Schaffhausen, Swiss football away days 11
Schaffhausen, Swiss football away days 11
With Covid reeking havoc on my football schedule in the year 2021, I could only get to do one Swiss football groundhop for my blog. I managed to get a game in the scenic town of Schaffhausen to see the local team play against FC Aarau.
Schaffhausen, a German speaking town of about 36,000 inhabitants, is in Northern Switzerland and capital of the canton of the same name. It is located on the banks of the Rhine and not far from the popular tourist destination Neuhausen am Rheinfall, where one can see the amazing Rhine falls, Europe’s largest waterfall.
The town is first mentioned in 1045 as Villa Scafhusun, so it is a town with a long history. The old portion of the Schaffhausen has many fine Renaissance and Mediaeval era buildings decorated with exterior frescos and sculpture, as well as the old canton fortress, the imposing Munot. It is a nice enough town to walk around, and for the day that was in it, a lazy Saturday afternoon, it was very quiet with not a whole lot going on.
The name of the town derives from Scafhusun which comes from Schaf (a sheep), as a ram (now a sheep) formed the ancient arms (traceable to 1049) of the town, derived from those of its founders, the Counts of Nellenburg. Todays coat of arms for the town still has a representation of a ram and a castle.
The town was heavily damaged during the Thirty Years’ War by the passage of Swedish (Protestant) and Bavarian (Roman Catholic) troops and the very important bridge was burnt down. It was not until the early 19th century that the arrested industrial development of the town made a fresh start. On 1 April 1944 Schaffhausen suffered a bombing raid by United States Army Air Forces aircraft which strayed from German airspace into neutral Switzerland due to navigation errors. Air raid sirens had often sounded in the past, without an actual attack, so many residents ignored the sirens that day. A total of 40 civilians were killed in the raid. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent a personal letter of apology to the mayor of Schaffhausen and the United States quickly offered four million US dollars in reparations.
Getting to Schaffhausen can be a little complicated, as it is served by two railway stations, jointly owned by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Deutsche Bahn (DB), and is served by trains of both nation’s networks. The station is served by long distance passenger trains running between Frankfurt and Zurich and between Basel and Ulm. The Herblingen railway station is called at by local trains linking Schaffhausen station and Singen. It can be a bit confusing at times, as getting the German train means cheaper tickets, but a slightly longer trip, and one can sometimes get caught out by sitting on the wrong train with the wrong ticket!
I have on many occasions ventured from Schaffhausen to the Rhine Falls in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, and why not. It really is the only reason people visit Schaffhausen, lets be honest. You can get a direct link there via train, or by bus from the town. You can actually hop on a self driving bus to the falls, if you dare!
A favourite of tourists for centuries, even the great Mary Shelley and J. M. W. Turner made a trip here to marvel at the wonder of the falls. The Rhine Falls is a waterfall and the largest of its kind in Europe. The falls are located on the High Rhine on the border between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich, between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen/Dachsen, next to the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland. They are 150 metres wide and 23 metres high.
There is plenty to see and do in the falls, can visit the Wörth Castle and Laufen Castle both of which are nice to look at, can venture around the whole Falls itself, going on a loop and crisscrossing via a bridge, can get near via an observation deck or the numerous viewing platforms dotted about, or, if brave, can even take a tourist boat near the falls itself, a choppy enough endeavor. Some people even get off the boat to climb the standing stack in the midst of the Falls…… Of course if you prefer there a few restaurants on the promenade, to have a nice meal and/or beer and look at the falls from afar.
Tit bit of information for the football obsessed, i.e. people like me! Roberto Di Matteo, ex Italian and Chelsea player and coach, comes from the town of Schaffhausen. Yes Italian, both his parents were from the old country so that’s how he played for the Azzurri. Karl Jäge, is also a native son to the town, but the Swiss-born German mid-ranking official in the SS of Nazi Germany and Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide during the Holocaust is better forgotten and the less said about him the better, ha!
Restaurant CM Brauhaus
Address: Zentralstrasse 1 8212 Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Knowing I could walk from Schaffhausen to Neuhausen am Rheinfall, I decided to make a trip to the family run Restaurant CM Brauhaus as I read they brew their own beer, and felt it might be an interesting place to see.
I kind of messed up as the walk, which I had done many times before, was longer than I had remembered. So in actual fact I only made it to one bar for the trip due to this excessive trip.
But it was worth it as the bar/restaurant is a treasure. Within the centre of the restaurant there are two bigger copper kettles where the house beer and seasonal beers are regularly brewed. The vaulted cellar is where most of the magic happens, located directly below the restaurant, where all the brews are fermented and stored until served cold at the bar.
The CM Brauhaus restaurant opened its doors for the first time as a Brauhaus restaurant in 2016. The interior has a very modern feel to it yet their is also a nod to its vintage location as there are some artifacts to brewery and local history dotted around. Its a nice place to sit down and relax. I ventured in to see the copper tanks, but many people were seated outside enjoying their food and beers with the lovely day that it was. A nice atmosphere at the brewhouse, everyone enjoying themselves. A definite touristy kind of feel going on, happy to be out and about.
I didn’t go for any food, which looked damn good on what I saw coming out of the kitchen, I probably should have, but decided to have the house beer, which was a pale ale, nourishment enough I guessed. Service was fast and very friendly, they also charged my phone on request which was kind of them. The beer was served cold and was FANTASTIC, well worth the long walk. You know the beer was good as I ordered another one, breaking my one beer one pub rule. Liked it here a lot, has a very homely and relaxing feel to the place, and one where I could have happily spent longer. And the beers were to die for. Often these places can be very pretentious but this brew house was brilliant, and I hope I can return in the near future.
Arena/Stadium: LIPO Park
Location: 8207 Schaffhausen
Manager: Murat Yakın
League: Swiss Challenge League
Challenge League (2nd div title): 2 (2004 and 1963)
Swiss Cup: Runners up 1988 and 1994
FC Schaffhausen is a Swiss football team from the town of Schaffhausen. They participate in the Challenge League, the second tier of Swiss football. Founded in 1896 as “football club Viktoria”, they are one of the oldest teams in the country.
The team usually sticks around the second division, for about 54 seasons in fact, with only very brief forays at the top table, the top league, in the 50’s, 60’s and from 2004 to 2007, and the odd occasion even dropping to the 3rd league. Must be great to be a FC Schaffhausen fan. Wonder have any jumped off the Falls after a particularly boring season, or are they well used to it by now?
As for honours, they won the third division titles in 1945 and 1984, and in 1963 and 2004 second division titles, and qualified for the final in the Swiss Cup in 1988 and 1994. Not a whole lot for the old club to be fair.
FC Schaffhausen used to play in the Breite Stadium which had a capacity of just over 7000, but with only about a 1000 seats so in early 2017 they moved to the LIPO Park Schaffhausen, which has a capacity of 8,000 seats albeit the players play on an artificial turf, yuck. They also tog out at home in yellow, to add to their woes!
Well know ex players were, local boy, Roberto Di Matteo and Joachim Löw, present German National Manager.
To the game
FC Schaffhausen 2–4 FC Aarau
08.02.2020 • LIPO Park Stadium , Schaffhausen
• Spadanuda (26′) FC A
• Rrudhani (51′) FCA
• Qollaku (60′) FC Schaff.
• Del Toro (67′) FC Schaff.
• Schneuwly (Pen 71′) FCA
• Hammerich (89′) FCA
Had to fill in a Covid tracing form to enter ground, no worries.
But first issue is that the stand I was in didn’t take card, I wanted to get a beer and something to eat. No card, can you believe it? So much for the cashless society. But the lady behind the bar was kind enough to give me a beer, on the house, which was extremely nice of her.
(At half time I managed to go out of the stand area and get some cash from an inhouse cash machine, with the help of one kind official, so was able to buy some more beer, and pay for the free beer, afterwards)
Was pissing down with rain and was cold, but thankfully was well covered under the main stand. Plastic pitch, in the rain…….. expect lots of goals then.
Home team had a few chances at the start of game, but the FC Aarau goalie was pretty alert and pulled off a few good saves.
Spadanuda scored a nice goal from the 26th minute, capitalizing on the slow reactions of the home team in clearing the ball from their own defence, to put FC Aarau one nil up.
After that nothing really happened until the second half. Rrudhani for the away team, livened things up when he scored a nice goal from the edge of the penalty box, nice, 2–0.
That was the kick up the backside the home team needed, as less than ten minutes later they managed to scramble the ball home, Qollaku shooting home from close range, albeit it looked well offside to me, but there you go, the fightback was on.
And then a mix up from a FC Aarau throw in, in their own half, the Italian, Del Toro quickly pounced on the error to slot home a lovely equaliser. Game on now………. great stuff.
But then the referee had a brain fart and sent off the defender, Kaiser in the 71st minute, for the most gentlest of tug backs, and also award a penalty to FC Aarau, the bastard! Never a penalty. Slotted home expertly, right hand top corner, by Schneuwly, who came on as a substitute and was involved in everything in the latter stages for the away team. A good player to spring from the bench.
To makes things worse for the home team, Hammerich scored a well worked team effort, to make it 4–2 for FC Aarau, and a very comfortable performance for the away team. Home team tried their best but they just were not at the same skill level as FC AAarau, who just had that bit more quality.
Good game. No real atmosphere but I could put that down to the awful weather, virtually played out under a downpour, and also the home team letting in four goals. The stadium is nice and dinky, and has four similar stands all around. I can imagine when its full, it might be fun. Food and beer, usual rubbish one can expect this side of the world inside a stadium. They don’t do burgers or pies too well over here!!
Highlights of the game here.
Cant say I enjoyed the day. I wankered myself out with my mad walk to the beer house, and the walk back. That and the awful weather, raining throughout the game, making it cold and miserable. Not too much to see in the town, bit dead, and although the game was good, there was no atmosphere…….
Schaffhausen is a nice town, but might be better to visit during the summer!