On Sunday, 26th August, Gina Lückenkemper drew the lots for the second round of the DFB-Pokal at the German Football Museum in Dortmund. Lückenkemper picked out some tasty pairings. One of those was SV Rödinghausen versus Bayern München. At the time, the homepage of the Regionalliga side’s website had two articles on it: ‘A day that was a long time coming for the U19s’ and ‘Draw against Gladbach.’
These reports, which were soon replaced with an article entitled ‘SVR to play Bayern München’, tell you a lot about how things work at this club from the Herford area. On Wednesday, they have a fourth-division fixture against newly-promoted Straelen – a village in the Lower Rhine. You couldn’t get a club with a bigger contrast to Bayern. However, there are still two months to go before the DFB-Pokal showdown with the German champions.
Rödinghausen’s coach Enrico Maassen is very much looking forward to the showdown with record Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal winners Bayern. He’s urging his players to start preparing for the game of their lives. The fixture could have actually happened already for Maassen, since he moved from Bayern’s first-round opponents Drochtersen-Assel to Rödinghausen this summer.
In an interview with DFB.de, Enrico Maassen spoke about how minnows Rödinghausen are bracing themselves for the duel with FC Bayern.
DFB.de: Enrico Maassen, what did you think when you first found out your side would play against Bayern?
Enrico Maassen: At first, I didn’t think it was real. It was an unbearable wait for the little ball with Rödinghausen’s logo to be drawn out. Then it was even more unbearable waiting to see who the opponent was. A soon as I saw it was Bayern, a thousand different thoughts went through my head, but then almost straightaway I had my first Interview with Sportschau.
DFB.de: It was after this interview that a quote of yours did the rounds on all the different media channels: ‘We will try to live up to our role as favourites.’
Maassen: It was spontaneous. I’m actually quite a shy, modest guy. But when things are so out of the ordinary you can be a bit cheeky and say that kind of thing. We know who we are and who are the opponents are.
DFB.de: Dresden didn’t even think they would be coming to Rödinghausen for a DFB-Pokal game…
Maassen: That’s true, but Bayern are on a completely different level. Like we did against Dresden, we’ll take the fixture seriously and keep focused, but we do know that our chances are slim against Germany’s record league champions and DFB-Pokal winners.
DFB.de: Bayern did find things difficult in the first round against Drochtersen though. What did you make of your ex-club’s performance?
Maassen: It was crazy to see my old team get drawn against Bayern. They told me they were sorry that I wouldn’t be there for the Bayern game, but they also just told me to beat Dresden and I’d face Bayern in the second round. That’s exactly what has happened; it’s mad. Only football can write stories like this. It’s not about me though – it’s about the club and the whole town. It’s a huge thing!
Dfb.de: Your stadium, the ‘Häcker-Wiesenstadion’, was too small even for the Dresden game. Will you go to Lotte again for the Bayern game to play in the Frimo Stadium?
Maassen: Lotte is option one. There’ll be more spectators for the Bayern game than the Dresden game though. Over the next few days, the club’s executives will check to see what the best solution is. Bielefeld and Paderborn are also options. The problem is that Bielefeld have their own DFB-Pokal home game against Duisburg and Paderborn is quite far from Rödinghausen, around 80 kilometres.
DFB.de: There are still two months to go until the fixture against Bayern. This huge game is going to be looming over the team until then. How difficult will it be to keep the team concentrated on the Regionalliga and the upcoming game against Straelen, for example?
Maassen: It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but the league comes first. The players will need to be very focused for Bayern fixture, but that has its positives for the Regionalliga too. Every player will want to play against Bayern, but to be picked they’re going to have to give all they’ve got in the league until October.