Saturday 25 March 2023

SC Columbia Floridsdorf - Franz Grasberger Stadium

SC Columbia Floridsdorf
Franz Grasberger Stadium
Überfuhrstraße 2B
1210 Wien

Ground Number: 1162
Saturday 25th March 2023
SC Columbia Floridsdorf 4-1 Gerstofher SV
2 Landesliga Vien


The club was established in 1908. They've played at various venues over the years, losing their original home due to redevelopment in 1967 and moving to their current one. They won the third tier in 1943 and starred in the third tier up until 1950, their best finish being 4th in 1946 & 1947. A loss of players to other Vienna clubs saw them relegated to the 5th-tier regional leagues and it would take them until 1999 to return to the 4th tier. By 2008, they had returned to the third tier, the top regional division. A year later, they took on Arsenal in a friendly in front of 7,000, taking the lead but losing 7-1. Another promotion followed in 2010 to the Regionalliga East and they played a game against Borussia Dortmund to celebrate. The last decade has not been kind to the club and following financial issues, they find themselves once more in the 5th tier of Austrian football.
Floridsdorf is the 21st district of Vienna. It was created in 1904 by the incorporation of the town of Floridsdorf and some surrounding villages, some of which later moved to the 22nd district of Donaustadt. Floridsdorf is the second largest and the third most populous district of Vienna in terms of area. Together with Donaustadt, it forms the part of Vienna to the left of the Danube. It has a population of over 178,000. The area is home to several monuments connected to Beethoven. The main club in the area is Floridsdorfer AC, the 1918 Austrian champions currently residing in the second tier.


For my Saturday in Vienna, I was determined to make the most of my time in the city with two games. This was easier said than done with very limited pickings. A lot of movement with the pin on Futbology was done, but I eventually found the pairing of SC Columbia at 2 and Bisamberg at 5. With a bit of luck, it was possible to get between the two. It was whilst doing my more detailed research a couple of days before the game that I discovered a couple of things. Firstly, my second game might be outside the limits of the travel pass for the Vienna area and secondly, there was a 4 PM game at Florisdorf, a repeat of the main game, just with the U23 sides. I decided that it might be possible for me to remain in Florisdorf and see games, rather than having to travel However, I decided to leave that decision until the day of the game.

The day of the game came following a very boozy Friday. Luckily, I don't get hangovers though and so I felt as fresh as a daisy when I woke up at 8.45, having had a good nights sleep for once. There were some last minute changes to my plan. One hopper on our WhatsApp group recommended me a website that dug far deeper than Soccerway or Futbology. My preference was a morning game but none were available that I could see. Nevertheless, had a few options for the evening and I eventually settled upon Wacker Vienna v Kalksberg Rodaun. My early choice was SR Donaufeld but another hopper, Jens, warned mew that it would be on a nearby 3G as the stadium didn't have floodlights. My even earlier choice was to head off to Bisamberg for a 5PM game. However, that would have made things tight and so I decided to stay on at Florisdorf for the U23 game at 4PM. I'd had an unconventional breakfast of Jalapeno Pretzel crisps and Raspberryade as I'd decided to stay in my room for the morning. As a result, I put the 'do not disturb' sign on the door. As it got nearer noon, I decided to drink the one remaining bottle of cider as I didn't want to carry it around. The Val De  Rance Bio-Cidre was decent but I was going to be taking it easier on the booze today.

I'd got my blog from last night up, but not had the chance to research the history of the club and league standings of my later game. I wanted to allow plenty of time and so left my room at 12.25. This had allowed me to get all my devices charged before I headed out. I walked to the station and got a train to Floridsdorf, getting there just before 1. It was then a tram to near the ground, I got off one stop early with the intention of going to Lidl. I selected a few things but upon seeing the queue, which stretched halfway up the store, gave up and walked out. I was at the ground ten minutes before kickoff, paying 8 euros to get in.
Floridsdorf were going well in the league, sitting 2nd on goal difference. Gerstofher were just belw in 6th. The hosts had won five of their last six games, the only defeat being a 2-1 loss at home to Korneuberg. In contrast, Gershofer had won just one of their last five, a 3-2 win against Resisenberg. The game was end to end, with chances for both sides. The visitors took the lead through a penalty on 52 minutes, awarded for a trip in the area. On 64 minutes it was all square, a great corner was put in from the right and headed in at the near post. Two minutes later, Floridsdorf had the lead, picking up a loose ball and rounding the keeper from just inside the area. It was 3-1 in similar circumstances on 70 minutes, a pass across the area and the striker lifted the ball over the keeper. A 4th was added on 85 minutes thanks to a break down the right and a low shot. The players celebrated jubilantly on the pitch having beaten a local rival who played 9 miles away.
 I tried to buy a scarf after the game, but was told 'not today'. Next up was the U23 game, kicking off at 4.05. The crowd had really thinned out for this one, dropping from around 150 to 30. Colombia were looking good for a double celebration on 4 minutes, rifling into the roof of the net after they'd had several blocked shots in the space of ten seconds. 12 minutes in, it was 2-0 following an attack down the left. The lead was halved on 20 minutes, a quick break and low shot from just inside the area. On 48 minutes, it was all square, a ball from the left and a finish from six yards. The hosts retook the lead on 67 minutes, finishing from close range after an excellent free kick was only parried. Five minutes later, it was 4-2 following a jinking run and finish. On 78 minutes, Gersthofer pulled a goal back, rifling into the roof of the net. Floridsdorf made the game safe on 87 minutes making it 5-3. The last kick of the game saw them make it 6-3, a ball from the left and a finish from six yards.

THE FRANZ GRASBERGER STADIUM is a pleasant venue. There is very little cover, just some overhang from the tea bar. Seating is comprised of several benches, around 400 in capacity. The overall capacity of the ground is about 1,500. Food and drink facilities are basic and sovenirs may sometimes be available.

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