VfL Osnabrück

VfL Osnabrück has been a regional powerhouse in Niedersachsen, but has never made the jump to the top league, despite taking part in a few promotion playoffs.

The roots go back to 1899, when an unofficial FC Osnabrück was formed by street players. A more official club had to wait a few years, although FC did begin to play in sanctioned leagues. Ballspielverein 1899 and SuS Osnabrück combined in 1924 to form VfL. Prior to that, the soccer players had actually played under the auspices of the local Turnverein. Some of the players got pissed off and left VfL, and formed SC Rapid, which was based on their love for the famous Rapid Wien. They also started the construction at the Bremer Brücke, which was to eventually become the VfL Stadium. For VfL, there wasn't much success until the 3rd Reich, when the club was seeded into the Gauliga Niedersachsen, and immediately finished 2nd in 1935. In 1938, VfL and Rapid merged, and Rapid's purple/white colors became the official club dress. In 1940 the club went on to participate in the national championship, although they did not get past the group stage.

After WWII, VfL was quickly back on track, with decent results in the regional Oberliga Nord, but never strong enough to take the title. Still consistent results caused them to be seeded in the Regionalliga Nord in 1963.

The first good results started rolling in the late 60s. Starting in 1969, VfL played in the Bundesliga promotions 5 years running, but failed to make the leap to the top. There followed several years in the 2.Liga Nord, although in 1979 they were saved only when rivals St.Pauli were turned down for a license.

In 1998-99, Osnabrueck turned out an excellent campaign, and basically led from start to finish. But when the title seemed secure, they almost let it slip away. Several poor results, and then a defeat in the penultimate round to red-hot VfB Luebeck looked to give the title to the Luebeckers. However, they were upset in the Holstein derby against Kiel, and Osnabrueck squeaked into the title. In the promotion playoff against Nordost champions Chemnitzer FC, VfL fell short, losing 1-2 on aggregate. Their last chance was the runner up playoffs. They won 3-2 at Eintracht Trier, but then lost 1-2 at home against Kickers Offenbach, thereby losing out on promotion.

However the next season, 1999-2000, the Lilacs were not to be denied. After winning the RL Nord easily, Osnabrueck split 1-1 draws with RNO champ Union Berlin, and finally won on penalties. After one season, they were back down, but soon returned to the 2nd division.

Fullname Verein für Leibesübungen von 1899 e.V. Osnabrück
City Osnabrück (Niedersachsen). Pop: 164,000 (2002).
Address Bremerstraße 24, 49084 Osnabrück
Phone: (05 41) 7 20 12
E-mail: info@vfl.de
Colors "Lilac" (i.e. light purple) and White.
Nicknames The Lilacs.
Stadium Piepenbrock Stadion, better known as Bremer Brücke Capacity: 18,415 (2,639 seats)
The official name comes from an ex-President who bought the stadium. From 1938-74 it was known as the VfL-Kampfbahn. The stadium is known as "english style", as there is no seperation from the field and the stands, which can lead to an electric atmosphere.
Tickets Reasonably priced from 7-19 euros (2004). Generally, no problem getting tickets, as sellouts are rare. Big games may draw around 15,000.
Supporters Averaged about 11,500 in 2004 (2.Liga). Roughly 25 registered fan clubs listed on the website.
Friends Arminia Bielefeld.
Foes Lots of enemies. The biggest is surprisingly SV Meppen, so do not flaunt the Blue-White colors in downtown. Other northern rivals include Hannover 96, Braunschweig, Oldenburg and even Kickers Emden.
Heroes 4 German internationals, although the last was in 1956. The most famous "player" is probably Udo Lattek, who went on to become a famous coach with Bayern and Gladbach. American fans might note that Joe Enochs and Greg Schwager plied their trade for the lilac-whites in the late 90s.
Beer Herforder Pils is the team sponsor.
Pub Grub The snackbars at the stadium serve up the usual beer and bratwurst, but nothing worth mentioning. A better choice is to head for the old downtowm (Altstadt), which is about 2 miles away. There are several decent Gastätten
The Net The official site is www.vfl.de

Recent History:

1963-64	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	6th
1964-65	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	10th
1965-66	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	7th
1966-67	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	7th
1967-68	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	7th
1968-69	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1969-70	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1970-71	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1971-72	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1972-73	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1973-74	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	3rd
1974-75	(II)	2.Liga Nord		8th
1975-76	(II)	2.Liga Nord		6th
1976-77	(II)	2.Liga Nord		9th
1977-78	(II)	2.Liga Nord		16th
1978-79	(II)	2.Liga Nord		18th	(St.Pauli lost license)
1979-80	(II)	2.Liga Nord		8th
1980-81	(II)	2.Liga Nord		6th
1981-82	(II)	2.Liga			13th
1982-83	(II)	2.Liga			13th
1983-84	(II)	2.Liga			13th
1984-85	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	1st
1985-86	(II)	2.Liga			14th
1986-87	(II)	2.Liga			6th
1987-88	(II)	2.Liga			9th
1988-89	(II)	2.Liga			14th
1989-90	(II)	2.Liga			15th
1990-91	(II)	2.Liga			14th
1991-92	(II)	2.Liga Nord		9th
1992-93	(II)	2.Liga			20th
1993-94	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	3rd
1994-95	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd	
1995-96	(III)	Regionalliga Nord 	5th
1996-97	(III)	Regionalliga Nord 	4th
1997-98	(III)	Regionalliga Nord 	3rd	
1998-99	(III)	Regionalliga Nord 	1st
1999-00	(III)	Regionalliga Nord 	1st
2000-01	(II)	2.Liga 			15th
2001-02	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	7th
2002-03	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
2003-04	(II)	2.Liga			18th
2004-05	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	4th
2005-06	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	10th
2006-07	(III)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
2007-08	(II)	2.Liga			12th
2008-09 (II)    2.Liga			16th
2009-10	(III)	3.Liga			1st
2010-11 (II)    2.Liga			16th	lost relegation playoff to Dresden
2011-12 (III)	3.Liga

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany : www.abseits-soccer.com