SVWW narrow defeat to Champions in season finale
History: FC St. Pauli were founded on 15 May 1910 but it wasn't until some years later that they developed a rivalry with Hamburg. 1946/47 was the first time the "Kiezkicker" denied their rivals, who are based in the "posh" district of Rothenbaum, the Hamburg City Championship. FCSP were promoted to the Bundesliga 30 years later but last played in the top tier of German football in the 2010/11 campaign. Since then, they have been a consistent presence in the second division. In addition, the club have been making headlines off the pitch for several years due to their social involvement. The "Kiezklub" are big advocates of equality and justice, among other things.
The stadium: The Millerntor-Stadion is located just a stone's throw away from the Reeperbahn. It is one of the few stadiums in German professional football located in a city centre, as well as being the closest pitch to Hamburg Town Hall. The stadium, which is owned by FCSP, has been able to seat 29,546 spectators since renovation works were finished in 2015.
The coach: Jos Luhukay has been the main man in the St. Pauli dugout since April 2019. The Dutchman is not new to professional football in Germany, having previously overseen 200 second-tier games and 110 top-tier matches during his spells as a coach with SC Paderborn, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Augsburg. The 56-year-old has a remarkable points average of 1.71 per match in the Bundesliga 2. Nonetheless, it was recently announced that FCSP and Luhukay would part ways at the end of the season.
Personnel matters: Luhukay managed to keep the core of his squad together over the summer but the club did lose two key players in Justin Hoogma, who had been on loan from TSG Hoffenheim, and Jeremy Dudziak, who joined Hamburger SV. Leo Östigard and Viktor Gyökeres both signed on loan from Brighton, as did Matt Penney from Sheffield Wednesday. In addition, Rico Benatelli and Borys Tashchy joined on free transfers from Dresden and Duisburg respectively. However, St. Pauli were hit hard by the winter departure of Mats Möller Daehli. The Norwegian, who was the club's top assister, moved to KRC Genk for €3 million. FCSP were not able to sign a replacement over the winter.
The scenario: St. Pauli finished the first half of the season only two points above the relegation play-off spot and four points above 17th place. A temporary resurgence after the restart, which saw FCSP take 15 points from nine games, looked to have spared them a relegation battle. But they were then dragged back into one after the corona break. Despite winning their first match against Nuremberg, they subsequently failed to beat Darmstadt, Heidenheim, Karlsruhe and Bochum. Indeed, it was only thanks to a 2-1 win against Aue that the "Kiezkicker" confirmed their survival. Jos Luhukay will be without the injured trio of Boris Tashchy, Ryo Miyaichi and captain Daniel Buballa for his last game in the dugout.