[FM20] The Tyrolean Traverse - A Cantera save in the Alps. Nov 11, 2019 17:41:53 GMT spitfire likes this
Post by Reiver on Nov 11, 2019 17:41:53 GMT
Tyrol has always been a place that I've been attracted to. It might be the luxurious green of the valleys in spring, with the rivers flowing in rapids and waterfalls down the alps and the white of the snow at the mountain peaks, and the pristine lakes surrounded by the mountain sides; or the white of the winter snow covering the alpine villages scattered around the valleys, seemingly with a castle in every mountain. It might be the rich history behind this land at the border of where the Bavarians settled on one side of the Alps and the Lombards on the other, with villages and valleys so isolated they developed their own language, some still actively used nowadays (Romance languages: Italian, Ladin and German (with several unintelligible dialects: Austro-Bavarian, Mòcheno, Cimbrian) - sometimes even neighboring villages: Deutschnofen (German Nofen) and Welschnofen (Romance-Speaking Nofen) or on the predominantly italian speaking side Mezzotedesco (German Center) and Mezzolombardo (Lombard Center).
But of all the characteristics of this area, what drove my interest towards playing here was its more recent history, and the effects it has on football. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was ruled by the Bavarians in the North and the Lombards in the south - this split can still roughly be seen nowadays in the split of languages found nowadays. This territory eventually found its way to the Holy Roman Empire, first in the form of Prince-Bishoprics and then as its own County. They would go on to stay united in its own entity as part of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, with a few short-lived hiccups along the way. Then came WWI. At this point, Tyrol was an Austrian crownland with areas largely populated by Italian speaking people, and the recently united Italy was set on adding this area to its territories. At the end of the war, the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed, and the Italian-Austrian border moved northwards to the Alps water divide line. This was not the language divide line. The north area remained in Austria as the State of Tirol and the south went to Italy. This meant that now there was a German speaking area inside of Italy. This area, commonly known as Südtirol (South Tyrol), is the main focus of the save.
At first, these german-speaking people were allowed to keep their language and customs, but soon after the annexation of the region, Italy saw the rise of fascism. The new regime tried to force the italianisation of the area. German-speaking was forbidden; German-speaking press closed; German schools were closed, all place names were changed to Italian ones, and immigration to the areas was incentivised. This lasted until WWII. After the war, the area remained in Italy, but the German minority achieved new rights: the area became an autonomous region(Trentino-Alto Adige: Trentino the italian speaking area and Alto-Adige the German one), German was made an official language, but as Italians were still the majority in the whole Trentino-Alto Adige region, German-speakers still had no self-government. This led to the creation of the Befreiungsausschuss Südtirol terrorist group that during the 50s and 60s attacked public buildings, fascist monuments, and police posts, costing the life of 21 people. In 72, the region was split further, with the province of Trentino and of Alto Adige (now officially Südtirol in German) keeping most of the taxes levied and a large degree of autonomy, which brought a new peace to the region. Today, Südtirol is the wealthiest region of Italy.
Now you ask, why the history and geography lesson? Because it ties in with how the football history of the area and with how I want to play the game. Before its annexation by Italy, there already were football teams in Tyrol, but the so-called Austrian League started in 1911 only had teams from Wien. On the Austrian side, you eventually saw the rise and (many) falls of Wacker (and Tirol; and Swarovski) Innsbruck, who went on to have 5 leagues and cups in the 70s, one cup in the 90s, 3 more leagues in the early 00s, as well as 2 bankruptcies. On the Italian side, you saw no such success. The rise of fascist saw all German football side disbanded; the first (and only) real note of Südtiroler football in the Italian world was the one season AC Bolzano spent in Serie B in 1947. AC Bolzano spent some seasons in Serie C and many more in the lower leagues; the only other teams from the region that reached the same level during the twentieth century would be Passirio Merano and AC Trento from Trentino. The first two have since disbanded and the latter is back in the lower leagues after going bankrupt. Going bankrupt is also something common for teams in the region: Mezzocorona reached Serie C and stayed there for 3 seasons; then went bankrupt; Porfido Albiano and Alta Vallagarina also went close to becoming professional, only to go down that route. In the middle of all of this, a group of businessman from the capital of South Tyrol, Bozen (Bolzano) decided to create a new football team that would represent the whole region.
It was the early 90s when conversations started. The last team from the region to be in a professional team had been AC Bolzano, back in 1979-80. At the time, the team was yo-yoing up and down the amateur leagues and the consortium attempted to purchase the club. When conversations failed, they purchased the place of a smaller amateur league down by the 7th tier of italian football. Thew new club was FC Südtirol. It's been very successful: they are now a leading Serie C team, and has been fighting for promotion in the last few seasons; they have a state of the art training center, often used by bigger teams for their pre-seasons and for special match preparations - Germany usually goes there to prepare for the World Cups. It has had several teams in the Italian youth teams, including 3 players at under 20s level.
It has really only failed at one level, but based on what the businessmen set themselves to do, they failed one of their main goals. During the last season, the average attendance at the 3500 seats Drusus-Stadion was around 900. Südtirol's population is currently at half a million, and Bozen on its own has over one hundred thousand people, 250.000 if you count its metropolitan area. You can kind of tell that the team might say they represent Südtirol on the field, but Südtirolers don't really have their heart on this team. And it's not like football is not enjoyed in the area - when big football teams play (or even train) in the area, people flock to watch; Südtirol takes a team to the Europeadas, a sort of European Cup for minority groups, and has won it every time; local amateur teams sometimes have attendances that rival the ones from the main team. This image is from a 5th tier game. There's two reasons that have caused this. Number one is purely geographic - in the middle of the alps, it's not always easy to travel from the distant valleys down to Bozen just to watch a game, so people haven't created a close bond to this team, and choosing to cheer for their local amateur team and/or go for a German team - Bayern Munchen's likely the most supported team in the region, and the Italian speaking people of the area often cheer for whatever team their parents cheered for when they moved into the region. On the other hand, the team themselves haven't really done much to have the locals view them as their representation. Up to very recently, their communications were all done in Italian, and they currently have 2 players from Südtirol in their whole squad.
In this savegame, I will attempt to create a team to represent Südtirol the way FC Südtirol is currently not doing. I will not be playing as FC Südtirol.