Immediately before kickoff. This is the favorite moment for harald buchner. When the TSV soccer field looks like it's been painted: freshly groomed, with bright white lines. "Then I am satisfied", says buchner, who has been responsible for the condition of the soccer pitch in gleuben for 25 years. Never has the groundsman provided the football team with an unkempt pitch. "When the whistle blows, everything has to be right", says the TSV legend. He doesn't even care if the f-juniors or the men play.
Harald buchner also remembers well the times when everything was a bit different. When the gleuben soccer field resembled a sand desert, in summer it was dusty as hell and in winter the itz floodwaters froze into a skating rink. "As C-youth players, we used to scatter the lines with sage flour ourselves before the game", weib buchner, who was a goalkeeper for TSV for many years.
At the end of the 1980s, when harald buchner had just finished serving in the german army, the tsv was looking for a groundskeeper. "Someone said: you can do that", the 47-year-old recalls. He did it and since then never left the job. Meanwhile, buchner is almost a professional when it comes to lawn care. In one hour, he had mowed the field with a small tractor, and another half hour later he was drawing the lines – dead straight. Knowing how!
Do not blob the tips there is a reason why the gleuben lines are already shining like this. Unlike many other groundskeepers, harald buchner no longer uses lime, but has been using a special device to apply color for the past five years. "It's not just the tips of the blades of grass that become "female", buchner explains. This also has the advantage that the lines can be seen for a longer time – two or three weeks, if the weather is right. On special dates, such as the church fair, the groundskeeper also drives along the lines twice.
Whoever is active in a small club like TSV must of course also look at the money. A bucket of line paint costs 80 euros at a sporting goods store – that's a nice chunk of change. Harald buchner seldom buys this special paint, because he says: "normal darkened paint works just as well." And when the sprinkler machine, donated to the sports club by a local pensioner, doesn't work properly, harald buchner gets his son fabian to do the job. He is "a real tufter", says his father.
One family, one club commitment to TSV obviously runs in the buchner family's genes anyway. Wife elke lends a hand and has been washing the jerseys of several teams for 28 years, and together with daughter annika, father harald hardly misses an away game at TSV. Perhaps also because the 47-year-old concrete builder at the schramm company in seubelsdorf can do a bit of spying in the process. "If our opponent's groundskeeper ever leaves his garage open, i'll peek inside", says buchner and laughs.
Even after 25 years in office, the TSV groundsman (of course) doesn't get any money. Although he mows the lawn at least 40 times a year and fertilizes three times a year. But he gets recognition. This makes the native of schottenstein much happier anyway: "our fubballers already know that they have a beautiful place."