Round 1

Round Review: Round 1

Player of the Round:

Olarenwaju ‘Larry’ Kayode

Kayode (left) battles against Wolfsberg's Joachim Standfest during his side's 2:0 victory. (Picture courtesy of FK Austria Wien)

Kayode (right) battles against Wolfsberg’s Joachim Standfest during Austria’s 2:0 victory. (Picture courtesy of FK Austria Wien)

Kayode, who joined the Violets this summer from Maccabi Netanya for around €800,000, was a breathe of fresh air to watch this weekend. Austria Wien fans, who had spent much of last season despairing over lacklustre displays, were treated to a performance full of energy and passion. Although the 22-year old Nigerian failed to capitalise on various chances and score himself against Wolfsberg, it was his pace that earned Thorsten Fink’s side a first half penalty. Kayode is definitely set to be one to watch this season!

Goal of the Round:

Dominik Starkl, on his league debut for Admira, finishes past Michael Esser after a brilliant show of technique. (Video courtesy of Sky Sport Austria)

Picture of the Round:

Oliver Kragl & his teamates, plead in vain after Rapid's Philipp Schobesberger was brought down through on goal. It's not the first red card Ried have received against Rapid Wien... (Picture courtesy of GEPA)

Ried players plead in vain as referee Harkam reaches for his red card after Oliver Kragl brought down Philipp Schobesberger as the last man. It’s not the first red card Ried have received against Rapid Wien in recent seasons… (Picture courtesy of GEPA)

Story of the Round:

Mattersburg stole the headlines in the first round of the 15/16 season after a sensational 2:1 victory over reigning champions RB Salzburg. Ivica Vastic’s side were 1:0 up within 16 seconds of the game starting thanks to Markus Pink and secured the 3 points after Alexander Ibser’s last-gasp goal. The newly promoted side constantly tested Salzburg with their pace on the counter and their defensive durability. Pink, Karim Onisiwo and Patrick Farkas arguably impressed the most.

Full Results:

SV Mattersburg 2:1 RB Salzburg
SV Grödig 2:1 SC Rheindorf Altach
SK Rapid Wien 3:0 SV Ried
SK Sturm Graz 1:1 FC Admira Wacker
Wolfsberger AC 0:2 FK Austria Wien

Final Word:

SK Rapid Wien were in a generous mood this weekend as they announced that they were inviting 160 refugees to their league game against SV Ried. Christoph Peschek, Rapid’s Sporting Director said “In our history as a Worker’s Association, we want to be there for the most vulnerable.” More can be found here: (https://www.facebook.com/DiakonieFluechtlingsdienstAT?fref=photo).

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Season Preview

My Austrian Bundesliga 15/16 transfer review and predicted league table:

With the new season only days away, I decided to take a look at what each side has been up to this off-season and list who I think has been their best signing. I’ve picked players based upon who I think could have the biggest ‘positive’ impact on the side, although I realise this won’t always be the ‘best’ new player who has been brought in!

FC Admira Wacker

Dominik Starkl

Dominik Starkl (left) alongside Admira manager Oliver Lederer (photo courtesy of admirawacker.at)

Dominik Starkl (left) alongside Admira manager Oliver Lederer (picture courtesy of admirawacker.at)

Starkl joined Admira on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Rapid Wien. The 21-year old, who is known for his wing-play and dribbling abilities, can also play in attack, but this tends to be as a deep-lying forward or as a false-9. Starkl struggled to adapt from the Rapid II’s to the Rapid senior squad – he scored 27 goals and assisted 8 times in his 66 appearances for the II’s, but this has translated to a measly 3 goals and 7 assists for Rapid Wien in 47 appearances. However, it is clear he has talent in abundance, with 18 goals in 19 appearances for Sankt Pölten’s U-18 side, before he was snapped up by the Wien club. For Austria he has played for the U-18s, U-19’s and has 5 caps for the U-21’s and a strong year in Admira could put him back in the international frame. For a team that only scored 32 times last season though, big things are expected of Starkl in 15/16.

FK Austria Wien

Ognjen Vukojević

Ognjen Vukojević appearing on Viola TV after recently joining the club (picture courtesy of fk-austria.at/youtube)

Ognjen Vukojević appearing on Viola TV after recently joining the club (picture courtesy of fk-austria.at/youtube)

31-year old Ognjen Vukojević joined Austria Wien on a 2-year deal with an option of a further year from Dynamo Kiev. The defensive midfielder had been on loan at Dinamo Zagreb for the 14/15 season, a team he had signed for in 2006 from Belgian side Lierse SK. An international veteran with 54 caps (4 goals) for the Croatian team, Vukojević will more than fill the gap of the outgoing Australian midfielder, James Holland. Austria Wien were once again disappointing in the league, finishing 7th with a goal difference of -6, so it is hoped that Vukojević, with his experience, will be able to shore up the Violets in midfield. In the 14/15 season, he struggled to cement a starting place at Zagreb, but he did captain the side on occasions. Alongside other arrivals such as Richard Windbichler, this is exactly what this under-performing club needed.

SV Grödig

Christian Derflinger

Christian Derflinger posing beside Grödig manager Christian Haas (photo courtesy of sv-groedig.at)

Christian Derflinger (left) poses beside Grödig manager Christian Haas (picture courtesy of sv-groedig.at)

Derflinger joined a depleted Grödig side on a free from Hamburg II’s. The 21-year old Austrian who started his career with LASK/Pasching was snapped up by FC Bayern in 2008 but never made it out of their youth sides. In the 14/15 season, following a move to Hamburg, Derflinger made 27 Regionalliga Nord appearances scoring twice and assisting 3 times. Despite not representing any Austrian international sides since 2012, 2015 marked a breakthrough year for the attacking midfielder on the international stage, as he made 2 appearances for the Austrian U21’s, scoring and assisting on debut against Bulgaria. 15/16 should bring Derflinger plenty of opportunities and during pre-season he has already established himself as a key player for Peter Schöttel’s side. With Venuto on the left and Derflinger on the right, his arrival will not only revive the career of veteran striker Roman Wallner, but it could go some-way in filling the massive hole left by the likes of Philipp Huspek and Stefan Nutz.

SV Mattersburg

Mario Grgic

Grgic in action during his time with SV Kapfenberg (photo courtesy of laola1.at)

Grgic in action during his time with SV Kapfenberg (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Mario Grgic, now 23-years old, joined Mattersburg on a free from SV Kapfenberg, whom he played for over 100 times, scoring 11 times and assisting 21 times from central midfield. Despite never earning a cap for Austria at any level, he established himself as a key player at the club, particularly in his final season with the Hawks, scoring 4 and assisting 9 times, helping them finish in very respectable fourth place behind only Liefering, LASK and his new club. Grgic may struggle to establish himself in the starting XI under Ivica Vastic this season, given how strong the side appear to be in the centre, with Prietl and Sprangler already vying to start alongside the omnipresent Jano. But Grgic is improving year and year and will be hoping to help Mattersburg replicate the third placed finish achieved by newly promoted Altach last season.

SK Rapid Wien

Stefan Nutz

Nutz (left) alongside other Rapid Wien signings (picture courtesy of APA/HERBERT P. OCZERET)

Nutz (left) alongside other new Rapid Wien signings (picture courtesy of APA/Herbert P. Oczeret)

Rapid fought off plenty of foreign competition in order to secure the signature of 23-year old Stefan Nutz from SV Grödig. Following the departure of top-scorer Yordy Reyna to RB Leipzig, it was Nutz who took the reigns, steering his side to eventual safety, after a 6-game losing streak in early spring. The central midfielder, who joined Grödig from Grazer AK in 2012, scored 6 goals and assisted an impressive 12 times in his 33 Bundesliga appearances in 14/15. In particular, Nutz is a midfielder who is just as dangerous from open play as he is from a set-pieces, with his free-kick ability arguably only second in the league to Jonathan Soriano’s, although Steffen Hofmann may not agree! With the ageing Hofmann unable to play as regularly as he used to, Grahovac, Schwab and Schaub are all fighting to get as much game time as possible in midfield, ensuring Nutz will have to continue impress in order to stand-out to coach Zoran Barisic.

SC Rheindorf Altach

Dominik Hofbauer

Hofbauer in action against his new side last season (photo courtesy of GEPA pictures)

Hofbauer in action against his new side for Wiener Neustadt last season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures)

Hofbauer has proven himself to be a very good Bundesliga player after joining Neustadt last season from Sankt Pölten. Despite being relegated with Neustadt, his performances earned him a 2-year contract with Altach, who are set to battle Vitoria (Portugal) in the Europa League next week. Hofbauer is a live wire in midfield and has shown his versatility, contributing with both goals and assists from various positions. The former Aston Villa U-21 player will be expected to soften the blow for Altach after the loss of Ismael Tajouri (4 goals and 6 assists) to Austria Wien at the end of last season. If all goes well, Hofbauer will be hoping to guide Altach to back-to-back European qualification campaigns.

SV Ried

Fabian Schubert

Schubert in action as a trialist for Ried (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Schubert in action as a trialist for Ried (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Fabian Schubert joined Ried on trial this summer from BST Völkermarkt before signing a 1-year contract with an option of a further two years. The 20-year old striker showed lethal form throughout the 14/15 season scoring 25 goals in 27 games in the Kärtner Liga, giving him a final record with the club of 56 goals in 102 appearances. Since his arrival at Ried, he has contributed with goals, albeit generally against lower opposition and at the weekend scored once and assisted twice in Ried’s 15:0 win in the Samsung Cup 1st round. Although Schubert is unlikely to be a starter under Kolvidsson, he has very little to lose and everyone will be hoping he can prove himself at the top-level in Austria.

Red Bull Salzburg

Reinhold Yabo

Yabo speaks to journalists at a Salzburg press (picture courtesy of skysportaustria.at)

Yabo speaks to journalists at a Salzburg press conference (picture courtesy of skysportaustria.at)

Yabo joined Salzburg on a 3-year deal from Karlsruher despite heavy speculation he would make his way to a German Bundesliga side. The central midfielder has proved to be a mainstay for Karlsruher over the past two seasons, contributing 7 goals and 5 assists in this time and despite only turning 23 in February, he is expected to bring some much-needed experience to a young Red Bull side. Yabo has shone throughout his career earning over 50 caps for Germany up into U-20 level and he now has the opportunity to help Salzburg to a potential third title win in a row. More importantly, new coach Peter Zeidler will be hoping Yabo can push Salzburg into the all-important Champions League group stages. Despite his potential, a re-occurring knee injury has disrupted his pre-season with the side, however, injuries aside he should become a key cog in the Red Bull machine.

SK Sturm Graz

Michael Esser

Esser (centre right) with other Sturm new signings (picture courtesy of GEPA)

Esser (centre right) with other new Sturm signings (picture courtesy of GEPA)

Michael Esser’s arrival at Sturm Graz, was one of the biggest coups of the off-season. During his time at VfL Bochum, Esser had established himself as a top keeper at 2.Bundesliga level, pushing Andreas Luthe all the way for a starting spot. Despite Christian Gratzei providing some solid performances in spring, the 33-year old was not the long-term solution with the Blackies aim to be pushing for Europa League qualification every season. With Benedikt Pliquett also leaving the club, the only other goalkeeping alternative was 18-year old Tobias Schützenauer. Thus, the arrival of Esser has been greeted gleefully by the club, whom he signed for on the basis he would be the number one goalkeeper. I expect he will be a success and he should contribute heavily as Sturm push for a top-2 finish in 15/16.

Wolfsberger AC

Philipp Hellquist

Philipp Hellquist trains with his new side during their pre-season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/Daniel Goetzhaber)

Philipp Hellquist trains with his new side during their pre-season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/Daniel Goetzhaber)

Similarly to Dominik Hofbauer, Philipp Hellquist joined Wiener Neustadt in the spring last season and despite getting relegated, did enough to impress other clubs in the league. Wolfsberger AC signed Hellquist on a 2-year deal after the former Sweden U-21 striker scored 4 times in 12 games, in what was a struggling Neustadt side. During his time in Austria, Hellquist has shown his predatory skills, including his eye for goal from set-pieces and his ability to finish with finesse, something he has already shown Wolfsberger fans after a fantastic finish against Schalke in a recent friendly. With the Wolves scoring the third fewest goals in the league last season, behind only Admira and Neustadt, Dietmar Kühbauer will be hoping that Hellquist will contribute not only in the league but also in their quest to qualify for the Europa League group stages (although this maybe asking a lot as they will face Dortmund in the next round if they beat Shakhtyor Soligorsk!).

My 15/16 prediction:

1. Red Bull Salzburg (Top scorer: Jonathan Soriano)

2. SK Rapid Wien (Top scorer: Robert Berić)

3. FK Austria Wien (Top scorer: Alexander Gorgon)

4. SK Sturm Graz (Top scorer: Donis Avdijaj)

5. Wolfsberger AC (Top scorer: Philipp Hellquist)

6. SC Rheindorf Altach (Top scorer: Martin Harrer)

7. SV Mattersburg (Top scorer: Markus Pink )

8. SV Ried (Top scorer: Clemens Walch )

9. SV Grödig (Top scorer: Benjamin Sulimani)

10. FC Admira Wacker (Top scorer: Dominik Starkl)

GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram

GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Scouting

PFSA Scouting Course Weekend

Over the 20th/21st June, I had the opportunity to attend the Professional Football Scouting Association’s monthly course in Accrington, Lancashire. The course, which is accredited by the NCFE, took place between 9am-4pm in The Globe Centre and attendees included former Manchester City striker, Shaun Goater.

The full group pose for a photo at PFSA headquarters.

The full group pose for a photo at PFSA headquarters. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

Day 1.

Attendees were greeted by the Director of the course, Purves Ali and were immediately made to feel at ease. Not long after, the group were introduced to Dean Whitehouse, an Academy coach at Manchester United, who led us through the opening day’s proceedings.

Following a brief ice-breaker, Dean took the group through various topics concerning Talent Identification, touching on issues such as ‘what is talent?’ and ‘what are the key indicators of talent?’- all of which often led to further discussion and debate amongst one another. The group were then briefly introduced to Manchester United’s Head of Recruitment, Derek Langley, who highlighted the differences of a player wanting to be a footballer and those hopefuls who need to be a footballer and his experiences with players who lacked the desire to become a professional.

Dean Whitehouse in action with one group during the opening day of the PFSA course

Dean Whitehouse in action with one group during the opening day of the PFSA course. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

The group went on to discuss how talent programmes can be set up and managed and the various pitfalls that can occur if not done effectively. The day was rounded off with details into the legal aspects of being a youth scout.

My group and I presenting what talent indicators we would look for in an age 12-16 winger

My group presenting what talent indicators we would look for in an age 12-16 winger. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

Day 2

The final day was led by the experienced Alan Jeffers, who is perhaps best known for his youth work surrounding soccer in New Jersey, USA.

Alan got stuck straight in by leading the group through how a scout is to present his reports, both for individual players and teams. The group considered what makes a good report and how these reports can be tailored for not only different age ranges, but also to different line managers who want their reports presented a certain way.

Coffee breaks were a perfect excuse to network with one another.

Coffee breaks were a perfect excuse to network with one another. (Picture courtesy of the PFSA)

The group were then asked to produce their own report of a well known international player and a brief match report of a game that took place in the World Cup in 2014. Before attendees jetted off home to various locations across England and abroad, Dave Hobson (representative of the PFSA) and Purves, took time to de-brief individuals on their performance across the weekend.

All that was left was an obligatory selfie with Shaun Goater!

Say cheese! Shaun Goater and I

Say cheese! Shaun Goater and I.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 36

Round Review: Round 36

Player of the Round:

Louis Schaub

Louis Schaub was back to his best for Rapid Wien against Wolfsberg as he helped set up a 5:0 away win for his side (picture courtesy of Sky Sport Austria)

Louis Schaub was back to his best for Rapid Wien against Wolfsberg as he helped set up a 5:0 away win for his side (picture courtesy of Sky Sport Austria)

After a metatarsal injury and Philipp Schobesberger in imperious form, Louis Schaub could have been forgiven for trying to put this season behind him. Instead, the attack-minded midfielder scored twice to help thump Wolfsberg 5:0 away from home.

Goal of the Round:

With Admira knowing that a victory would be good enough to keep them in the Bundesliga, Toni Vastic’s composed finished ended what had been a frustrating season for the striker, on a high note. The 22-year old came off the bench to squeeze the ball past Cican Stankovic when through on goal.

Picture of the Round:

Sturm fans celebrate their side qualifying for the Europa League ahead of the final game of the season (picture courtesy of Laola1.at)

Sturm fans celebrate their side qualifying for the Europa League ahead of the final game of the season (picture courtesy of Laola1.at)

Controversy of the Round:

The manager merry-go-round was in full swing early into the week as relegated Neustadt’s manager, Helgi Kolvidsson, was promptly poached by SV Ried, who had been deserted by Oliver Glasner the previous week. Kolvidsson had been linked with St. Pauli in Germany, but after a gutsy tenure ended in vain with the blue and whites, many had hoped he would continue in Austria. Meanwhile, despite standing by his manager throughout the season, Christian Haas finally pulled the plug on Michael Baur’s reign with Grödig after only one season, as the side slipped a disappointing to 8th place finish. Haas was quick to appoint a successor for his side, who have been left depleted after the departures of key players Cican Stankovic, Marvin Potzmann, Ione Cabrera, Stefan Nutz, Tomi Correa and Philipp Huspek. Former Rapid Wien player and manager Peter Schöttel, who had most recently been used by Sky Sport Austria as a Bundesliga expert, was handed a 2-year contract with the club, as he looks to take them back to the heady heights of European football that Adi Hütter had brought the side in his one and only season in the top flight with them.

Ex-Ried coach Oliver Glasner locks hands with his successor Helgi Kolviddson during Ried's trip to Neustadt earlier in the season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/ Mario Kneis)

Ex-Ried coach Oliver Glasner locks hands with his successor Helgi Kolviddson during Ried’s trip to Neustadt earlier in the season (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/ Mario Kneis)

Full Results:

SV Grödig 0:1 FC Admira Wacker
FK Austria Wien 1:1 RB Salzburg
SK Sturm Graz 0:0 SV Ried
Wolfsberg AC 0:5 Rapid Wien
SC Wiener Neustadt 0:1 SC Rheindorf Altach.

Final Word:

The 14/15 Austria Bundesliga finally came to a close with the top 5 sides qualifying for Europe after RB Salzburg were able to beat Austria Wien 2:0 in extra-time, in the Samsung Cup final in midweek. Salzburg and Rapid Wien qualified into the Champions League, while Altach, Sturm and Wolfsberg will all be representing Austria in the Europa League qualifiers. It was a fantastic season with twists and drama, and it was an absolute pleasure to follow.

The final Bundesliga 14/15 table

The final Bundesliga 14/15 table

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 35

Round Review: Round 35

Player of the Round:

Cican Stankovic

Cican Stankovic (goalkeeper) sprawls to save Deni Alar's penalty in vain (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/Christian Ort)

Cican Stankovic (goalkeeper) sprawls to save Deni Alar’s penalty in vain (picture courtesy of GEPA pictures/Christian Ort)

Cican Stankovic is the best goalkeeper in Austria. The 22-year old has had a fantastic season and in doing so, earned himself a move to Red Bull Salzburg, where he is set to go straight in as their number one. Unsurprisingly, Stankovic was in scintillating form against Rapid Wien, in a game that neither side had much to play for other than pride. But despite two late penalties for the club from Vienna, Stankovic stole the show, making save after save- much to the annoyance of striker Philipp Prosenik and later 24 goal-Robert Berić. The goalkeeper is set to be honoured ahead of the game against FC Admira by Michael Konsel as the best goalkeeper in the league this season.

Goal of the Round:

Picture of the Round:

The Neustadt team surround Alexander Harkam after their side conceded a penalty away at Rapid Wien in what was a crucial game for the side in their fight for safety (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

The Neustadt team surround Alexander Harkam after their side conceded a penalty against Rapid Wien in a crucial game as they continued to fight for safety, Hofmann hit the bar from the spot as the game finished scoreless. (picture courtesy of laola1.at).

Controversy of the Round:

In a bizarre turn of events, Oliver Glasner, now former Ried head coach, agreed to become the new LASK head coach and sports director on a 4-year contract. Glasner as a player, racked up an incredible 516 appearances for Ried, therefore his decision to move to local rivals whom he played for 3 times before a serious knee injury, came as a shock for many. Ried manager Stefan Rieter, in an interview with Laola1 said that “not only was I surprised, I was shocked”. Glasner had been in talks with the club to extend his contract to 2016, but after a move such as this, bridges between Glasner and the club could well be completely burned.

Glasner seen on the sidelines for Ried as recently as this weekend against Austria Wien (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Glasner seen on the sidelines for Ried as recently as this weekend against Austria Wien (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Full Results:

FC Admira Wacker 1:2 SK Sturm Graz
SK Rapid Wien 0:0 SC Wiener Neustadt
RB Salzburg 3:0 Wolfsberger AC
SC Rheindorf Altach 2:0 SV Grödig
SV Ried 0:2 FK Austria Wien

Re-arranged game:
SV Grödig 0:2 SK Rapid Wien

Final Word:

Following Felix Magath’s U-turn as he decided not to become Austria Wien’s new manager, Franz Wohlfahrt wasted no time in finding their next candidate. Step forward Thorsten Fink. The 47-year old German, who has experience with the likes of Basel, Hamburg and APOEL, signed with the Violets on Wednesday to take charge of the club next season, on a 2-year deal. On his introduction to the press, Fink claimed “I am grateful for the opportunity to be the coach of this great club” and “I wanted no buyout clause, I want to work in the long-term”. The appointment has been met with positivity after a season in which Austria Wien can only finish as high as 6th in the league and will be trophy-less if they fail to beat RB Salzburg in the Austrian cup final on Wednesday.

Thorsten Fink's appointment received two-thumbs up from Austria fans (picture courtesy of imago/MIS)

Thorsten Fink’s appointment received two thumbs-up from Austria fans (picture courtesy of imago/MIS)

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 33, Round 34

Round Review: Round 33 & 34

Player of the week:

Thomas Fröschl

Thomas Fröschl celebrates one of his three goals against Rheindorf Altach in midweek (picture courtesy of  Presse photo Scharinger)

Thomas Fröschl celebrates one of his three goals against Rheindorf Altach in midweek (picture courtesy of Presse photo Scharinger)

Fröschl, now 26 of age, scored Ried’s quickest hattrick in Bundesliga history- 16 minutes. Ried went on to demolish Altach 4:1, giving them four points of breathing space over Austria Wien in 6th place. The striker, who has solely been used as a substitute throughout the season, has now scored 8 goals in only 882 minutes of action this season, joining the likes of Robert Berić (111 minutes per goal) becoming one of the league’s most efficient goal-getters in front of goal. However, with the likes of Clemens Walch returning from injury and Julius Perstaller often sharing minutes with Fröschl, he may continue to struggle for game time in a Ried shirt.

Goal of the week:

Picture of the week:

Rapid Wien unveil their new home kit (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Rapid Wien unveil their new home kit (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Controversy of the week:

After the fall-out of Martin Hinteregger’s red card that Manuel Schüttengruber incorrectly awarded the Austrian international, the League Senate decided to reverse the decision. It was the first time since the 2001/02 season a red card had been rescinded, but the decision was met with heavy criticism, with Red Bull sceptics claiming the League needed to be consistent as other questionable decisions had not been reversed in the past. As far as Schüttengruber goes, he was hounded by Adi Hütter, with the Red Bull manager suggesting he should find a new profession, whilst public criticism forced the referee to delete his social media profiles. The referee was subsequently given the rest of the season off.

Full results:

Round 33:

SC Rheindorf Altach 2:2 RB Salzburg
FC Admira Wacker 0:0 SC Wiener Neustadt
SV Grödig 3:2 SV Ried
Wolfsberger AC 1:0 SK Sturm Graz
SK Rapid Wien 4:1 FK Austrian Wien

Round 34:

SV Ried 4:1 SC Rheindorf Altach
FK Austrian Wien 0:1 FC Admira Wacker
SK Sturm Graz 0:0 RB Salzburg
SC Wiener Neustadt 2:0 Wolfsberger AC
SV Grödig P-P SK Rapid Wien (postponed due to heavy rainfall).

Final word:

Philipp Schobesberger continues to impress and the winger who won the goal of the month for April, achieved a record no one would have guessed at the beginning of the season. After opening the scoring in the 313th Wien Derby, Schobesberger equalled Hans Krankl’s record of scoring in 7 consecutive league games. However, the 21-year old will have to wait until this weekend to try and break the record due to Rapid Wien’s game against Grödig being called off due to heavy rain on Wednesday.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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Round 32

Round Review: Round 32

Player of the Round:

Robert Berić

Robert Berić after winning "Rapidler of the year" with 35% of the vote back in February (picture courtesy of skrapid.at)

Robert Berić after winning “Rapidler of the year” with 35% of the vote back in February (picture courtesy of skrapid.at)

The 22-goal Slovenian played a huge part in turning around Rapid Wien’s fortunes last Sunday against Rheindorf Altach. With his side 1:0 down, with little over 10 minutes to play, the striker was able to score twice in a matter of minutes. The win, which was rounded off superbly by Philipp Schobesberger gives Rapid a fantastic chance of making the Champions League qualifiers next season, as they lie 4 points ahead of Sturm Graz with only 4 games to play.

Goal of the Round:

Denis Thomalla, not for the first time this season scores a well-taken set-piece. The German striker, on loan from RB Leipzig has now scored 9 goals for SV Ried in 14/15.

Picture of the Round:

Jonathan Soriano (left) celebrates with Marcel Sabitzer during their 4:0 victory over Admira. The pair have been in lethal form this season with 47 goals in the league (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

Jonathan Soriano (left) celebrates with Marcel Sabitzer during their 4:0 victory over Admira. The pair have been in lethal form this season with 47 goals in the league (picture courtesy of laola1.at)

 

Story of the Round:

Rumours picked up speed over the course of the weekend and into the week as Austria Wien continue to search for a permanent manager next season. Following an apparent snub from former Schalke and Hamburg boss Mirko Slomka, the club appear to be warming to the idea of bringing in Felix Magath. The 61-year old has been unemployed since his infamous spell at Fulham came to an end and would definitely appear to be somewhat of a risky choice, with his career-peaking moment continuing to be winning the double with Bayern back in 2004 and 2005.
During the week, Austria Vienna also announced plans for the expansion of the Generali Arena. The plan is to increase the capacity to 17,500, with work to be completed by July 2018 – training and academy facilities are also set to be expanded.

The proposed future Generali Arena in 2018 (picture courtesy of fk-austria.at)

The proposed future Generali Arena in 2018 (picture courtesy of fk-austria.at)

Full Results:

FK Austria Wien 0:0 SK Sturm Graz
RB Salzburg 4:0 FC Admira Wacker
SV Ried 4:0 Wolfsberger AC
SC Wiener Neustadt 2:4 SV Grödig
SC Rheindorf Altach 1:3 SK Rapid Wien.

Final Word:

With the relegation battle in the Bundesliga set to reach boiling point with Admira hosting Neustadt this weekend, there was finally some good news concerning Admira. Following an appeal lodged by the South City side, who have officially unveiled Ernst Baumeister as their new coach for next season – as he holds the necessary UEFA A-licence, were granted the permit for the 15/16 Bundesliga season.

Admira General Manager, Alexander Friedl can now breathe a sigh of relief after his Admira side were granted a Bundesliga permit for next season (picture used under Creative Commons)

Admira General Manager, Alexander Friedl can now breathe a sigh of relief after his Admira side were granted a Bundesliga permit for next season (picture used under Creative Commons)

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment as always.

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