Home » Ried-Grazer AK: another decisive step towards promotion

Ried-Grazer AK: another decisive step towards promotion

by admin
Ried-Grazer AK: another decisive step towards promotion

Since football in Germany rests on Good Friday, I once again take advantage of the proximity to Austria to still be able to attend a match. Furthermore, there is Ried-GAK, a match between two teams who have long played in the Bundesliga Austrian, and they can both therefore count on a good audience and a very well organized fan base.

After a journey of about three hours and checking in at a hotel near the stadium, I can take a first tour of the nearby historic centre. Ried is a small town with only about 15,000 inhabitants, but it seems bigger as it is a city home to a fairly important fair. I walk for half an hour through the small streets to finally arrive at the “Hauptplatz”, the central square of Ried.

The streets armored by police cars and the large number of local fans already present outside the bars clearly indicate that today’s match is one of those red circle matches in this 2nd Bundesliga season, where teams with an organized fan base are very few .

About two hours before kick-off, a procession with around 2-300 ultras and local fans heads towards the stadium, accompanied by a large number of police and also monitored from above with a drone. Some torches are lit, the clapping is loud and well executed, even more so if we contextualize everything to a “simple” local second level football match. A few moments of tension when some GAK fans appear in a side street, but everything subsides quite quickly and the snake continues calmly until arriving at the stadium. Most of the ultras enter there immediately to prepare the choreography, at the same time the bus with the Graz fans also arrives, escorted by police vehicles to the entrance to the away section, so that there is no margin for a direct confrontation with the local fans.

Since the away section has already been sold out for days, around 2-300 visiting fans have bought tickets for the adjacent section, but they too are admitted without any problems. The GAK fan base is also growing strongly, also due to the sporting successes of its team and the increasingly solid expectations of promotion in Bundesligatwelve years after the bankruptcy and the restart from the lowest rung of the football pyramid in Austria.

See also  Women's uneven bars, Belgian star picks gold, U.S. makes mistakes, picks bronze, China ranks 4th and 7th_difficulty

In the end, the sector dedicated to them numbers around 7-800 units. At the start of the match they show a choreography with the central banner “GRAZ” and a flag covering the curve with a speech bubble whose text alludes to the pride of the capital of Styria: university city, city of art etc. The home curve, on the other hand, shows a curve covering flag raised from the roof depicting some hooligans, one of whom is holding a torch on top of which, a few minutes later, the flame of a real torch can be seen. The choreography is completed by many green flags and a banner with the writing “Eisern Ried” which refers to the slogan of Union Berlin (“Eisern Union” which translated more or less means “always strong as iron”, a motto deriving from the club’s working-class origins).

The quality of the support seems top class for both corners. Lots of torches lit by the home fans, lots of clapping and loud chants from the guests. It is also an intense match on the pitch between the fourth in the standings and the league leaders. At the beginning of the second half, the heads of the initial choreography were resumed in the guest sector together with another cartoon, this time ironic towards the small city of the fair: a Viking (an old symbol of Ried fans) lying unconscious on the ground.

In this one it is the Graz fans who light many torches throughout the second half. And when the league leaders finally manage to score the only goal of the evening and take another decisive step towards promotion, the chants are even louder and the celebration at the end of the match, with the team under the curve, already seems like a taste waiting of the real celebration at the end of May. In all of this, the home team never stops encouraging their team, the flags are always high and looking at the size of the city, the quantity, the qualitative impact of the ultras and also the general number of spectators, in any case their level can be considered remarkable.

Nothing to report after the match, except the monotonous noise of the drone hovering above the stadium, while I use the time I have left on this day at the end of March for a last walk towards the illuminated centre, where normality and silence return to regulate the rhythms of the city…

See also  Scattered considerations after Cluj-Lazio (0-0)

Jürgen De Meester

I like:

I like Loading…

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy