Last sunday it was that time again for uwe hillenbrand. He put on his soccer shoes to play for his hometown club, spvgg munsterschwarzach. This was about the third start of the season for him. "My opponent," says the 47-year-old with a laugh, "has only just come out of the u19s." He meanwhile flirts about the subject.
"After me comes a giant leap in age, but i still get a kick out of it. The younger ones listen to you when you say something to them in the players’ meeting, and they don’t smirk like "what does he want?" Says the attacker, who still knows where the goal is. He scored nineteen goals last season, almost sending the spvgg’s second team into the A-class. Occasionally he even played in the first team. This season that should only happen in emergencies.
Uwe hillenbrand could feel like a living relic from munsterschwarzach’s glorious soccer past. When he first joined munsterschwarzach’s men, most of his current players had not yet been born. Fubballerisch it went at that time with the spvgg differently. "That was 1984, I was released from the youth team, we played in the district league," he remembers. Then it comes, the "then" that he wants to avoid. "I try not to talk about the past in the current situation. But those were different times, different worlds! At that time, we were the highest-ranked club in the district, a billboard," he says in retrospect.
Football greats like klaus and hubertus kieser, karl-heinz zehnder, jochen hiller and franz felix all played for the spielvereinigung. Hillenbrand compares the former district league with today’s national league in terms of status. At the time, he gave no thought to the A class, once the C class. "I once said that I never wanted to play in the C-class."He did it after all, because in the middle of the nineties the club was going downhill. In the year 2000, hillenbrand actually found himself in what was once the lowest league of the league.
Since 2010 munsterschwarzach is down again, in the A-class. Whether it’s going in the other direction again? It’s hard to say, says the computer expert, who works for a clothing company in blackach. Many things have changed. The football no longer has the importance for today’s generation. "15 years ago, all the towns had their own team, their own youth team. Today, the whole of schwarzach has to enter into a play association in order to have an A-youth team at all."
The priorities have shifted. "There’s a birthday, a wine festival, that comes before training," says hillenbrand. Fighting against this trend is useless. Today it only goes through spab. It is possible to get young people interested in soccer, but not only through sports. Changeable, moody is today’s generation – also in munsterschwarzach. "We had up to 35 people at training during the preparation phase, but sometimes there were only six or seven," says hillenbrand, who is one of three sports directors in the club. Despite these fluctuations, he sees potential to compete for promotion in the league again this season.
Coach thomas seidl not only does a good job professionally, he is also able to work well with the young players. "What we lack is the will to get the few percent out of ourselves, to overcome, even on bad days," says uwe hillenbrand. He also has an opinion on the subject of "a club for the whole of schwarzach". "From my point of view it would be the only right way to make a whole club for all sports."Whether hillenbrand will live to see this as an active fubballer, however?