A current U-21 national player is moving to Wiesbadener THC (WTHC)?
A few years ago it was simply unthinkable.
The WTHC was only the fourth or fifth force even in Hessian hockey, which has long since ceased to be part of the top league nationwide.
Pretty facility in the Nerotal, chic jersey color combination, but sporty limited - that was once, at least as far as performance is concerned.
Because from this weekend on, the Wiesbadeners are on the road for the first time in the club's history: the WTHC men are playing in the indoor hockey Bundesliga.
"We are all very excited about this season," says Stefan Zeller, the architect of the upswing of recent years, who also led the team to the second division on the field.
However, the trainer does not want to approach the round as a pure adventure of an outsider.
“We have a very clear objective of staying in the league.
We invested everything in the run-up to the season and want to do the same in the individual games," said Zeller.
Studies in Wiesbaden
New to the team is U-21 national player Leon Lindemann – the 18-year-old talent came from Rot-Weiss Köln.
"The network is working," said Zeller about the coup.
Because the WTHC cooperates with universities and companies in the region, it has also become an interesting address for players with Bundesliga experience.
Lindemann has a place at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, and Jannis Collée, who came from league rival SC Frankfurt 1880, is studying at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden.
But there are also players in the team who didn't see a Hessen selection from the inside when they were young and just grew with it.
Or someone like Christoph Both, who was already on the ball for the WTHC when he was in the fifth division.
This Saturday, the club will start its new hockey world against a special caliber: It will be in its own hall (4 p.m.) against the German champions Mannheimer HC.
The next day (12 p.m., live stream via club website) follows the next home game, which Coach Zeller classifies as a “six-point game”.
Because opponent TG Frankenthal is nominally the team that the WTHC could most likely leave behind for the class goal in the six-team southern relay.
There will be no strictly defensive tactical orientation with the promoted team.
"That wouldn't be what we wanted to offer the viewers, nor what we aspire to," says Zeller.
"We want to be clever, but also aggressive and courageous at the same time."
Compared to the WTHC men, the women of the Rüsselsheimer RK have a glorious indoor hockey past.
Nine times German champion (most recently 2005), 15 times European Cup winner (most recently 2006), permanent representation in the Bundesliga for 35 years.
But for a few years now, the Rüsselsheim women have mainly been concerned with defending their status as undelegated - with occasional jumps into the quarter-finals for the German championship.
That is also the constellation in this hall round.
Because with the Final Four, which takes place at the beginning of February in the Frankfurt Ball Sports Hall, there is an extra incentive to create something special this winter.
The way there, according to coach Norman Hahl, is to score as many points as possible against the weaker Feudenheimer HC and Nürnberger HTC and a positive balance in the traditionally close games against Munich SC and TSV Mannheim.
The latter were the opening opponents away on Friday evening.
After a weak first half (0:4), the Hessians managed to draw 6:6.
The game at top favorite Mannheimer HC follows this Sunday (12.30 p.m.).
With the RRK women, it always makes a big difference whether captain Pauline Heinz is on the pitch or not.
The Olympic participant was last with the national team (field) in Argentina and only took part in a few indoor units in the club, but from now on she is again the strongest offensive weapon of the Hessians.
She has also been nominated for the European Indoor Championships in Hamburg in December.
Because indoor times in Rüsselsheim are currently rare, the RRK women, who can count on Mara Bentscheck again after their study-related break, start the season with four away games in a row.
It may be the case for the Rüsselsheim women to roll up the field from behind in the second part of the season.