🆚 FC Pinzgau Saalfelden v SVG Reichenau
🏆 Regionalliga West 2023, Round 4
🏟️ 1508 SaalfeldenArena
🕖 April 29, 2023 (15:00 CET) 🇦🇹 (9:00am EDT) 🇺🇸
After three away games to start their Westliga campaign, FC Pinzgau Saalfelden welcomes SVG Reichenau on Saturday. After last two defeats in Vorarlberg in a row, the team of Markus Fürstaller wants to return to the track of success. In the 2023 Westliga home debut, one player in particular will take center stage: Niklas Mühlbacher. The twenty-nine-year-old, who has played for the club since he was fourteen – except for one year in Leogang – will play his last game for the Salzburg regional league club. The defensive player is moving to FK Austria Wien and will take over as head of the physio department in the Violets’ academy on May 2.
“It has always been my plan to do more in the field of sports as a physiotherapist. At Wiener Austria, the opportunity has now arisen to take over the management in the academy in this area. In addition, I work ten hours as a sports scientist. I didn’t have to think long about it and I’m looking forward to the new challenge. It’s exactly what I always wanted to do. For me, it’s a super job to start with, I can learn a lot and establish myself in a new environment,” explains Mühlbacher, who will also work a few hours in an external physio practice on the side.
On Saturday, the FCPS veteran will make his last appearance at the foot of the Steinernes Meer and bid a ceremonial farewell. “The closer the day comes, the more it worms inside. It will certainly not be the easiest match for me. I expect it to be tough. But I think that after such a long and, above all, wonderful time, it’s okay to get a little emotional. I’ve made so many friends and the club has been like a family to me over all these years – I’m very grateful for that. I’m happy that I can play my last game in my ‘living room’ in this context.”
Whether the defensive player will continue his career in Vienna in the summer is still uncertain. “I’ll leave that open for myself. I will look at it in peace until summer, but I will have enough soccer in my life as it is. In the first step it is important that I arrive well in my new job and settle in well,” explains the defensive player, whose girlfriend also lives near Vienna.
Tandari & Co. will try everything against Reichenau to give their teammate a dignified farewell – in the best case with a home win.
David Rathgeb and David Hutter are still not fit for action against Reichenau. Otherwise Markus Fürstaller can draw from the full squad.
Hannes Rottenspacher on the departure of Niklas Mühlbacher: “Niki has been a great role model over the years as a player and has led the way with his positive attitude. For us as a club, such a departure is of course painful, but we can of course understand the decision. When you get a chance like this on a professional level, you have to take it. We wish Niki all the best and a successful future in his private and professional life. The close contact that has built up over many years will not break off even with the move to Vienna – the doors at FC Pinzgau Saalfelden are always open to him!”
Markus Fürstaller on the departure of Niklas Mühlbacher: “Niki has an excellent character, he has proven that in recent years. He has always remained loyal to the club, even though times have not always been easy, and has been a loyal companion. He has grown super into his role and has always been a great support for the team. Of course it hurts that he is leaving the club now. Who knows, maybe he’ll come back one day – we’d all be very happy about that!”
Markus Fürstaller on the next home game against SVG Reichenau: “I expect a racy game. We have played well in the last three rounds, but scored little. That’s why we’re already under a bit of pressure. I expect another good performance from my team and hope that we can get our first three points in the Westliga. With this expectation we go into the game, well aware of our qualities in our arena!”