Just one league below the Berlin Liga, we find two teams that are investing quite a lot and aiming high: Berlin United and Novi Pazar 95. Berlin United is one of Berlin’s most written about non-league projects of the last two years. They have been coached by World Cup winner Thomas Häßler for the last two and a half years, and after being promoted in 2017 to the Landesliga, they look like going up another level very soon. The team from Westend has won 12 out 14 games so far and are already nine points clear of the rest of the league. So if they don’t run out of money, which really could have happened at the start of the last season, the newly founded club will probably reach Berlin Liga next season. Another very Berlin-like non-league project is Novi Pazar. The former 1. FC Neukölln was taken over in early 2017 by Ismet Bisevac. Being born and raised in the present-day Serbian town of Novi Pazar, he changed the name of the club to his former home town (because that’s what you do, right?) and is now aiming for much higher levels of Germany’s football. Second place in the Landesliga St. 1 at the moment would win them a play-off final against the runner-up of Landesliga St. 2. Stay tuned!
Another team suffering in Bezirksliga at the moment is Afrisko. But, unlike Hürtürkel, Berlin’s first African ethnic club is not used to that. After starting in the Freizeitliga, Afrisko entered the league system for the first time in 2013 and have already been promoted three times. But the Bezirksliga seems to be the first tough challenge for the team from Wedding. So far they have chalked up zero wins and only two draws. The first relegation in the club’s history will be inevitable if they don’t make some major changes to their squad.
Two other former Freizeitliga teams, Polar Pinguin and Polonia Berlin, are still bulldozering through the leagues.
The penguins are sending New Years’ greetings from the very top of Kreisliga A and haven’t lost a game so far.
This year’s promotion would be the third in four years. A truly remarkable run for animals that mostly just slide on their bellies half of the time.