FCSP amateur departments: Handball

Posted: March 24, 2015 by FCSP Athens South End Scum in Handball, Interviews
Tags: , , , , ,



Next stop for the amateur FCSP tour and this one is a much more familiar stop to us since we already had the opportunity and pleasure to watch them in action more than once in the past! This is one of the oldest and most popular departments (as you will have chance to read for yourselves) of the big FCSP family. Please welcome the boys and girls of FCSP Handball 🙂

OK, Handball is not an alien sport around the globe. Not much to learn about the sport but really lots to learn about our department, which has a history that goes well back in time, being probably 2nd only to football and Rugby. Sven, FCSP Handball communication officer (title quite pompous but it’s ours 😀 ) was very kind to accept our invitation and share with us a lot of things that cover almost the entire spectrum of the department activities:

Let’s start with some basic background info here…Could you give us a brief version of the department history? When and under what circumstances was the department founded? Was the mother club positive to the idea from the beginning or did you have initially to make your way to recognition like some other departments?

We found the first mention of a female handball team at FC St. Pauli`s in 1934. But we don`t know what happened with the team. The reestablishment of our department was made in 1943. Erich Mücke, a guy from the Rugby department brought a couple of young ladies together to found a handball team. One of those ladies was Lotti Drabner who is now 88 years old and still honorary member of our club. More than 70 years at FC St. Pauli. For us it was incromprehensible why some young ladies found a handball team during world war 2 when there were bomb attacks over the city. Lotti told us at that time they had not much possibilities to spend their freetime. All men were at war and playing handball was a welcome variety for the girls. After the war a male team was founded.

One thing to say about handball sports in former times: Until the 1970s handball was played outside on a football field with 11 players in each team. Handball as an indoor game as we know it today only exists since 40-50 years.


Seems like a crowded department with 11 (if we have counted right) different squads playing in all kinds of local leagues. Would you mind giving us a few details about how FCSP Handball is organized?

At the moment we have 19 teams all in all. 3 female teams, 6 male teams and one team in a league for handicapped and non-handicapped people. Plus 9 youth teams we are managing in a cooperation with SG Altona, the club from our neighbour district.

The department counts a bit more than 300 people. We have a “department president” together with a managing-committee of 7-10 people voted once a year by the plenary meeting of the department members.Those people care about the budget, the communication, all the official stuff. All work is done in an honorary capacity. But more than this many players of all teams are working on the organization to keep the whole department running. Especially for the 1st male and the 1st female team there are many things to manage like sponsoring, travel organization etc. In the “Oberliga” (the 4th league) many players are getting paid (at least with an allowance). At St. Pauli Handball no player gets money. They are proud to play for our club in the Oberliga and therefore everybody has a small job in the team to organize a part of the season. Without such personal power we would not have the opportunity to play in the 4th division.

Lots of squads, lots of outfits, lots of equipment, still the department is looking (at least to us) sufficiently equipped. How department expenses are covered? Sponsors, mother club, self participation, a little of everything? Can the department remain “healthy” in case the mother club faces financial problems in the future?

I know what you mean by “mother club” but we don`t like this term. We all are FC St. Pauli with many departments including a professional football squad. Each department is doing it`s own budget calculation. This means in case of financial problems of the “mother club” each department could be crashed. But never the less we prefer this construct in comparison to a football department which is sourced out.

At the Handball department we have a monthly fee for each member from 5,- Euro (youth) to 13,- Euro. 1,50 € per month/member goes to the membership administration and the rest is for our department to run all the expenses as fees for the season, the referees, jerseys and so on. The top teams playing in the Oberliga searching their own sponsors to cover all their travel expenses.


Watch the crazy bastard with the pink full face, he is the Capo 😀

A lot of us (Greek fans, some of them first timers, others “returning customers”) have been delighted a few weeks ago (at the match vs HG Hamburg-Barmbek) watching a 4th division handball squad playing in front of a full house (even if the Budapesterstraße Indoor Hall is not THAT big 😀 )? Is it always this way at home?

It is. And it is fantastic. We have an average of almost 300 spectators which is amazing for the 4th league. When our 1st male team promoted to this league 3 years ago we let decide the team about the entry fee to the matches. The team said “we are so happy to play and even more happy that people gonna watch us playing and supporting us, we don`t want them to pay for this.” So we ask for a small donation at the entrance but the entry is always for free. This is unique in the 4th division.

Supposing that the joy of the sport is always there, are there any difference(s) between playing for FCSP and any other local decent club, except the obvious feeling of pride? ( 🙂 )

Indeed. As mentioned above. In the Oberliga it means you have to do an additional small job for the organization instead of earning some pocket money. And in the lower leagues there are still some away matches where the hosts are like “oh, St. Pauli scum is coming”. Sometimes even for our youth teams when parents in rich districts call us scum. We heard some interesting stories from 88 years old Lotti. They heard exactely the same sayings in the same halls 50 years ago.     

The girls

The girls

Happiest and saddest (if any, hope not!) department moments that you can recall throughout the late years?

In the late 1990s our department was reduced to 2 male and 1 female team. We were almost collapsing. This was not a sad moment but a really hard time. But the people who remained were powerful enough to start a new history.

The happiest moments are always at the department parties when everybody celebrates the St. Pauli Handball family. And the most successful moments in the late years were of course the Hamburg Championship and the promotion of the 1st male team to the Oberliga in 2011 and their qualification for the 1st round of the German cup as well as the promotion of the 1st female team to the Oberliga last year.

And the most happiest moment I ever had in our hall was the last match of our 1st Oberliga-season. For most experts we were relegator no. 1. The last match was the derby against HSV handball. The hall was packed, the vibes were brilliant and at the end we won against the big favorites and stayed in the league. This party was legendary and was continued at the fishmarket on Sunday morning.

Men’s 1st squad image shot on your website has been taken outside the Jolly and we have seen more than once in the past the Handball team after training either inside or just outside, in front of Peter’s (respect!) kiosk. Is this just a matter of the venue being close to the hall or there’s a special relation between the squad and the place?

Before our hall in the BudapesterStraße was built in 2001 we had to train somewhere in an industrial zone in Hammerbrook. Then we had the big luck to get a hall in St. Pauli. This was shortly before Jolly Roger`s moved to BudapesterStraße. So we found our department`s home meeting point a few steps away. No doubt where to have the after-training beer. Same with Peter who once was a handball player in Jugoslavia. He`s always ready to give us stimulations about east European training methods 😉

Are there any requirements for anybody wanting to join just for the sport except being able to run in the first place? Must (s)he possess any handball skills or there are less “competitive” squads in the department (as we suspect, lots of them, especially when talking men’s handball) that (s)he can join?

Sadly we are not ready to take some new active members at all. We have lots of problems to get training times in a hall. We already have to train in halls in other districts quite far away from St. Pauli. “Sports City Hamburg” (late editor note: canditature is dead, so does the link 🙂 ) as they call themselves is doing a lot of publicity for professional sport events as well as for the Olympics candidature. But they are closing gyms for common sports and give a shit on it. Without additional times in a hall we do not have the possibility to get new members. At the moment we have to refuse around 20-30 players a year.


The Boys

Any ambition for the 1st squad to climb the ladder up to the big leagues and teach handball to your H$V well paid colleagues in the near or far future or we are happy the way we are now, having fun at the neighborhood?

No ambition at all. By the way: HSV Handball is a complete other club then the HSV we know from football. They just chose a similar name and bought the logo for marketing reasons. Hamburger Sport Verein (HSV) football and Handball Sport Verein Hamburg (HSV Handball) has nothing to do with each other.

At least in the 3rd division we would have to pay our players due to the enormous training effort. This would be a step into professionality I don`t see in our department. Such a step would destroy too much of the things we like at our department.

For us it is a big success to have both, a male and a female team in the 4th division. This is sensational for us. Even the 5th division, the 1st Hamburg-league would be very good for us.

The next steps should be to proof the work with the youth. This is much more important than anything else. If we should have a youth team one day ready to promote to the 3rd division, why not? If it`s our own youth we would think about how to realize for them. But that´s only a dream far far away.

The Youth :-)

The Youth 🙂

Again our warmest thanks to Sven who spent a lot of time enlightening us about a lot of details regarding the department. Watchout for them, they’re one of the hottest parts of the Club and there’s no excuse for visiting the neighborhood without paying a visit to the Budapesterstraße Hall and enjoying the atmosphere we have enjoyed. All information regarding department fixtures can be found on their official page along with lots of info about all department squads. You can also find some basic information on the FCSP official website but, as we almost always say, stick to the department home page. Was a real pleasure hearing from them, now looking forward to catch them again in action!

You’ll never walk in the Buda-Halle alone – Hurraaaaaay for FCSP Handball, FORZA FCSP!!!


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