1. FC Nuremberg | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.08.2006
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1. FC Nuremberg

Nuremburg head into the season's second half in a very respectable seventh place -- they look certain to avoid relegation and could challenge for a UEFA Cup place.

Jan Polak and teammate Ivica Banovic are part of a multinational team at Nuremberg

Jan Polak and teammate Ivica Banovic are part of a multinational team at Nuremberg

Coach Hans Meyer has put together a disciplined team with a stingy defense that has only lost twice thus far. The nine-time German champs' main weakness has been in putting games away. They had a league-leading 11 draws in the latter half of 2006.

If they can convert results like that into a few more wins, Nuremberg could be a darh horse to crack the league's top five. But coach Hans Meyer is preaching caution.

"I've been around long enough to know how fast things can turn around," Meyer said. Despite being 64 years old, Meyer said he could imagine "hanging around for another one or two years."

Meyer has a contract for life so job security isn't a problem. But he does have one new hurdle to overcome. Starting goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer has decided to move to Stuttgart next season, which could be a distraction as the team looks to improve on its good start.

The Roster

Goal: Raphael Schäfer, Daniel Klewer, Alexander Stephan

Defense: Michael Beauchamp, Honorato Glauber, Andreas Wolf, Marek Nikl, Dean Heffernan, Javier Horacio Pinola, Dominik Reinhardt, Thomas Paulus, Vratislav Gresko, Matthew Spiranovic

Midfield: Tomas Galasek, Jan Polak, Ivica Banovic, Marek Mintal, Jan Kristiansen, Marco Engelhardt, Jaouhar Mnari, Sebastian Huber, Petar Jelic, Sebastian Szikal

Strikers: Markus Schroth, Ivan Saenko, Robert Vittek, Chhunly Pagenburg, Joshua Kennedy, Christoph Weber, Leon Benko, Gerald Sibon

(as of January 2007)

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