Hertha, Augsburg celebrate promotion
Augsburg will play Bundesliga football for the first time in their history next season after gaining promotion thanks to a 2-1 win over FSV Frankfurt yesterday. For the Bavarians, promotion comes 12 months after their bitter play-off defeat to Nurnberg which denied them a place in the top flight last May, but it was definitely something worth waiting for.
"It is an indescribable feeling," said their coach Jos Luhukay. "We will always think back to this day in years to come. This promotion is far more emotional for me as a coach than the one with Borussia Monchengladbach two years ago. With all respect, getting promoted with a small club was a dream, and now it has come true."
However, the club's director of sport Andreas Rettig soon dampened the celebrations by lowering the expectations for next term. "With this promotion, we have now already started our battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga," he said.
Augsburg will become the 51st club to play in the Bundesliga - joining Hertha Berlin who, after just one year in the second tier, make an immediate return to the elite. They sealed the title with a 2-0 win at Erzegebirge Aue yesterday. "It was extremely hard work and now a huge weight has been lifted," said their coach Markus Babbel.
Hertha and Augsburg will meet for a communal celebration at the Olympiastadion on the final day of the season next weekend, leaving two clubs behind them fighting for a place in the promotion play-offs. Bochum, who were also relegated from the top flight a year ago, currently hold a two-point advantage over perennial promotion challengers Greuther Furth.
Bochum end the season with a tough local derby against Duisburg next Sunday while Furth host Fortuna Dusseldorf knowing that their superior goal difference would see them move up to third with a win, if Bochum fail to beat Duisburg.
The prize is a two-legged play-off against the side which finishes 16th in the Bundesliga to determine which club will play in the top flight in the 2011/12 season.