Published on Sunday, 18 January 2015

news 20150118Vladimir NIDERGAUS: "From forward to official with scores rest in a night dreams…"

Maybe I will express a subjective opinion, but after Igor Korneev from CSKA and Alexander Mostovoy from Spartak moved to Spanish Primera there was no more technical and crafty forward than Vladimir Nedergaus from Volgograd Rotor within mid 90s. Still, there was Valeriy Kechinov also, but he suffered from endless injuries, while Nidergaus entered the game with his number 8 in the Rotor's line-up for more than 5 years just to score, score and score again. No one managed to stop that short, slim and very smooth blonde striker without fouls against him. Especially if that «German», as he was named by Rotor's players and by all the fans of 40-thousand Volgograd stadium, would caught a passion of the game. Only in Russian Championship he scored 68 balls and he could even more if he wouldn't move abroad. First – Israel, then to the historic homeland of Nidergaus family – Germany. But as it truly said, «where born there came in handy». Now 47 years old Vladimir Nidergaus, born and established his career in Kazakhstan Kokchetav town, came to Commonwealth Cup again in the status of director of national teams of Football Federation of Kazakhstan.

An outstanding story of forward-official about his military youth, Volgograd friendship, Kazakhstan football expectations and the time needed to visit 400 Nidergaus relatives in Germany is just here for you.

– Vladimir, I remember that the name «German» found you concretely in Volgograd Rotor that is why I need to ask about your roots...

– Yes, the name has just stuck to me. I never argued about it, that's true. Yes, I am German in my veins, to be more specific – Schwab! The first Nidergauses were brought here from Germany to Russia in Katherine's epoch. So, my ancestors became German-settlers in Volga-region, got the land, and started to trade successfully. The family became significantly bigger for couple of centuries, but hardly a half of it managed to go through the hunger of 30s last century right before the World War Second has begun. So my grandfather moved to Krasnodar fertile lands searching for a better life where my father was born. At the beginning of 40s the second wave of migration brought all the Germans to Siberia or Kazakhstan. My mother was born in Saratov region in Engels town – the capital of Autonomous Republic of Volga Germans as it was before the War.

– There were a lot of ethnical Germans in Soviet Kazakhstan...

nidergaus 01– There were 3-4 German surnames in every school class minimum. Kokchetav, where I've started to play football in local Torpedo, was not an exception. I am forward from my childhood and it seems I was good one if I entered the team of masters in 16. The limit rule helped me a lot – at least one player younger than 18 should join the pitch. On my second year in Torpedo two juniors needed to be in a list in home matches. That was a great limit, I share it even today. Not only for it helped me to play football but for giving an opportunity for young players to grow, prosper and progress while training and playing next to experienced ones. That is very good it exists in Kazakhstan Championship.

On my second season in «masters» I managed to score 17 balls – not bad, isn't it? But in autumn 1985 I left to serve in army. That was a destiny: I went to internal military forces in Kalach-on-Don of... Volgograd region. That time it was not a single hint for great times in Volgograd Rotor!

– Have you ever serve for real?

– Totally real! I shot all types of weapons, went to the guard; dig a trench, run in gas mask. A ball? I have seen it couple of times (smiles). Even played for a team of regiment...

– It seems you have missed football a lot in the army...

– I can't express how hard. After demobilization I was obsessed with football, I could play for three matches per day. I scored and scored and after two years in region Championship there were 120 goals I have made. Guys in team were joking: «take the 100th ball for memory; you are already in Fedotov Club». I am afraid to recall the pitches we played on... But still I managed to attract attention. In 1991 I was invited to club Kairat from Alma-Ata, where I participated in First League of USSR Championship. Then, USSR collapsed, I've played in Kazakhstan for half a year and then moved to Rotor.

– But you could move to Moscow!

– Yes, a year earlier I was invited to Spartak for the first and by the way not the last time. So I came to Moscow, talked to Starostin and Romantsev, explained the situation – I had a newborn son with my wife awaiting a second baby - and asked for a two-room apartment. But they didn't give me. I left to Rotor and never regret it. That was amazing five and a half seasons! In Rotor we were the one united team, the one family. There were some problems and conflicts – we are men – but all the issues were left in dressing room and we entered the pitch under the slogan «One for all and all for one». It was that unbelievable team spirit that gave us an advantage to win silver medals of Russia Championship twice and the bronze one – once again.

– Under the guidance of Victor Prokopenko Rotor tried to earn the main trophy for several times and all the time you almost managed to defeat Spartak... Was the loss in 97 of so called «golden match» against Moscow especially offensive?nidergaus 02

–I suppose, in 96 we had even more chances... But you are right – after defeat from Spartak we felt total devastation. I was empty, didn't want anything at all. So the times of changes came and I accepted a proposal of Israel. This helped a lot and I've spent two quite good seasons there. The first one was especially good in Makkabi of Haifa.

– In 2000 you came back to Kazakhstan and became a country champion with Zhenis, scored a lot and then went to live in Germany. Was it hard to leave the country?

– It was very easy! From all of our family we were the last ones who left. All my uncles and aunts were keeping on asking what am I waiting for? On 28th of April we joined Nidergauses living in Germany. They live on north of country in Bremerhaven, in center - Cologne, Bochum, Leverkusen, and on south – Karlsruhe. When I come on vacations I take a car and drive to visit about 400 Nidergauses (laughing). It takes about 4 days to see everyone. My family lives in Bremen. My wife mastered confectioner craft, so we are totally equipped with sweets. Son graduated college in Leverkusen with major in sports management and marketing, daughter works in tourism – hospitality business. Everything is good and stable. Most of the time I spend in homeland Kazakhstan, running the department of all the national teams – from U-16 till the main national one – within the Federation of Football of Kazakhstan.

– You were a football player and now you are football official?

– That's right. Work is hard but interesting. The two-year experience as sport director of Rotor I became in 2005 due to the proposal of the President of the club Vladimir Gorunov helped a lot. There, in Volgograd, I've realized for the first time that it is much easier to be player than an official (smiling). Now I have a wide range of duties, I work with a great pleasure. Especially I am happy to see the interest of government in development of football in Kazakhstan. We are not good in infrastructure, we lack good pitches, modern stadiums for now, but we see the dynamic of progress. In the nearest future I hope to see comfortable football indoor stadiums where we can train all the year, even in winter, paying no attention to the forecasts, like we do have here in St. Petersburg.

– Commonwealth Cup – is a useful tournament?

– Very useful! I would say vital. Our national team U-19 just performed here on Granatkin Memorial. They failed, but gained a great game experience. We come here with a joy, we come here to learn to grow further and progress. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to Football Federation of Kazakhstan and Football Union of Russia.nidergaus 03

– Thank you for the interview, Vladimir! But I just can't leave without asking a great bombardier Nidergaus about the following. You've scored about 140 goals but they were not count in Fedotov Club as they were scored in Kazakhstan, so you didn't join the Club. Are you upset?

– No, I am not. The rules are rules. But still, I scored a lot. Every goal, including 80 of Russian ones, is very memorable and precious for me. Sometimes I see them in my dreams - I see football a lot, my best years in Rotor. And I am very grateful for that memory about that amazing team. I pray that hosting matches of World Cup in Volgograd, construction of a new stadium and airport will lead to the renaissance of Rotor as one of the most powerful teams in Russian football.

Interviewed by Alexander Kuzmin.


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