League football is back! 1.FC Union Berlin will begin its ninth second-league campaign at FC Ingolstadt’s Audi Sportpark on Saturday July 29 at 13:00.
The Köpenick club can look fondly back on the previous campaign, earning 60 points and finishing in fourth place. Jens Keller’s side went toe-to-toe with Stuttgart, Hannover and Eintracht Braunschweig, but missed out on their first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga towards the last few weeks of the campaign.
“Last year was a great season for us. The team has shown what quality it has and what it’s capable of achieving. We have prepared well in pre-season and are happy that we can get going,” said Keller, who watched his side win every pre-season game over the summer, including victories over Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City.
Union will face one of the Bundesliga’s relegated sides from last term, FC Ingolstadt. Coach Maik Walpurgis and his side can perhaps feel unfortunate to finish 17th in the top flight given their performances. Ingolstadt are regarded as one of the favourites to make an immediate return, adding Stefan Kutschke from Dynamo Dresden and Sonny Kittel from Eintracht Frankfurt.
“Ingolstadt has incredible experience. They’re probably the strongest defensive team in the league,” praised Keller. The Berliners, meanwhile, added Akaki Gogia from Dresden, Marcel Hartel from 1.FC Köln and Grischa Prömel from Karlsruhe. Keller is happy with his squad and believes his side can build on last year’s strengths. “We have let go some important players but also boosted the squad by other quality options.”
“It’s no problem to start the season against Ingolstadt. It’s basically the case that both a clubs work together,” added the Union boss. Tickets will be available at the box office at the Stadion An der Alten Försteei or the Union-Zeughaus van in the guest area at FC Ingolstadt.