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Monobunt Gladiators Ried play on Saturday for a place in the playoff final

Monobunt Gladiators Ried play on Saturday for a place in the playoff final
Monobunt Gladiators Ried play on Saturday for a place in the playoff final

Up to 1000 fans come to the home games of the Monobunt Gladiators Ried.

The footballers of the Monobunt Gladiators Ried suffered only one defeat in the regular season of Division 2, Conference A. This secured the team of head coach Raffael Gruber first place in the table. Last season, the Gladiators were unable to win a single game. This year, the euphoria is all the greater.

On Saturday, July 6, the “Gladiators” want to continue their winning streak in the playoff home game (2 p.m., Klaus Roitinger Stadium) against the Weinviertel Spartans. A win would put Ried in the final (Iron Bowl). This will determine who will be promoted to Austria’s second highest league (Division One). “Now our goal for the season is of course promotion,” says Raffael Gruber in an interview with OÖNachrichten.

OÖN: The Gladiators didn’t manage a single win last season. How surprised are you about the season so far with five wins and one very close loss?

Raffael Gruber: I’m actually not that surprised. We had the best preparation since the club was founded. Many rookies, i.e. young players, immediately became top performers. So it was clear that a lot was possible this season. We are all the more pleased that things have gone so well so far. After the first wins, we saw which direction we were heading in. The run of success then increased our self-confidence even more.

What are your expectations going into the playoffs?

Expectations are high, especially since, unlike last season, we have been spared from major injury problems so far.

What factor could the home advantage be on Saturday in the home game against the Weinviertel Spartans?

That will definitely be a huge factor for us. We have great fans who always push us to perform at our best. That can make all the difference in such an important game.

How many fans do you expect?

Hard to say. The holidays are starting, so some people are probably already on their way on holiday. We would be happy if at least 700 spectators would come to support us.

How do you rate your chances in the semi-final against Weinviertel?

We are seeded first in the playoffs, so we are going into the game as favorites. We must not underestimate the Weinviertel Spartans, they are in the playoffs for a reason. If we perform to our potential, I am convinced that we will make it to the final.

Is promotion – which would now require two more wins – to Division One, Austria’s second highest league, the clearly stated goal?

Of course, promotion is our goal now. We are the only one of four teams going into the playoffs with a record of 7:1 wins. No matter how it turns out, I am already very proud of the team. Coming back like this after this disastrous year of 2023 cannot be valued highly enough.

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