There are no free-time activities in Lategansvlei, so the kids – inspired by the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – started playing barefoot on dangerous broken stone surfaces. As you can probably imagine, the Little Karoo desert is not a fertile ground for actual football pitches. So what do Unioner do when they don’t have a stadium? They build one!
Inspired by how Union fans worked on their Alte Försterei (stadium), Dario and the locals started moving thousands of stones aside and levelled the ground to create a simple but safe gravel pitch. Just for fun, he called it Alte Försterei II and started telling tales of Köpenick. He received several small donations for this first step, most of them from his guests: football fans from Jena and Braunschweig, but also Unioner.
Speaking of guests: the Urbanskis are actually doing quite well down there, they still breed ostriches, but the majority of their revenues come from tourists, most of them German speakers. When some of his Union friends stayed for a vacation earlier in the year, they were so thrilled about the Alte Försterei II that they wrote a piece for the match day programme at home. “Bunki” wrote about it in the Berliner Kurier newspaper and other local media followed. Around that time, Dario and his family had planned a quiet evening, watching an Union match on a tiny TV screen, when suddenly the phone wouldn’t stop ringing. The article started a big wave of donations that moved him to tears. He “couldn’t believe what our tiny pitch in the middle of nowhere had suddenly triggered”.