With separations for “special reasons” this is a thing sometimes. Especially when coaches leave the club after a successful season, press departments prefer to use this term to save themselves from trying to explain perhaps more complex reasons. But sometimes personal reasons are actually private ones – and strike everyone involved equally unexpectedly.
Under the leadership of their coach Jan Hensler, the Munich FC women’s hockey team has evolved from relegation candidate to serious quarter-finalist within a year. Last weekend, the Munich team defeated top candidate Mannheimer HC in the quarter-finals of the championship at its facility in a decisive match of the final round. It made everyone very proud,” Hensler said.
“Sometimes things change in the private sphere in such a way that distance from the family is not possible.”
Looking at the quality, but above all the league’s financial gap from the northwest to the southeast, it was actually a respectable success. In the second half of the season, MSC already presented itself as competitive against the top teams. He has had seven points out of 16 in his last five out of 16 matches. The fact that Henzeler left MSC after only one season despite such an apparent positive development hit the officials hard. But: Hockey board member Olaf Mackensen said his request to terminate the contract “unfortunately had to be accepted.”
Hensler also emphasized that it “was not planned”. He started with the goal of starting and accompanying a process in Munich, “I certainly didn’t mean just one year, and it’s very hard to say goodbye.” But hockey – especially on the island of Bavaria – is not something that justifies a complete reorientation of the life plan on its own. Even full-time coaches don’t get rich with their work in the sport, players in the major leagues only officially trade as professionals anyway. “Sometimes things in the private sphere change in such a way that distance from the family is not possible,” said Hensler, who came to Munich from Bonn before the season.
Distances should also play an important role in the upcoming search for a successor to the women’s Bundesliga and youth sector. In North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg, where the German hockey strongholds with the highest club and intensity of performance are, people leave halfway during outdoor matches in the morning and go home at 6 pm. “It’s not possible in Munich,” Hensler explained. “There’s at least one night in between, and soon it’s 48 hours, and on double weekends it’s more.” With the exception of the Alps, Munich is “simply a far cry from almost everything, especially from the nearest hockey club”.
For years, MSC has been trying to offset this drawback with other attractive location factors: cityscapes, good connections with local businesses, club life, and help with college places. But the fact that the intensity of performance in Bavaria’s youth sector is much lower, which in turn leads to fewer first-class teams in an almost no-profit sport, is a structural problem that cannot be resolved in the short term – certainly not as a single site. Symptoms such as a lack of players can be mitigated by doing well and communicating with other clubs in the city and in the surrounding area. On the other hand, consequences such as a lack of trainers are a reality that MSC has to live with at the moment.
After all, both men and women have increased the sporting appeal of MSC by climbing to the top flight or staying in the league. After Nuremberg HTC’s relegation to Feld and Halle, Munich are now the last remaining Bavarian first division team in hockey. Despite all the rivalries, the latter is bad news: it will make Munich an even more isolated island for the time being.