Ernst Dokupil and the young savages
In April 1987 Ernst Dokupil took over Vienna in the middle play-off. With a clear vision, he develops young players and leads the Döblinger twice into the UEFA Cup.
"Our goal must be to build a team that can compete for the fourth place in Austria and become the third force in Vienna," says Ernst Dokupil in his first interview as a Vienna coach in "Sport-Funk". At this time, Vienna was fourth in the middle play-off, the last European Cup appearance dates back to Mitropacup times. Dokupil, however, believes in his vision. “Back then I was sure that if I could get my Austrian talents and get two or three good foreign players, we would be successful,” he recalls in the Vienna chronicle “Blue and yellow is my heart”.
Dokupil, then 40 years old, is considered a representative of a new generation of coaches. He has worked previously at Simmering and Admira and was known for working well with young players. Vienna stabilizes and returns to the Bundesliga in summer 1987. Dokupil can put together his squad and, among other things, brings Peter Stöger and Gerald Glatzmayer. The team provides spectacle - Hopp or Dropp: in the 22 games in autumn there is only one draw and only four games in which fewer than three goals are scored. With 7th place, the team made the leap into the master play-off and was strengthened in winter with Kurt Russ and the young Andreas Herzog.
Vienna is putting the finishing touches to the training camp in Israel. Ernst Dokupil raves in the "Sport-Funk" about the "great preparation" and the potential that is in his team. This should prove him right. Herzog scores in the first three spring games, after the fourth he is on the national team. The final round is a direct duel against Admira for 4th place. However, the omens are unfavorable, as six regular players threaten to drop out with muscle injuries. Salzburg regeneration therapist Mohamed Khalifa can get the four players fit. One of them, Zoltan Peter, scores with a free kick in minute 74 to the 2-1 final score. Vienna passes Admira, is fourth a little more than a year after Dokupil took office and is in the UEFA Cup for the first time.
At the beginning of the 1988/89 season, Andreas Herzog returned to Rapid, Peter Stöger, now also a team player, moved to Austria Vienna. That's why Andreas Heraf comes to Döbling. Vienna survived the first round of the UEFA Cup against Ikast FS and then dropped out against the Finnish representative Turun Palloseura. In the championship, 5th place is enough for the second European Cup qualification in a row. This time the journey goes via FC La Valletta back into the second round, where they only lose against Olympiacos Piraeus due to the away goal rule in front of 45,000 spectators in Athens.
After transfers were made without his knowledge, there was a noise between Ernst Dokupil and the sports management in winter 89/90, his era on the Hohe Warte ended after two and a half years. Gerald Glatzmayer and Kurt Russ still traveled to Italy for the 1990 World Cup as Vienna players. Vienna got off the Bundesliga two years later and has been waiting for their return ever since.
This article comes from the new 80s special edition of the Bundesliga journal. It also includes stories about the first duel between Kempes-Krankl on the Hohe Warte, the most legendary foreign players of the 80s and much more. Now available in newsagents and by subscription to www.bundesliga.at/journal-abo.
Text: Mathias Slezak, Photo: private