Hansa Rostock

Oddly enough, Rostock has advanced as the premier former GDR club. You might have expected some of the larger city based clubs, like Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin to do so. They were the last GDR champion, and have been the only top flight presence from the GDR in the late 90s until Cottbus made the leap in 2000.

They started out as SC Empor Rostock in 1954 (actually the team was stolen from BSG Empor Lauter, as the commie bureaucrats simply ordered the team moved), and had several respectable finishes in the DDR-Oberliga, including three straight runner-up seasons 1961-63. Then in 1965, the soccer players left Empor and formed FC Hansa. The most famous player was undoubtedly Joachim Streich, with 102 GDR caps between 1969-84. The GDR years were not an unqualified success for Hansa, which was sort of an outsider. They wer relegated to the 2nd division DDR-Liga, spending 3 seasons there in the mid 1970s. The only great moment in GDR soccer came after re-unification, when Hansa won the last title (although it was now the NOFV Oberliga) among the GDR clubs. This had the advantage of a direct seed into the Bundesliga. Despite a good effort, Hansa finished last, but confounded the critcs by staying alive in the 2.Liga, while other ex-GDR clubs were floundering. Then a sensational 2.Liga title in 1995, and they've managed to stay in the top flight ever since, the only success story of ex-GDR teams.

The success of Hansa has been based on good coaching and enthusiastic play. However, solid management has been the real key to success, which so far has put them apart from other ex-GDR clubs. The club has done well to identify young talent (usually from East Germany), and bring them along nicely. Although most of them end up leaving the club for greener pastures, Hansa has managed to maintain a high standard of play.

1998-99 looked grim for the Ostsee squad, as they looked sure to take the drop by midseason. However, some superhuman efforts in the 2nd half managed to get the club back on track and assure top-flight soccer in the former GDR for another year. The next year was simply more of the same, as Hansa squeaked through on a thin margin. Every season seems to be a replay, but a tough as nails disposition had so far allowed them to stay up. The jig was up in 2005, and it remained to be seen if the east's top club could regroup. Relegation meant financial stress as well. From 2005-07, (relegation plus two 2.Liga seasons) Hansa reported a combined loss of approximately 3.4 million euros. The return to the Bundesliga would hopefully straighten things out, as the club predicted a profit of 1.1 million (on 56 million turnover) for 2007-08. Given Hansa's resources, they are likely be be an elevator club bouncing between the 1st-2nd divisions...

2010 proved to be Rostock's worst season ever, as they finished 16th and then subsequently lost the playoffs against Ingolstadt. This meant that Hansa was down to the 3rd division for the first time in history.

Fullname Fußball-Club Hansa Rostock e.V.
City Rostock (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). Pop: 199,000 (2002).
Address Kopernikusstraße 17a, 18057 Rostock
Phone: (0381) 383-2390
Colors blue shirts with red trim, blue shorts. Also white.
Nickname Die Hanseaten, Die Ostseer
Stadium Ostseestadion. Capacity: 30,000 (20,000 seats)
Built in 1954, the Ostseestadion was refurbished in 2001. Occasionally big matches have been played in Berlin.
Tickets Hard to get, given the small stadium and large following. 8-36 euros (2004). An interesting sideline is that a couple of years ago, due to fan behavior, Hansa was banned from playing at home, and instead had to play those home games in Berlin. This "punishment" meant that instead of crowds of 25,000 in Rostock, they packed in 60,000 in Berlin.
Supporters Very dedicated support. Flagship of northern East Germany. Averaged over 22,000 in 2004.
Foes In general, Hansa is does not draw support from "traditional" sectors of the ex-GDR, as the club was never in the "favored" status. In addition, they have rather hostile relations with most western teams as well.
Heroes Some 21 GDR internationals, among others, Thomas Doll and Gerd Kische (63 caps in the 70s). A few German internationals, such as Oliver Neuville, Marco Rehmer and Rene Schneider. However the greatest player was GDR international Joachim Streich, with 102 caps and 55 goals - both records.
Beer Lübzer Pils , from the small town of Lübz, SE of Schwerin.
Pub Grub
The Net Official site: www.fc-hansa.de

Recent History:

1965-66	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1966-67	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		10th
1967-68	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		2nd
1968-69	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1969-70	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		12th
1970-71	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		8th
1971-72	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		9th
1972-73	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		10th
1973-74	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		7th
1974-75	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		13th
1975-76	(**)	DDR-Liga, St.A		1st
1976-77	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		14th
1977-78	(**)	DDR-Liga, St.A		1st
1978-79	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		14th
1979-80	(**)	DDR-Liga, St.A		1st
1980-81	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		10th
1981-82	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		8th
1982-83	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		8th
1983-84	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		9th
1984-85	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		10th
1985-86	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		13th
1986-87	(**)	DDR-Liga, St.A		1st
1987-88	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		9th
1988-89	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1989-90	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		6th
1990-91	(*)	NOFV Oberliga Nordost	1st
1991-92	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1992-93	(II)	2.Bundesliga		11th
1993-94	(II)	2.Bundesliga		8th
1994-95	(II)	2.Bundesliga		1st
1995-96	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1996-97	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
1997-98	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1998-99	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1999-00	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
2000-01	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
2002-03 (I)	Bundesliga		13th
2003-04 (I)	Bundesliga		9th
2004-05 (I)	Bundesliga		17th
2005-06 (II)	2.Bundesliga		10th
2006-07 (II)	2.Bundesliga		2nd
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga		17th
2008-09 (II)    2.Bundesliga		13th
2009-10	(II)	2.Bundesliga		16th	lost relegation playoff to Ingolstadt
2010-11	(III)	3.Liga			2nd
2011-12 (II)	2.Liga

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany