‘Never felt anything like it’: Aussie star’s delight as Bundesliga promotion sparks wild scenes

    Cult Hamburg club St Pauli won promotion to the Bundesliga after a 13-year absence with a 3-1 home win over Osnabrueck on Sunday.

    Pauli won thanks to a brace from Dapo Afolayan and a goal from the club’s top scorer Marcel Hartel and return to the top division for the first time since being relegated in 2011.

    Get on board Kayo and watch every game of every round of the NRL + AFL Seasons live and ad break free during play. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

    Pauli were promoted alongside fellow northern side Holstein Kiel, who reached the German top flight for the very first time with a home draw against third-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.

    “It’s indescribable. We were able to give something back to the fans for their incredible support,” coach Fabian Huerzeler said on Sky.

    “It’s an extreme relief and the crowning glory of our season.”

    Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine, who dons the captain’s armband for St Pauli, stated his “emotions are going crazy” and he’d “never felt anything like it”.

    “Gratitude, joy, simply everything,” Irvine said.

    “I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s just incredible to see how much it means to people, not just us. Unglaublich (Incredible)!

    “This is why I came here. I wanted to achieve something for the fans and give the people something and we’ve done that by getting promoted.

    “We’ve all invested so much, week in, week out. And it’s a huge honour to be captain of this team, something I don’t take for granted.

    FC St. Pauli fans invaded the pitch to celebrate after their team was promoted to the Bundesliga. (Photo by Selim Sudheimer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


    Arsenal beat Man Utd as PL title race goes down to final day … and Gunners pray for Ange miracle

    PL Wrap: City on brink of PL title after rout; Ange ends losing run as minnows’ coach in tears

    Football’s worst-kept secret confirmed as Mbappe announces PSG exit in emotional video

    “We had belief going into the game. We were prepared. We wanted to give our utmost and leave everything on the pitch and all of us gave everything to seal promotion. It was the only way we were going to go up.

    “We sat down at the beginning of the season and placed the highest expectations on ourselves and that’s the attitude we took into training every week. We gave our all, our hearts and we worked so hard and now we have this moment together. Amazing.”

    Former Bolton and West Ham striker Afolayan gave the home side the lead after just seven minutes and doubled up early in the second half with a tap-in at the far post.

    Hartel headed in a third with 22 minutes remaining, his 17th league goal of the season.

    Osnabrueck’s Lars Kehl scored a penalty in stoppage time but the celebrations began shortly after at St Pauli’s Millerntor Stadium, just down from the city’s notorious Reeperbahn.

    Known for their skull and crossbones flag and identification with left-wing causes, Pauli have an international reputation which is larger than their sporting achievements.

    The promotion continues Pauli’s stunning rise under 31-year-old US-born coach Huerzeler.

    FC St. Pauli coach Fabian Huerzeler is hoisted up by fans after guiding the team to the Bundesliga. (Photo by Selim Sudheimer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

    Huerzeler took over just before Christmas in 2022 with the club hovering dangerously close to relegation. He piloted a rapid rise up the table to fourth at season’s end, narrowly missing promotion last season, but getting the job done the second time around.

    Pauli are first with one match remaining and will be champions of the second division by matching second-placed Kiel’s result next weekend.

    Dusseldorf are guaranteed to finish third and will play a two-legged playoff against the third-last side in the top division, currently Union Berlin.

    Pauli’s promotion, the sixth in club history, is even sweeter given city rivals Hamburg SV again missed out on returning to the top division.

    Hamburg, the 1983 European Cup winners, were relegated for the first time in 2017-18 but have failed to return to the Bundesliga in the six seasons since.

    Hamburg, currently in fourth spot, have finished fourth three times and third twice, losing the promotion/relegation playoff on both occasions.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.