Time will tell whether the lions will allow them to become a little irritating at the end of the day. And then everything starts all over again in the summer when numerous top performers leave the team. And the contract with head coach Tim Walter also expires in the summer. So there is a lot to do for those responsible.
In the second half of the season we are planning to publish a match report for almost every game of the Bayern reserve. We look forward to your feedback!