Stuttgarter Kickers: Road to Tokyo Part 5 | @Winkveron

Happy hump day! Here’s author extraordinaire and all round nice chap Dan with the latest Stuttgart Kickers season

With a potential Champions League campaign looming, the board expand the stadium for the second summer in a row.

It’s great, but puts a dent in my transfer budget, and the board won’t budge – the amount I’m allowed to offer players remains at a paltry £3k per week.

We limp out of the Liga Cup at the first hurdle, but can’t say I’m bothered. It’s a nuisance competition that begins 25 days before the first league game. The fans are just as uninterested as the players, with less than 7,000 showing up.

We’re two games away from the Champions League and still getting picked off by the dreaded “big-club release clause”. Roy Hayward leaves for Leeds for £2m, and we haven’t been able to sign a player for an unthinkable nine months now. We need bodies in.

Club Brugge stand in our way.

He could be hit or miss, but finally we sign someone.

Such is my desperation this guy is recalled from the Stiffs, and makes his debut…at right wing-back.

What a result! Captain Viard goes off injured after 40 minutes and his replacement, signed for £5k from English non-league, scores a goal that could be worth millions to the club.

Ruben Sosa’s regen comes in for just £80k. Great business.

A poor start to the league campaign, but we’ve all got an eye on the second leg against Club Brugge. We pick up another injury – hopefully it’s not too serious.


I wouldn’t mind the money, but who would I spend it on? Offer refused.

Another league defeat leaves us 17th after two games, then we win 6-0 at home in the cup against an amateur team, before the big one.

We did it, in front of a club-record crowd! The first two goals come from transfer-listed players. I bet Marc Emmers wishes he hadn’t turned us down in 1997. Revenge is a dish best served cold, three years later. Not that I’m bitter.

£1m prize money, and a relatively easy group. I’ll take that!

Kuntz. My thoughts exactly. Brown injured.

Give me a break!

We can’t buy a win, even against ten men (nine men for the last 5 minutes). It’s early days but we’re already four points adrift of safety.

Could be a terrible signing, but I have to gamble. £15k a week until the end of the season.

Tune in next time to see if Beppe and the boys can drag us clear of the relegation zone and succeed in the Champions League group stage.

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