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USB St. Bernhard – Chairman of the Board of Directors Engelmayer: “Our plus point is collectivism”

USB St. Bernhard – Chairman of the Board of Directors Engelmayer: “Our plus point is collectivism”

NÖN: At midseason, USV St. Bernhard/Frauenhofen 7th place – seven points above the relegation zone and seven behind league leaders Großweikersdorf/Wiesendorf. What is your balance for the fall semester?

Thomas Engelmayer: We are quite satisfied with our starting position for the spring season, we have a certain protection in the relegation positions and almost everything is still possible for the promotion. Given the way the season went, with some absences due to injuries, we completed a perfect fall season.

As is known, the second year after promotion is always the toughest – that doesn’t seem to be the case for St. Bernhard so far this season. Why not?

Engelmayer: We were well aware of this fact and so acted accordingly when planning the squad and signed three real reinforcements to our fighting squad in David Vasek, Robin Hrobar and Dominic Kraft. In this strong and balanced league, you simply need a wider squad than the first division team to be able to make up for the various failures.

At this stage last year, St. Bernhard had shaken up the league as a promotion team and become king of the winter – and in the end, that was enough for third place. Has the competition now shifted to St. Bernhard?

Engelmayer: Of course, we are no longer unknown and most teams act differently against us than they did in the first matches. But our advantage is still collective, everyone works very hard, both offensively and defensively. This means that it is not easy for any team to adapt to us 100%.

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St. Bernhard emerged as a real scoring machine in the fall, scoring 37 goals in their first 14 matches, making them the most dangerous team in the first half of the season. For comparison: that was nine more goals in one match than in the fall of the previous season. Why was the Saint Bernard so dangerous this year?

Engelmayer: Maybe this is because we are one of the strongest teams in this league. Our game is not geared towards a big striker like David Riester (Cotis, note), we act as a group and therefore have a number of dangerous players, which obviously always causes big problems for the opposing defensive departments.

The tally of powerful goals mentioned above were achieved despite the absence of strikers Michal Dučekal and Manfred Wimmer – and were spread across eleven players. Was the team, which also suffered numerous injury absences, a guarantee of success in the fall?

Engelmayer: In any case, a collective and broad team is the guarantee of success. In addition to the new signings previously mentioned, we can also look forward to a strong U23 squad, which managed to achieve third place in this year’s Autumn Tour. Some of the young players have already been able to show their talent in a few games with the team and have certainly helped make up for the numerous absences.

Coach Manuel Fettinger recently described the balance in the league as “tremendous.” In fact, there were always results that were not as expected and the league became very close. How did you realize that?

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Engelmayer: That’s definitely true, anyone can beat anyone here. If you have a bad day or can’t start with your top eleven due to injury, the grapevine in this league is pretty much up in the air. You must be able to give your best performance in every match so that you can score the necessary points.

The last question about the upcoming transfer period: Are there additions or departures?

Engelmayer: Given our initial situation, we see no need to take action. As always, we will keep our eyes and ears open, and if something promising comes along, we will likely act accordingly.