Setbacks after dream start for Bayern youth teams
Due to the first team’s USA trip the amateurs started into the season with mostly away games. Four wins and one draw was an outstanding record, which they weren’t able to uphold. At the end of August the derby was the first real test where Heiko Vogel’s team fought hard in nearly unbearable heat to claim a 0-0. However, this game left the impression that the opponent had the better game plan and was closer to getting the winning goal, especially towards the end. A hard-fought 2-1 victory over Rosenheim was followed by a 2-2 against Wacker Burghausen. Considering the spot in the table of this previously highly touted Burghausen side definitely a disappointment.
The first loss was conceded against VfR Garching. Without Niklas Dorsch, who was on a trip with the German under 19 national team, the game of the amateurs didn’t look very structured. Although wasting two or three huge chances, they just couldn’t bounce back after the hosts scored the opening goal. After another hard-fought victory against FC Memmingen, the following match was against the top favourites of SpVgg Unterhaching. The visitors, who have a squad that would probably even have a good chance on promotion in the league above (third league), were all over our team in the first half, but they missed several big chances before Sascha Bigalke scored with a wonderful chip at the start of the second half. With a lucky goal our captain Karl-Heinz Lappe equalised, a cross went into the far post with no chance for the keeper. Marco Hingerl scored the 2-1 lead to cap it all off, before Unterhaching was able to level the game again.
One cannot argue about the team’s will. Compared to previous years the team is a distinctive unit, the effort is always visible. After the two draws against Burghausen and Unterhaching you could notice the team was upset, although getting a point from the game against Unterhaching could definitely be judged as a success. A mentality, that’s very rare to see in the Bayern amateur teams. In the last few years too often they’ve lacked that edge and hunger for success. The team’s problems can be found particularly in offense. 19 goals in 12 games is a rather average record. In general the team doesn’t create many chances for a top team, additionally they frequently lack the necessary calm in front of the goal. As of today captain Lappe still doesn’t seem to have arrived in the possession based Bayern game. His small figure makes it hard for him to shield and distribute balls with his back to the goal.
As Heiko Vogel already mentioned before the season, promotion is an impossible goal for this season. SpVgg Unterhaching is filled with too much quality and will easily push through in the end, if no unusual things happen. Our goal has to be second place, to be ready just in case, if Unterhaching start to struggle for unfathomable reasons or they’re not granted the licence for the third league.
Our U19s started into the season with three wins. After two troublesome victories against Freiburg and Stuttgarter Kickers, the team of Holger Seitz convincingly won the derby against the blue neighbours with 2-1. A week later they pulled off a brilliant 5-2 win against TSG Hoffeneheim, who were considered the biggest rival for the league title. Subsequently they’ve lost three games in a row in the league. In the 1-4 loss against FSV Mainz, where the margin of defeat was fully deserved also, the team lacked all offensive and defensive quality. A week later in the top game at 1. FC Kaiserslautern they were dealt another loss ending 1-2, before suffering a woeful 0-2 defeat to the then last in the table Karlsruher SC this past weekend. Meanwhile, the team won in the Youth League with 4-2 against Rostov.
Although the team is blessed with stellar offensive talent, there lies the issue. The attacking play seems uninspired and without any surprise moments. The team struggles to create good chances. Too often the goals are a result of either a set piece (first two goals were won due to Marco Friedl scoring a direct free kick to give them the lead), an individual moment or a coincidence. In the Youth League against FK Rostov, a team that didn’t really seem to be competitive in the German junior Bundesliga, Bayern wasn’t able to create a single chance. The 2-1 lead was merely down to a wonder strike from 25 metres out by Shabani after the opposition keeper punched a cross from Friedl straight at his feet.
Furthermore, the team still doesn’t make the impression of being under oath. The moral is often fretful, especially when having a bad game the tone is very derogative. Consequently the team play doesn’t rarely looks as composite work. In the next days and weeks manager Holger Seitz is asked to lead the squad out of the crisis and still challenge for the league title. Everything else would be a big disappointment, considering the quality this team possesses.
Simultaneously to our U19s, our U17s were able to keep a clean slate at Hoffenheim, too. With an impressive 4-2 victory the team of manager Tim Walter set an example. A week later the highly rated Eintracht Frankfurt were also deservedly beaten with 2-0, who previously defeated our team in the final of the Bundesliga Cup in pre-season. In both games the team was stable in defence and playful in the offense, although too many good opportunities were missed and making it harder for themselves for no reason.
The first setback was suffered in the fifth fixture against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, who were in a relegation spot back then. Through individual mistakes the team was 1-2 behind after an initial lead, until Marcel Zylla first scored the 2-2 and afterwards had the chance to take the lead with a penalty. However, he missed it, already making it three missed penalties in five attempts this season. In injury-time our boys sadly conceded the 2-3 after Christian Früchtl misjudged a long and high ball horribly. This individual error shouldn’t hide the fact that other than that, Früchtl has been a safe and important support for the rest of the season. In the last game so far, the team came up in the derby against TSV 1860. After a poor start, where the “Löwen” missed two good chances after a counter attack, the team fought back well and got more dominant by the minute. A special set piece led to the opener through captain Mai shortly before the break. In the second half only the Reds were up for playing and extended their lead to 3-0, although the result could’ve been much higher in the end.
The weaknesses of the side are definitely in front of goal. Wrong decisions are made too frequently or good chances are being wasted. The quality on the bench massively declines as well. Most starting players couldn’t be replaced on the same level once they’d get injured. If the team is spared by bad luck with injuries, everything is still possible. Tim Walter’s side is in second place behind FC Augsburg, who they’ll meet in about three weeks, in the meantime they have to take care of business against last in the table Kickers Offenbach.
The U16s of FC Bayern coached by Danny Schwarz gathered seven points out of the first three games of the season, only dropping two points against the U17s of SpVgg Deggendorf despite being far superior. The team is playing without their top-class offensive players Jalen Hawkins (torn cruciate ligament) and Justin Butler as well as Marvin Cuni, who scored three times in the season opener. Further into the season our team has to play against the teams of SpVgg Greuther Fürth and 1. FC Nürnberg, which are a year older, so the league is full of high quality talent.
The U15s of FC Bayern can be happy about a successful start to the season, too. With ten points out of the first five games the team of Peter Wenninger is joint second with a few teams, excluding goal difference here. The result is even more impressive considering our team has already played three of the four best teams and will face supposedly easier tasks in the near future, apart from the game against league leaders Frankfurt who are yet to drop a point.
The newly formed U14s of FC Bayern with manager Alexander Moj won both of their first two games. In the U14s league, played in three thirds each 30 minutes long, the team won the opener 3-1 in the derby against the Blues. Followed by a 4-2 win against FC Augsburg in the second fixture. The U14s is the team that was reported about in the media this spring. Besides coach Moj several players from FC Augsburg came to FC Bayern.
Interesting and not irrelevant is taking a look at the city’s rival. Currently, FC Bayern is ahead of the Blues with all youth teams, from the U19s to the U9s. A good sign for junior scouting in the native region, showing it has drastically improved over the last years.