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Carl Zeiss Jena v Union Berlin "B" Match Thread :-)

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  • Yes, I remembered the name of Vorwaerts. Neither they nor Dynamo Berlin exist anymore, and I think Dynamo Dresden went under, only to be reformed. Lokomotiv Leipzig has gone too. You didn't want to travel to any of them on a cold dark night in February for a European Cup tie.

    Unless you were Bond, James Bond and planned to smuggle out a beautiful blond Russian defector in Bryan Robson's kitbag.

  • I remember hearing about Carl Zeiss Jena on Radio 2 football commentaries in the early eighties. Definitely a name.
  • I love Union Berlin. Superb football club.
  • edited March 2015

    I love Union Berlin. Superb football club.

    GHF says they have some links with some Charlton fans. We met a few before the game. We asked why on earth they travel down from Berlin to see the reserves. They were actually Jena based students. As you say, a superb football club. Rebuilt their stadium themselves. Might persuade GHF to write an article about them, he has all the stuff.
  • edited March 2015
    Right, some fotos from yesterday.

    GHF had brought some CAFC programmes with him. In the centre of Jena before the game, we spotted to our great surprise some Union Berlin fans, but as I mentioned above they turned out to be Jena based students. But they made themselves heard throughout the game, fair play to them (and there wasn't any segregation nonsense)
  • Then we accosted this happy knot of Jena fans, who now possess CAFC progs and seemed genuinely delighted to get them. No that is not Airman Brown sitting front right :-)
  • Seen a lot of stadia like this in Czecho. One big stand, the rest open. However GHF was aghast to see the floodlights had disappeared. They are a stadium icon, the tallest floodlights in Europe at one time. But fear not, all was explained to us later. There are Plans for the Ernst Abbe Sportfeld.....

    I'll pretend that I deliberately included that loudspeaker on the left in the shot, and will return to that later...
  • edited March 2015
    Jena too lies in a valley. These hills provide a backdrop which beautifully echoes the seasonal changes. The stadium zone is part of a vast green area stretching nearly 2 kms from the centre, and is known as Paradies. The club have gleefully adopted the slogan "At Home in Paradise", and the Coldplay song inevitably features pre-match
  • well it was a good win, but GHF and I were bit surprised by the extent of the celebrations. First they went to the Sudkurve where their Ultras stand....Note that banner in front of the fence. It translates as "Uncompromising and Not For Sale"
  • Then they went along the middle section shaking hands with fans there...
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  • before making their way to greet fans in the main stand too, some of them had extensive chats with some fans.
  • And here it is presented to Andreas Trautmann, the press officer. Andreas told us he was going to make sure RD saw both the poppy and the letter, because, he said, he is sure that RD shares the values behind GHFs words about reconciliation across Europe, and has hinted that this is one reason why he has a pan European network of clubs.
  • Well done GHF
  • Well GHF hadn't finished with the donations. Here he is presenting a range of other reading matter, including a programme or two, a Voice, and a TNT. Looking on is Cristoph, he's the marketing manager. Both absolutely top guys living and breathing their club, and football generally. GHF asked Andreas if the club has competition from other spectator sports. No, he replied, looking puzzled. No ice hockey here. OK there's rugby filed over there, but Andreas treated it as being about as much competition as the local Pilates class. For Germans, he said, football is the sport. Football, football, football.
  • edited March 2015
    Christoph had a bitter sweet day. The attendance was down to his promotion. It was international Womens Day, so women got in for free. Attendance nearly double the average. But he had a bet on that they would break 5,000, at very good odds, and he fell just 80 odd short.

    As you enter and leave the stadium grounds, by the practice pitch on the right this hut is the Fans Projekt. Its the fans' bar and it is open after as well as before the game. This shot is taken after. So people are encouraged to linger and have another beer. They can also listen to the press conference, it is piped on speakers all the way down the path to where the hut is.
  • They took us inside the main stand to the dressing room. Here you can see the master plan for the demolition of Union. It's true that they did a good job on the Union wide men who looked as if they could be a bit tricky.
  • So this all came about because GHF had the idea to go over there and present them with one of the ceramic poppies from the Tower of London. And, BTW, he would have done this on his own, I just muscled in at the last minute. This is the letter he wrote to Jena....

    My utmost respect to you, GHF - a wonderfully constructed and eloquent letter.
  • And finally my moment of shame as I came face to face with evidence of FCC's glorious European adventures, mainly when they were losing finalists in the Cup Winners Cup in 1981
  • Just a great day all round, delighted for GHF, who went there and back by train. Completely changed my previous view of Jena as the funny little club at the bottom of the pecking order in RD's network. There's no reason why Jena could not support a Bundesliga 2 club, indeed that's probably where they see themselves, given their history. There's a lot more we learnt, but that's for another time and place. For now, we just want to introduce our comrades in Paradise!
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  • Just a great day all round, delighted for GHF, who went there and back by train. Completely changed my previous view of Jena as the funny little club at the bottom of the pecking order in RD's network. There's no reason why Jena could not support a Bundesliga 2 club, indeed that's probably where they see themselves, given their history. There's a lot more we learnt, but that's for another time and place. For now, we just want to introduce our comrades in Paradise!

    Sounds like Jena did you proud, as you two did Charlton proud. Great photos as well, Richard.
  • edited March 2015
    Great stuff, really enjoyed that (as someone with a non network standpoint)
  • Excellent to hear this and see the photos. Well done GHF - top man! And thanks for the reports Prague.
  • Great initiative fellas. But what we all want to know: did you score on the pitch?
  • We have been going over to watch union for 10 years now. The lads we meet up with helped rebuild the ground and there names are on a rather odd monument in the ground. Berlin has changed but union stay the same.
  • Great read and a superb jaunt by the sounds of it. Well done both.
  • Very well done to GHF for setting this up, in addition to all his "surprise packages" for far flung supporters. Had the honour of an early read of his letter, which is superb, and do hope it gets a reply from RD. Thanks to Prague for keeping him company (and out of trouble) and for the great photos. You must have both had a great time, hope there will be many more!
  • Echo HantsAddick's thoughts.

    GHF is a truly special guy who never stops thinking of ways to promote our Club. Since meeting him for the first time in Bartram's only a few months ago, I have the honour of calling him "friend" as does HA.

    A true Charlton Ambassador & a credit to our Football Club.


  • Warmest thanks to FF, HA and everyone else for your gracious remarks, and once again to PA, without whose involvement this whole affair would have achieved far less. You're all the best.
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Roland Out!