Winterthur, Swiss football away days 12
Back in Switzerland for a week or two, I decided to take the opportunity to do another Swiss football groundhop for my blog. I managed to get a game in the city of Winterthur to see the local team play against FC Vaduz. I also planned to get a hike in the morning, climbing the Canton of Zurich’s highest peak Schnebelhorn, to continue with my Swiss Canton Peak challenge. Football and a hike, two birds with one stone!
Winterthur is a German speaking city in the Canton of Zürich in northern Switzerland. With over 110,000 residents it is the country’s sixth-largest city by population.
Getting to Winterthur is no problem, as it is one of the busiest stations on the Swiss Railway Network with 105,000 passengers a day. As the town is close to Zürich, it is served by many trains on the local Zürich S-Bahn network.
To be honest the city is not really the most happening place in the world, not much to see as a tourist, and no real attractions that draw people in.
Switzerland Canton High Points
Zurich: Schnebelhorn, 1,292 metres, 4,239 feet
Number 9 on my Swiss canton peaks list, the canton of Zurich.
Started at 9.am in the small village of Steg, then straight upto Schnebelhorn, not a hard hike to the top, but was very misty and cold, and when at peak didn’t hang around too long as it was very windy and could see nothing.
Coming down the weather got better, and by the time I arrived in Winterthur for the football it was a lovely day.
The Schnebelhorn is a mountain located near Fischenthal in the Töss Valley, between the cantons of Zurich (west) and St. Gallen (east). It is the highest summit of the canton of Zurich.
Various trails lead to the summit from all sides. Most of the massif is covered by forests.
Address: General-Guisan-Strasse 19, 8400 Winterthur
Dropped in by accident…..was actually on my way to an Irish bar, and my eyes were distracted by the harp of Guinness on display on the outside of this establishment………
A Scottish bar, interesting, has Guinness, but more importantly it had Smithwicks on tap………respect right there.
Once I got settled in, and after my pint of Smithwicks (was just ok!), ordered some food………..cheesy chips (the healthy option) , and a pint of Brew Dog Punk IPA, one of my favorites, poured lovely and cold………….with my dinner, it went down very well.
Since I was in a Scottish bar, I decided I might as well finally try their infamous Irn-Bru, “Scotland’s other national drink”, some sort of fizzy pop. It was , well interesting, full of sugar for sure……..not one I’d drink regularly I’d have to say.
Since I was in a hurry I had to go, but enjoyed my short time here…….food was good, drinks fine, bar man, with the obligatory kilt, was very friendly….
Good bar……..respect to my Celtic cousins….
Molly Malone Irish Pub Winterthur
Address: Oberer Deutweg 4, 8400 Winterthur
Bit out of the town, and the outside doesn’t look much but inside its not too bad, decent decor and plenty of space to sit down.
Was quiet for the time I was there, mid day Saturday, a few knocking around. Sat at bar, and the first positive was the beer menu…..it was massive and had a very, very good selection of beers on tap and in bottle. Top beers from Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Germany and local beers from Switzerland, and good ciders too…..excellent selection of beers.
Ordered a Guinness, as you do, and a cheese burger for something to eat. Served with a smile, and the food came quick enough. Food served quick is always a bad sign, and to be honest the burger wasn’t the best, looked good but was a bit soggy and wasn’t as filling as it should have been. The Guinness was not the best too, but I’m not going to take marks off for that…..outside of Dublin its generally hit and miss….. I also ordered a Spitfire ale and it was fine.
The bar man was friendly, and I liked the effort made to turn this into a real bar…..I hope it works out for them……as that beer menu is top quality. Would love to return and sample more of their beers, especially the Gose beers, ha.
Paddy O’Brien’s Old Irish Pub
Address: Merkurstrasse 25, 8400 Winterthur
Only here for a quick pit stop, great to see they had Newcastle Brown Ale on tap, lovely….
Staff working hard, especially one Irish man who I assumed was the bar owner, but later found out he was just part of the staff, but boy was it impressive to see him work the tables, pull the pints, and generally work his ass off…..all with a smile and some good Swiss German to boot. Workers like that are diamonds…….
Loved the Dubliners album on the wall, what a great touch……..
Must return next time I am in town………
Arena/Stadium: Stadion Schützenwiese
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Manager: Bruno Berner
League: Swiss Super League
Swiss Super League: Winners (3): 1905–06, 1907–08, 1916–17
Challenge League (2nd div title): Winners (4): 1965–66, 1967–68, 1981–82, 2021–22
FC Winterthur is the main local football team. They play in the Swiss Super League, the first tier of Swiss football, and appeared regularly in the Nationalliga A during the 20th century. Their home is the Stadion Schützenwiese.
The club was founded in 1896 by students of the local school of engineering and following a fusion with two local teams, it was called Vereinigte Fussballclubs Winterthur between 1929 and 1946. They enjoyed their best success in the early part of the 20th century winning the Swiss Championship three times (in 1906, 1908 and 1917), before consecutive relegations in 1931 and 1934. They played in the lower leagues until regaining promotion to the Nationalliga B in 1950. They have since stayed in the second division for most of their history.
They famously lost to West Auckland F.C., an English amateur team in what is thought to be the first international football club competition, the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy. The club have also reached the final of the Swiss Cup in 1968 and 1975, losing both games.
In the 2021–22 season, Winterthur were able to achieve a last round championship victory in the Swiss Challenge League, to gain their first promotion to the Swiss Super League, their first time at the top table of Swiss football since 1982. Following their promotion, coach Alex Frei, who led the team during this successful season, departed the team to join FC Basel. He was replaced by Bruno Berner.
The club play at Stadion Schützenwiese, a short walk from the centre of Winterthur, since 1896. In the 1980s the ownership was transferred to Winterthur council as the club faced financial problems. The council are responsible for any maintenance and upkeep of the ground. While once boasting a capacity of 14,987 before 2009, the stadium now holds 8,550 seats, 1,900 of which are seated. The more hardcore supporters of the club stand at one end, which is known as the Bierkurve. Away supporters are housed at the opposite end of the stadium to the Bierkurve.
To the game
FC Winterthur 4–2 FC Vaduz
16.04.2022 • Stadion Schützenwiese, Winterthur
• M. Di Giusto (16′) FC Vaduz
• S. Ltaief Rrudhani (29′) FC Win
• M. Sutter (54′) FC Vaduz
• G. Lekaj (57′) FC Win
• R. Buess (66′) FC Win
• S. Ballet (92′) FC Win
The atmosphere was electric with the home support sensing that another victory today would edge the team closer to promotion and back in the big league for the first time in years
Pre-match and in the sun, the crowd were buzzing, it was a great feeling. Ground was packed, and everyone in a good mood.
Long queues for beer and food so ventured in the art gallery, yes what modern football ground doesn’t have an art gallery, had some wine and gawked at some art! Bit silly to be honest.
Finally managed to get some beers and took my place in the main stand, at the back……………..good views of ground, but I have to be honest, with all the supporters packed in, it was way overfull, and with supporters spilling onto the walk ways and exits it was potentially very dangerous as everyone was on top of each other on a steep stand…….
To be honest I hope they have this sorted for next season when they play teams with bigger travelling support. Very dangerous IMHO. Never-mind the pretentious art bollix, get your safety checked first! tsk.
At half time, made my way to the area behind the goals where all the ultra fans hung out……….again packed, but not as steep or hazardous, and more fun as the songs were going and atmosphere a plenty.
Home team won 4–2, in a very entertaining game. Good game, good atmosphere, but too many queues and issues with crowd safety………………
Enjoyed the day, nice hike in the morning and lovely few hours spent in the pubs of Winterthur. Oh yeah, the football game was fun too!
Here is the video of my hike and visit to FC Winterhur