In Hipster's Choice we choose a team of our liking and analyze it in many different ways regarding history, tradition and recent or current success. This month, Axel analyzes his rivals.
NOVEMBER: Kickers Offenbach FC.
Okay, so I'm in uncharted territory. This piece will prove to be more hipster than I have ever been before. I have written about a newly promoted succesful side in 3. Liga, I have written about Hansa Rostock and I thought that was überhipster. When I started "Hipster's Choice" and wrote about Arminia Bielefeld, that felt very hip, but this piece is certainly uncharted territory for more than one reason.
Welcome to this month's Hipster's Piece and this month I am going to tell the story of a team you've most probably not heard of before; Kickers Offenbach. This is though a sensitive area for me. As a Eintracht Frankfurt-fan, Offenbacher Kickers are the only fierce rivals and this Hipster's Choice will be about that rivalry and about some other fantastic stuff, I assure you.
Not far east from the metropole of Frankfurt am Main, the warmth of gentle merchant city Mainhattan, lies an industrial city that the Frankfurters call a suburb to the metropole. However, the people from this industrial suburb certainly think otherwise; they do NOT want to be associated with the lazy bankers from Bankfurt. Offenbach has a long story, as well as Frankfurt, and city's football team has a certainly interesting story to tell as well. Founded in 1901, just two years after Eintracht Frankfurt, the club was forged through a merger of teams in the city. Offenbach's footballing tradition has since lived on and the club found themselves in Bundesliga not too long ago. But, they've fallen from grace and are now placed in the fourth (!) division of German football, which makes them the joint most unknown team I've ever written about (KFC Uerdingen might just clinch it though).
In 1959, Kickers Offenbach were the only thing between Eintracht Frankfurt and die Deutsche Meisterschaft, a thing the Main city (obviously pun intended) along the river truly needed considering them being snubbed of becoming the capital and having just rebuilt the Römer Square in the city. Frankfurt's first Meisterschaft was close, but Kickers made things hard for them and Frankfurt had to get and score a very doubtful penalty to win the game and the Meisterschaft. This was Eintracht's first and still only Meisterschaft. This game made the already infected rivalry between Eintracht and Kickers even worse and they've since then been fierce rivals due to the location and Frankfurt's merchant spirit in contrast to the industrial Offenbach. Kickers kept on losing to Eintracht though. In 1963 when teams would be chosen for Bundesliga, Kickers should have been given a place, but instead 1860 München got it and snubbed Kickers of some Erstklassig glory. SInce then Offenbacher Kickers have been looking with jealous eyes at big brother from big town- Frankfurt.
Kickers Offenbach have been involved in a few scandals as well. The most remarkable one was the bribery scandal of 1971 where Horst-Gregorio Canellas (what. a. name.), the sporting director of Kickers Offenbach FC, accused a few players from Kickers' relegation rivals of bribing referees. The team accused, Arminia Bielefeld, was convicted, but by then Kickers were already relegated to 2. Bundesliga. They were part of the founding of 3. Liga, in which they played a few seasons after getting relegated to the Regionalliga Südwest, which they won two seasons ago, but couldn't beat the qualifiers to 3. Liga. They finished slightly lower last term, only managing a 4th placed finish. However, it is a team on the rise and for me as an avid Adler, that's good to see. It would be good to have some real regular derbies again so people can stop associating Mainz or Darmstadt with some kind of a fierce rivalry.
Why Hipster's Choice:
Kickers Offenbach is a club with a long and interesting history, it's a club that's rarely been a bystander, but have been involved with the most odd things. Even though they're placed in the fourth division, the Offenbachers still turn up to their games at the Sparda-Bank Hesse-Stadion and the club is on the surge and in search for revenge.
Midfielder Serkan Firat has this season celebrated one of his best. The Offenbacher no. 11 has scored six goals in 19 games for the club this season and has been one of their star performers. In midfield the hard-working Marco Rapp is also crucial when playing, his work-rate and stamina makes his colleagues on the pitch better. 22 year-old Dren Hodja has also been one of the best and most important this season. Technically astute and a good finisher is what makes him the stand-out performer in attacking midfield.
editor, co-founder and megaüberhipster.