Germany Football in Lower Divisions: FC Bergheim 2000
Germany football history is one that has experienced many changes. From early on, football was a popular game, and the sports landscape in Germany was dotted with lots of local sides. Local clubs or sports associations are a long-time feature of football in Germany. From the start, every club would participate in any competitions, depending on the local resources and interests.
Before the establishment of the Bundesliga (read this – Bundesliga betting tips), football in Germany was played at the lower divisions in a massive number of sub-regional leagues. It was until 1945 when a top layer of the semi-professional regional leagues, famously known as Oberligen or Premier Leagues were formed. From 1945 onwards, both regional champions and runners-up played a series of matches for the top team to compete in a final match for the national championship.
In 1900, Deutscher Fussball-Bund was established in Leipzig, with a total of 86 club members. From the start, the Deutscher Fussball-Bund was and still is a federation of lower or regional football associations. The first recognised national team was formed in 1903 in Altona. And the first match was played on 31st May 1903.
Deutscher Fussball-Bund joined FIFA in 1904, and from there, the Victoria Championship Tournament was established. In 1908, a cup tournament popularly known as Kronprinzenpokal for the lower representative XIs was launched. Crown Prince Wilhelm from Prussia donated the trophy.
During the post-war football, all organisations including sports associations and clubs were initially banned. But within a year, sports organisations without any political affiliation were allowed to participate in various tournaments, including the Oberliga Play, that resumed in 1945. Through the 1950s, the central professional league was formed to stop the best players from the lower divisions to go in other countries.
Currently, the Germany football lower division leagues are among the best in the world. Teams from these leagues help players to enhance their football skills and provide those at national levels with fresh talents. FC Bergheim 2000 is one of these teams. Before you can learn more about this great team, let’s first look at the lower division league system in Germany. So read on to learn more.
Lower Division League System in Germany
The level of football in Germany leagues is one of the best not only in Europe but also across the globe. Additionally, the league structure and the teams are among the most exciting and balanced in the sports world. As far as the league structure in Germany is concerned, the DFB, which is the soccer federation in the country, manages the following lower-division leagues in the country.
Bundesliga: 2nd Division
In Germany, the 2nd division is officially known as Zweite Bundesliga or Die Zweite Liga. Similar to most second division leagues, it has teams with aspirations for the top flight as well as other obscure clubs that no individual outside the state has ever heard about. For the first ten years, since the formation of the second division, this league was under the control and management of the Regionalliga that was organised on a regional basis, with promotional playoffs.
These were then consolidated into two sections, which include the Liga Sud and Liga Nord. Finally, the two sections were combined into a single second division in the 1990/1991 season. At the moment, this league is one of the most competitive in Germany since each team wants to join the Bundesliga side.
Dritte Liga: The 3rd Division
From 2008, DFB authorised the formation of a new national league, which is 3 Liga. It is a fully professional football league in Germany. The Dritte Liga is the highest level where the ‘II’ clubs can be promoted to.
Regionalliga: The 4th Division
When launching the Dritte Liga in 2008, the DFB also recognised the Regionalliga. At the moment, there are three leagues contained, which include South, West, and North. The clubs in these three leagues can either be semi-pro of fully-professional. Regionalliga was established in 1963 along with the Bundesliga, which is the national league.
Originally, the Regionalliga was the second division, and the runners-ups, as well as champions of each league, would play in the promotion playoffs for a place in the Bundesliga. Sudwest, Sud, West, Nord, and Berlin were the original leagues. This setup lasted up to 1975 when the DFB reorganised and removed the Regionalliga altogether. The Regionalligen was replaced with Amateur Oberliga.
The league followed the same structure, but larger leagues like Sud and Nord were broken up into regional divisions, based on states. When GDR was integrated into the system in 1990, all ex-GDR clubs were spread across in different leagues, but additional regions were introduced. It was pretty clear that this structure was untenable, and modification would be required. So the Regionalliga or 4th division made a comeback.
Oberliga: 5th Division
The fifth division is made up of various regional Oberliga and the basic Oberligen are Bayern, Baden-Wurttemberg, Hessen, Sudwest, Nordost-Sud, Westfalen, Nordrhein, Niedersachsen/Bremen and Hamburg/Schleswig. From 2004, Schleswig-Holstein/Hamburg and Bremen/Niedersachsen combined into Oberliga Nord. However, in 2008, this was broken up when the 3 Liga was established. On the other hand, Nordrhein and Westfalen combined to form the Oberliga-NRW.
Verbandsliga: The 6th Division
Also, known as Landesliga or Verbandsliga, the sixth division became popular in the late 1970s. The leagues and teams in this division are under the management and control of the local, regional football organisation. These are primarily local affairs, with short distances only. In most cases, attendance is in the hundreds.
Youth Soccer and the Rest
Youth leagues in Germany are organised pretty much the same. But there are no professionals. Also, the national league is not available, which means that Regionalliga is the top level. The champions in this division meet in the playoff tournaments to determine the best. As you go down to the 12th division, you will find additional leagues like Bezirksliga and Kreisliga, among others. In most cases, the difference is made between a Klasse (class) and Liga (league), where the Liga is usually higher.
In the old days, teams in Germany fielded as many squads as possible. But currently, it is unusual that a football club will have over three squads in most leagues. With all this information in your mind, let’s look at one of the top teams in lower-division leagues in Germany, and the Bergheim 2000 Football Club.
FC Bergheim 2000 Football Club History
FC Bergheim 2000 FC is a football team from Bergheim, Rhein-Erft district. The team first played in the 5th-class Mitterlheinliga in the 2014/2015 season, and the Lukas Podolski Sport Park is the home venue. The team was established on 1st July 2000 through the merger of two clubs, which included the CFR Kenten and Jugend 07 Bergheim with the football department of BSV Zieverich. The two clubs have often competed against each other in the past few decades and have both delivered exciting derbies.
The current club colours are black and blue, with blue representing Jugend 07 Bergheim and black for the CFR Kenten. Before the merger, Jugend 07 Bergheim played in the top division between 1931 and 1933. Additionally, it belonged to the top amateur league in the Middle Rhine between 1952 and 1954. Recently, the home team to the national and well-known player Lukas Podolski participated in the district league A. On the other hand, the CFR Kenten team played in the Mittelrheinische Landesliga between 1978 and 1982.
After the merger, the brand new football club started to play in the district league A and was promoted to the league B in 2004. In 2009, the team missed the re-promotion by a single point, but it succeeded one year later. And in 2011, it managed to advance to the district football league. In 2014, Bergheim fussball club was promoted to the Germany Middle Rhine League and won the Championship Cup through goal difference.
After one season, FC Bergheim 2000 Football Club went back to the Germany national league as penultimate. And in 2015, the team withdrew from the league due to increased costs, severance payments, and tax claims. In the 2016/2017 season, Bergheim 2000 Football Club started a new life in the Germany district league. The team was relegated to the district league A in 2018.
The home ground of the Bergheim 2000 Football Club is the Lukas Podolski Sport Park. However, it shares the stadium with Hilal Bergheim, one of its local rivals. The venue was named after Lukas Podolski, a renowned German international. Lukas Podolski donated money to help in the expansion of the stadium. Podolski was a player at FC Youth 07 Bergheim up until 1995 when he moved on.
Bergheim 2000 Football Club, Winning Trophies and Titles
When it comes to winning trophies and titles, Bergheim 2000 Football Club does not have any records. The club is still in the early stages of building itself, meaning its fans will need to wait for some time to see the first trophy.
The team started with the aim of bringing together the footballing potential not only in Bergheim but across Germany. Currently, the club has approximately 330 members, and it is doing everything to become a lively and attractive football club that isn’t only dedicated to soccer but is also socially attractive and active.
Bergheim 2000 Football Club Facts for Fans
The mission of the Bergheim 2000 Football Club is to utilise the motivation and strengths of each individual in a targeted manner and to help them grow together in a community. It does not judge any weaknesses, the religion, the social background, or the origin of its members since it wants to lead and develop its teams from Bambinis to seniors through the solidarity in the club and the joy of football. Currently, Bergheim 2000 Football Club has the following teams, and each one of them has its own aims. These teams include:
- Bambini – E Youth: The Bambini – E Youth team consists of young talented players. Each player in the senior team starts from the Bambini – E Youth club. The main aim of this youth club is to offer comprehensive and football-specific basic training. Additionally, it is dedicated to helping its youth players perfect the content of the basic techniques when it comes to football.
The principles of this club include encouraging risk-taking, education for independence, child-friendly treatment of all players, no commitment to gaming/playing positions, and the opportunity to play without regulation.
- C Youth and D Youth: These are the second and third teams, respectively. These two teams aim to offer football-centred education through individual training. These teams provide players with important content, including the introduction of game tactics, system, and position-specific behaviour.
Also, players learn about group, individual and tactical behaviour in ball possession, ball-oriented space coverage, and position-specific technique training. In terms of principles, players learn about promotion of independence, conscious promotion of one to one situations, and development of willingness to learn.
- A Youth and B Youth: These two youth teams help players improve on their technical skills and prepare them for the senior sector. Also, they provide them with optimal competitive performance. The content in these two teams includes perfect tactical behaviour, individual development of technical skills, and education to provide competitive performance.
When it comes to principles, players learn about winning mentality and passion, enthusiasm, creativity, and willingness to take risks and develop tactical understanding and flexibility of the game.
Bergheim 2000 Football Club is looking for a way back to traditional strength with easy and straightforward means and community unity. It wants to be a role model for the City of Bergheim as well as the whole Rhein Erft district.
With ten own youth teams, one old men team, and two gymnastic groups, Bergheim 2000 Football Club is ready to evolve into one of the top teams in Germany. We hope that it will be among the Bundesliga teams in the near future.
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