The excitement is building. It is just 24 hours until 1. FC Köln and the under-19s make their debut in Europe’s premiere youth competition. After having the tie against Glasgow Rangers called off due to the pandemic, the wait is almost over as the FC players prepare for one of the biggest occasions in their young football careers. In KRC Genk, Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side take on one of the toughest opponents in the first round of the Domestic Champions Path.
However, Ruthenbeck is able to call upon eight players who were in the under-17 side that were crowned German Champions back in 2019. Three of those started the final itself (Yusuf Örnek, Joshua Schwirten and Marvin Obuz) and two came off the bench to feature in the showpiece fixture (Jens Castrop and Maximilian Schmid). Jonas Urbig, Ben Decker and Namory Cisse were also in the squad during the 2018-19 season.
At 18:00 CEST tomorrow evening, the floodlights will shine down as referee Mario Zebec gets the game underway in front of a packed Franz-Kremer-Stadion. The names Urbig, Castrop, Obuz, Schwirten, Wydra, Diehl, Breuer and Schmid need little introduction. All have trained with the first team at some stage. However, tomorrow the stage is theirs to write their own chapter of FC history.
Goalkeepers: Mike Dreier, Jonas Urbig.Defenders: Ben Decker, Pierre Nadjombe, Yusuf Örnek, Rijad Smajic, Winzent Suchanek, Nicolas Urso. Midfielders: Jens Castrop, Vladislav Fadeev, Vladimir Fratea, Joshua Schwirten, Meiko Wäschenbach, Philipp Wydra.Forwards: Simon Breuer, Namory Cisse, Justin Diehl, Damion Downs, Marvin Obuz, Maximilian Schmid.
€ 79.99 *