“2023 was a blue and white calendar year,” says Blau-Weiß Linz managing director Christoph Peschek. Despite the 1:2 defeat in the last autumn game on Sunday against WSG Tirol, the Linz team can look back on an outstanding year: champions in the 2nd football league, inauguration of the new Hofmann Personal Stadium and great performances in the upper house – Blue and White can be proud of what they have achieved.
“The way our team has worked its way into the Bundesliga is impressive. The fans can also identify with that,” says Peschek, who also looked back on the year 2023 in numbers: an average of 4,900 spectators came the new arena, the subscription numbers shot up from 446 to 2705 subscriptions compared to the second highest league. The same applies to sponsors: there were 34 business partners in the previous season, currently there are almost four times as many. Just yesterday, another company, “bet-at-home.com AG”, was added.
Video: Blue-White Linz coach Gerald Scheiblehner in an OÖN interview:
“This book is not yet finished. We want to continue to grow in 2024. We not only want to report records now, but also keep them. We want to develop sustainably without overdriving ourselves,” Peschek is already looking ahead.
The club has also gained some sympathy outside the pitch: with fan meetings or public training sessions where the children are even involved in the warm-up exercises, Blau-Weiß is definitely number one in Linz when it comes to approachability.
Euphoria continues to be great
The Blue and Whites have remained so down-to-earth because they also know the other side. “When I came to Blau-Weiß, the question was whether we could even afford a training camp,” says Peschek. Coach Gerald Scheiblehner also emphasizes how important promotion to the upper house was: “We started the journey two and a half years ago. After the first second division championship title, almost the entire team left, and we have been working with this team ever since. The club has always The perspective was missing, but with the stadium the euphoria is now unbroken. The absolute greatest success was the promotion in the summer. Without that it would have been very difficult this year in an extremely strong second division.”
The 46-year-old also sees parallels to the previous season: “We are repeating history, we have also gotten out of a very difficult situation in the Bundesliga and have taken a big step forward as a team.” He enjoys working with the team enormously – which is why he didn’t need a winter break himself: “We have a great atmosphere at every training session, there’s a real excitement in it. I really enjoy being the coach of this team.”
Player conversations and the dream of an academy
This team probably won’t change much in the winter – it’s more likely that one or two players will leave the club: “In the Bundesliga, a new hierarchy has developed in the team. There are of course players who are with their “We are not satisfied with the minutes played. There have already been discussions about that,” explains sports director Christoph Schösswendter.
Video: Blau-Weiß-Linz sports director Christoph Schösswendter in an OÖN interview:
An intensive winter break awaits him: The contracts of 16 kickers as well as the loan of Salzburg’s Raphael Hofer expire in the summer: “We have already had intensive discussions, which were also very positive. We will certainly bring together one and two completion reports. It “But now is also an opportunity to redesign something. That wasn’t possible in the summer due to the short time and the promotion, which meant that many contracts were automatically extended.”
His coach has no wish to transfer to the Christ child. Scheiblehner: “I just hope that Ronny (note: striker Ronivaldo) is fit again before preparation.” While no reinforcements are planned in the player sector, there could still be new faces: The coaching team is to be expanded with an additional supervisor and a scout.
The club is also pursuing a dream in the youth sector: its own academy. Schösswendter: “We’re still at the very beginning, but we’ve already got a lot of topics on track. The start has been made, now it’s also about going through possible sites. We want to make progress so that we can report something in the not too distant future can.”
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