The DFB’s German Student National Football Team are heading to India from January 4 to 12, 2016 for a four city tour in which they will visit Delhi, Aizawl, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Apart from visiting social projects and youth teams, the core content of this visit are two friendly matches against local Indian opponents, on January 6 it is against a Mizoram XI in Aizawl and then against Ozone FC Bengaluru on January 11.
The tour aims to give the players an impression of a foreign country, in this case India, while also being ambassadors of German culture and its football in a foreign country.
The German Student National Team is composed of professional and semi-professional, highly talented footballers, who mainly play in the German 4th division while also studying at German Universities with an aim of having a university degree besides their football playing career.
The best known footballer in the squad is striker Steffen Wohlfarth, who has played for FC Ingolstadt 04 in the German 2nd and 3rd divisions, and now plays for fifth division side FV Ravensburg besides studying at the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Ravensburg.
Another well-known player of the squad is former German junior international Dennis Bührer, who made his professional debut for SC Freiburg in the 2.Bundesliga before playing for third division sides Sportfreunde Siegen, Rot-Weiss Essen and Dynamo Dresden. Currently he plays for fifth division side Bahlinger SC.
The tour to India is supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs besides being organized the German Football Association (DFB), while it has the support and clearance of the All India Football Federation as the custodians of football in India.
Markus Weidner, the German Football Associations (DFB), Director for Coaching and International Relations, said, “We are looking forward to a great start into the year 2016. The German Students national team will travel to India for 10 days and visit the cities of Delhi, Aizawl, Kolkata and Bangalore. Our Ambassadors Team will play two friendlies while in India.”
“I am already looking forward to the football enthusiastic state of Mizoram and look forward to the first friendly match of any DFB-selection in the New Year – on January 6 – against a Mizoram XI in Aizawl. But also from the second match on January 11 against the newcomers from Ozone Football Club Bengaluru, I expect exciting 90 minutes.”
“The trip will take place in close cooperation with the Foreign Ministry as well as Germany’s Embassy and Consulates in India. Besides the matches we look forward to the visits to projects with socially disadvantaged children across the four Indian cities,” Markus Weidner ended by saying.
German Students National Team’s Head of Delegation Lutz Hermann Hangartner, who also is the president of the Association of German Football Coaches, said, “For me this team is special, then it has little to no time to prepare for our trips, but the team always works and they are great ambassadors for Germany abroad.”
German Students National Team’s head coach Marcus Jung said, “After the ambassador tours to numerous countries in Africa and South America, which I was allowed to be a part off, now India will be our first destination in Asia. On the one hand India is culturally very appealing with the second largest population in the world and on the other hand India is discovering its love for football.”
“I have heard Cricket and Hockey are the dominant sports in India, but in 2014 the first season of the new Indian Super League was held and the second edition with the list of coaches including Zico, Roberto Carlos, Marco Materazzi, David Platt, Nicolas Anelka to me looks to have been very high profile. I am very excited to see what footballing level awaits us there.”
“Also 1899 Hoffenheim visited India at the end of their Bundesliga season in May 2014, played against a Mizoram XI and won 3-0. I look forward to the two matches, the charity visits besides the cities of Delhi, Aizawl, Kolkata, and Bangalore. This will certainly be an impressive experience and a journey in which each individual will as on those ambassador tours before take a lot of impressions back home.”
On the visit to Mizoram, Lalnghinglova Hmar, the Honorary Secretary of the Mizoram Football Association, said, “First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the German Football Association for graciously accepting our invitation to host the DFB German Students National Team in Aizawl from January 5 to 7.”
“The Mizoram Football Association in 2014 successfully hosted Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim which significantly improve Mizoram Football, while experiencing world class players coming to Mizoram is not only a great experience for the Mizos, but also a boost for our football enthusiastic youth to give them hope in football, and yes, a dream beyond Indian football.”
“Not to forget, it was in October 2012 when the two German football coaches send by the DFB, Lutz Pfannenstiel and Felix Imm gave training to the local Mizo coaches which has been of great help to improve the standard of coaching in Mizoram. Relations between German football and Mizoram football have continued since then and increased exponentially.”
“Mizoram look forward to welcome the DFB German Students National Team with open arms to the state to rub their shoulders with our Mizo boys. The whole state is waiting for this grand occasion,” Lalnghinglova Hmar ended.
S. Vasudevan, Chairman of Ozone Group, said, “The Ozone Group has launched its very own Professional Football Club, Ozone Football Club Bengaluru, two months ago. In addition, the grass root training academy currently at Hosur, in association with the KNVB (Netherlands) aspires to churn out young talent and act as a platform for the next generation of professional footballers having international exposure and facilities.”
“We are delighted that our Club players are getting an opportunity to play with the German Students National Team. This is an extraordinary opportunity for our players, to play with these young and talented players coming from a FIFA World Cup winning country. We believe that Ozone Football Club Bengaluru, playing against an European power house will allow us to experience in close quarters their unique style of playing football.”
“We whole heartedly thank the German Football Association, for making this happen. We look forward to many more such opportunities, which will help propel the game in our country to higher levels in the near future,” S. Vasudevan added.
The team assembles in Germany on January 2 at the DFB headquarters in Frankfurt, has an afternoon training session before leaving for Delhi on Sunday, January 3. The team has only a day in Delhi, which includes sightseeing and an afternoon training camp with the children of NGO STAIRS. A day later is the travel day to Aizawl, followed by match day on January 6, visit to an orphanage and interaction with the Mizo grass root program. A day later it is a short flight across to Kolkata, where the team does a two day stopover for more sightseeing and interactions with children at another football camp. On January 9 the team flies across to Bengaluru for the final-leg of the India trip. After another camp and more interactions in children, on January 11 it’s the second match against Ozone FC Bengaluru before the team flies back to Germany in the early hours of January 12.
DFB GERMAN STUDENTS NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM SQUAD
Jonas Sam Ermes, Arne Kampe
Tommy Kind, Christopher Heermann, Dennis Bührer, Rafael Hinrichs, Kevin Johannes Schulz, Medoune Marcus Adam Fall
Jörn Zimmermann, Phil Pablo Vincent Weimer, Christian März, Nico Schneck, Ralf Kettemann, Eugen Schiffmann
Matthias Haeder, Steffen Wohlfarth
Lutz Hermann Hangartner (Head of Delegation), Marcus Jung (Head Coach), Bastian Huber (Assistant Coach), Dietmar Manfred Richard Helf (Physio), Dr. Manfred Hugo Lais (Doctor), Arunava Chaudhuri (Technical Advisor), Eva Winkler (Team Manager)