After the derby victory against Hertha: 1. FC Union has Europe firmly in its sights again – sport

In the catacombs of the Olympic Stadium, Grischa Prömel beamed with joy and looked a little wistfully towards the away block. The midfielder scored a crucial goal in his last city derby as a 1. FC Union player, and the celebrations with the fans that followed had visibly touched him.

“With the goal, I was able to give back a little bit of the love, trust and security that they have given me over the past few years,” said the 27-year-old, who is moving to TSG Hoffenheim this summer after five years in Köpenick . As great as the Derby victory was, according to Prömel it was only supposed to be “part of the parting gift”.

Because after the furious 4: 1 against Hertha on Saturday, Union can still plan something this season. In a week and a half, the Köpenickers will be playing a cup semi-final in Leipzig, and there is still a slight chance in the league to qualify for a European competition for the second year in a row.

“Today we’re going to celebrate a bit. Then we take the good approaches from the game with us. Of course we know that there is still a little bit to come. But we are well prepared,” said Prömel.

Coach Urs Fischer also emphasized that the official goal is now Europe. And even if he didn’t want to portray his team as favorites in the race for international places, it’s at least a “logical” ambition for him.

“We made it clear that we would try. It’s a realistic goal for me if you’re three or four points down on sixth place,” said Fischer at the press conference after the game.

The team makes each individual better

In the past few weeks, the dream of Europe seemed to be slowly becoming more and more unrealistic. After the departure of top performers like Max Kruse and Marvin Friedrich in the winter, Union somehow seemed to have reached its limit. With just one win in seven games, the Köpenickers threatened to slip back into mediocrity.

But then they did what they have been doing over and over again for the past four years under Fischer. They pulled themselves together and showed again that in Köpenick it is not the individual that makes the team better, but the team of each individual.

“It has to be said that despite the upheaval we are becoming a very, very good team,” enthused captain Christopher Trimmel and looked ahead with cautious optimism: “The next few weeks will be tough, we will be traveling a lot. We want to stay up front for as long as we can. We have the goal and we still want to watch from game to game.”

If Union actually makes it, it could also have a major impact on the next upheaval, which will undoubtedly come in the summer. In defence, top performers such as Trimmel, Robin Knoche and goalkeeper Andreas Luthe have already extended, but there could be a lot going on in the next transfer period in the rows in front. Prömel’s exit is already certain, and the attacking duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker is also attracting increasing interest from larger clubs.

Characterized by affection and trust

However, these departures are not yet set in stone. In this newspaper, Becker recently emphasized that he does not rule out a contract extension and pointed out that his family is happy in Berlin. With his goal celebration on Saturday, he showed that family can be an important factor. “My sons always tell me: Dad, if you score, you have to do Spiderman. And I always listen to them,” he said, grinning.

Should Union play in Europe again, there would also be sporting arguments for staying, especially since the relationship with coach Urs Fischer is currently bearing fruit. On Saturday, Fischer briefly interrupted the round of questions in the catacombs to hug Becker. The impression was not of a team that is about to fall apart, but of one that is still characterized by trust and affection.

Becker himself looked ahead with the same down-to-earth optimism: “We’re still watching from game to game, but it would be great to reach Europe again,” he said.

By Editor

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