TuS Rot-Weiss Koblenz, a team in the Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar, are now awaiting the biggest game in the club’s history after their greatest ever success. Having earned a hard fought victory against their neighbours and current league rivals TuS Koblenz 1-0 in the Rhineland Cup final, Fatih Cift’s team will now face Fortuna Düsseldorf in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on Sunday 19th August. The final had been played in TuS Koblenz’s home ground, in front of 7,473 spectators, which is a record-high attendance for a Rhineland Cup final.
In an interview with DFB.de, Faith Cift spoke to Thomas Palapies-Ziehn about their chances against Fortuna, meeting Friedhelm Funkel and the possibility of an underdog victory.
DFB.de: Hi, Mr Cift. As you work as an insurance broker, would you insure a victory for Rot-Weiss Koblenz against Fortuna Düsseldorf?
Fatih Cift: In all honesty, preferably not! The risk for me would be too high.
DFB.de: Is the match against Fortuna Düsseldorf a dream tie?
Fatih Cift: At first I thought no, but I am not only a football coach but also a fan and because of this, I would have happily played against Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund or FC Schalke 04. On the other hand, Fortuna Düsseldorf is also a team with tradition and a large fan base. Their fans will help us to fill out the whole stadium. I had to do my research about them, as before I only knew Düsseldorf for its stag nights (he laughs).
DFB.de: Fortuna Düsseldorf are the big favourites for this game. How do you intend on making it difficult for them?
Fatih Cift: We have completely different expectations because we are a fifth league team and none of our players or coaches are professional. However, we will set up to try and frustrate Fortuna Düsseldorf for as long as possible. First and foremost, it is about having fun and enjoying the day. We have worked very hard for this moment.
DFB.de: What role can the fans play?
Fatih Cift: Düsseldorf have played at our stadium twice already, against TuS Koblenz in the DFB-Pokal and the 2. Bundesliga, where they lost both games 1-0, which is perhaps a good sign for us. I would like as many Koblenz fans as possible to come to the game. No one knows when we will play a game as big as this again.
DFB.de: How often have you talked about this game?
Fatih Cift: Everyday! I still need to get some tickets for friends and family.
DFB.de: Is there something you are personally looking forward to?
Fatih Cift: For me, it is getting to know the Fortuna coach Friedhelm Funkel. As a kid, I watched many Uerdingen games when he was their coach. He has managed lots of different teams and is very experienced. To get to know such a man is so special. I am also excited to meet the Turkey international, Kaan Ayhan.
DFB.de: Will you be happy to focus on the rest of the season after this game?
Fatih Cift: The past weeks for us all has been stressful. The entire club is working extremely hard to ensure that on the day of the game, everything runs smoothly. I admit though that a little rest would be appreciated.
DFB.de: What are your aims in the Oberliga?
Fatih Cift: Our aim in the league is to stay clear of relegation and for this to happen, we need to be consistent. We have improved in the past few months and want to get even better. We also want to go as far as possible in the cup of course, even though we will be the team to beat for most.