Paderborn’s history is packed with ups, downs and scandal... and they won their opening friendly 20-0
- Credit: Archant
Ahead of Ipswich Town’s opening pre-season game against SC Paderborn 07 on Saturday, ANDY WARREN takes a looks at the German club’s history.
A history of ups and downs
While Ipswich are preparing for the English third tier after suffering relegation during a disastrous 2018/19 campaign, their German opponents are still celebrating promotion.
They finished second in 2.Bundesliga last season, securing what will be just the second top-flight season of their history.
That history is a relatively short one, having only formed in 1985 following a merger between TuS Paderborn and Neuhaus.
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They began in regional football and reached the second tier by 2005, where they spent nine seasons before reaching the top flight for the 2014/15 campaign.
Their stay in the Bundesliga lasted just one season though, as they crashed out of the league and started a decline which threatened to take them all the way back to where they began.
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A second-successive relegation followed but the fall wasn't over yet, with the club finishing 18th in the third tier. They were saved from relegation though, owing to the fact 1860 Munich's financial problems meant they were demoted to the fourth tier instead.
The turnaround was remarkable from there, as they shocked German football by winning promotion from 3.Liga the very next season before back-to-back promotions elevated them to the Bundesliga for next season.
Rocked by scandal
The club found themselves at the centre of what is regarded as German football's biggest betting scandal in 2005, in which referee Robert Hoyzer admitted to conspiring with a Croatian gambling syndicate to fix games.
Paderborn's cup clash with Hamburg was one of those games, with Town's pre-season opponents awarded dubious penalties in a game they won 4-2.
There was no wrong-doing on Paderborn's part, with prison sentences handed out to Hoyzer and five other men while several others were banned from the game for life.
Paderborn are managed by Steffen Baumgart, who played for Hansa Rostok, Wolfsburg and Union Berlin during his professional career, with the 47-year-old overseeing the club's two promotions in the last two years.
On the playing side the most recognisable name is Uwe Hunemeier, who spent three seasons with Brighton from 2015, while Massih Wassey is a Canadian international and Khiry Shelton is an American who has previously played in MLS for New York City.
A number of Paderborn players are former Fortuna Dusseldorf players, including goalkeeper Michael Ratajczak, defender Christian Strohdiek and forward Marlon Ritter.
Philipp Klement, the club's top scorer last season with 16 goals, has left to join Stuttgart and has been replaced by former Cottbus man Streli Mamba.
Home is where you hang your hat
Paderborn have played their home games at the 15,000-capacity Benteler Arena since 2008, with plans already in place to expand that by a further 2,000 in the coming years.
But, as is the norm for most German clubs during pre-season, they won't be using their home ground for summer friendlies.
Paderborn regularly play at local grounds during pre-season, including Cronsbachstadion in Steinhagen (where this game was initially due to be played) and the new venue of Laumeskamp in Delbruck. It's home to Delbrucker SC, who play in the sixth tier.
Blue is the colour...
The German club recently released their new kits for the 2019/20 season, with their home colours once again their traditional blue and black.
The away kit is white, while their third strip is florescent yellow.
The Blues of course have a home strip for next season while their 'Barcelona' styled away strip is dark and could conceivably be viewed as clashing with the Paderborn shirt.
That means, depending on which of their kits the hosts opt to wear, Ipswich may potentially have to wear last season's orange away kit, which has been kept on as the third shirt for the new season.
Pre-season has started well...
While Town don't get their pre-season schedule off and running until this weekend, their German opponents have already got the ball rolling.
They kicked off on Wednesday evening with a 20-0 win against local side VfB Salzkotten, who play in the ninth-tier of German football. That's the same level as Woodbridge Town, Stowmarket and Whitton United.
The Bundesliga team put out a strong side for the game and are likely to do so again for their clash with Ipswich.