SV Sandhausen 1916 are based in the area of Baden-Württemberg just south of Heidelburg. From a modest formation in 1916 the club have really come to the fore since the turn of the 21st century. Rapid promotions saw Sandhausen playing at their highest ever level when, in 2005, the ambitious owner of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Dietmar Hopp, a software entrepreneur, opened negotiations with Sandhausen and near neighbours FC Astoria Walldorf. The aim of the negotiations was to form a Heidelberg based super club with an aim of Bundesliga 1 status. A name had even been proposed, FC Heidelberg 06, but after fierce resistance from the supporters of Sandhausen and Astoria the plans were shelved.
Hoffenheim would go onto claim their place in Bundesliga 1, bankrolled by Hopp whose generosity extended to the funding of a new stadium.
Sandhausen regrouped and barely had the dust settled on their continued independence when the DFB announced the formation of Bundesliga 3 for the 2008/9 season. Independence had always been a source of pride for the club, apart from a brief wartime merger with TSV Walldorf and VfB Wiesloch to for the short lived KSG Walldorf-Wiesloch. By 1945 Sandhausen had demerged and by 1951 had returned to its original moniker.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s the club dominated the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg, being crowned champions five times between 1981 and 2000, in addition were three runners up slots. Promotion to the the then third tier Regionalliga Süd. In 2011/12 Sandhausen won the Bundesliga 3 and with it promotion to their highest ever playing level.
Needless to say the club’s rapid elevation in playing status has seen their once modest home of the Hardtwaldstadion substantially modernised. Home to SV Sandhausen since 1951 the ground initially had a clay surface and remarkably it was some ten years before turf was laid at the venue. The current elevated main stand was built in 1987 and affords fine views of the pitch and the surrounding forest. Floodlights came to the Hardtwaldstadion as recently as 2001 and in the last couple of years two new stands have been erected replacing temporary bleacher style seating to either side of the existing main stand. There is a large temporary seated stand behind one goal and uncovered terracing down one side and the far end. All in all the improvements now give the venue an impressive capacity of 12,100 and it now also boasts undersoil heating. As the club look to consolidate in 2 Bundesliga there is even talk of a third new stand to be built at the western end of the ground with a further 3,000 seats.
Today’s game sees visitors St.Pauli impressively fill the uncovered terracing and the end sector of the temporary stand. They are the boisterous flag waving collective of diaspora you would have expected them to be. Their support is bludgeoning and unrelenting and they are superb at what they do. Sandhausen have their own “ultras”, comparatively sedate, housed in one of the new permanent stands.
The first half was instantly forgettable being both low on technique and any semblance of drama. Thankfully the first half gave way to a robust and combative second period. The hosts found themselves 2-1 up thanks to some calamitous St. Pauli defending. However that “cultest” of cult clubs gave us an epic comeback with goals from Schachten and Rzatkowski within two minutes of each other sealed an, at times, unlikely looking away victory.
Saturday April 5th 2014 – 2.Bundesliga
SV Sandhausen (0) 2 (Blum 50, Adler 70)
FC St.Pauli (0) 3 (Gonther 55, Schachten 77, Rzatkowski 79)
Att: 8,050 (at Hardtwaldstadion)
33. Manuel Riemann, 5. Daniel Schulz, 6. Denis Linsmayer, 7. Marco Thiede, 18. Matthias Zimmermann, 21. Manuel Stiefler, 24. Simon Tüting (c); 25. Danny Blum, 27. Seyi Olajengbesi, 32. Timo Achenbach, 8. Nicky Adler.
Subs: 1. Marco Knaller, 10. David Ulm (for 18,81 mins), 14. Tim Kister, 17. Florian Hübner (for 17,88 mins), 20. Eke Uzoma, 26. Radoslav Jovanovic (for 8,71 mins), 31. Stegan Kulovits.
13. Philipp Tschauner, 9. Christopher Nöthe, 10. Christopher Buchtmann, 11. Marc Rzatkowski, 12. John Verhoek, 14. Philipp Ziereis, 20. Sebastian Schachten, 23. Marcel Halstenberg, 26. Sören Gonther, 27. Jan-Philipp Kalla, 29. Sebastian Maier.
Subs: 6. Florian Kringe, 18. Lennart Thy, 19. Michael Gregoritsch (for 9,56 mins), 24. Florian Mahr, 25. Kevin Schindler (for 14,69 mins), 30. Robin Himmelmann, 35. Tom Trybull (for 29,84 mins)
Yellow Cards: Tüting (Sandhausen), Nöthe and Kalla (St.Pauli)