St Pauli Secures Bundesliga Return with Aussie Duo's Help

FC St. Pauli secured promotion to the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win over Osnabrück, ending their 13-year absence from Germany's top division. Australian midfielders Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe played key roles in the decisive match.

Nitish Verma
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St Pauli Secures Bundesliga Return with Aussie Duo's Help

St Pauli Secures Bundesliga Return with Aussie Duo's Help

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, FC St. Pauli achieved a momentous feat by securing promotion to the Bundesliga, Germany's top division, after a 13-year absence. The Hamburg-based club sealed their return with a decisive 3-1 victory over relegated Osnabrück in the second division, propelling them to the top of the league with an unassailable six-point lead over third-place Fortuna Düsseldorf with one round remaining.

The promotion-clinching match at the Millerntor Stadium in Hamburg saw key contributions from Australian midfielders Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe, who both played full matches. Irvine, 31, has become a cult figure at St. Pauli, reflecting the club's "right-on values," and has served as captain for the past season. Metcalfe, 24, joined the club in 2022 from Melbourne City.

St. Pauli's victory was powered by a brace from Oladapo Afolayan, who also set up Marcel Hartel for the team's third goal. The win ensures St. Pauli and second-place Holstein Kiel will compete in the Bundesliga next season, while Fortuna Düsseldorf faces a two-leg playoff against Union Berlin, currently third from bottom in the top division, on May 23 and 27 to determine their fate.

Known for its alternative fan scene, left-wing supporter base, and commitment to social community projects and minorities, St. Pauli's promotion marks a significant milestone. Irvine, who has been instrumental in the club's success, shared his excitement about playing at the Millerntor Stadium: "At St Pauli we walk out to 'Hells Bells' by AC/DC. The Millerntor is rocking, the Jolly Roger flags are waving in the stands and those big power chords run right up your spine."

Irvine and Metcalfe are not the only Australian players set to feature in European top-flight leagues next season. Massimo Luongo and Cam Burgess have earned promotion to the Premier League with Ipswich Town, while Alessandro Circati is poised to play in Serie A with Parma. As the 2024-25 season approaches, these Aussie stars will look to make their mark on some of the world's most competitive stages.

St. Pauli's promotion also marks the first time the club from Hamburg's red-light district will play in a league above their city rival Hamburger SV, who were relegated in 2018. With one game left in the season, St. Pauli has already begun preparations for their long-awaited return to the Bundesliga, focusing on squad development and financial planning as they aim to establish themselves in Germany's top flight.

Key Takeaways

  • FC St. Pauli promoted to Bundesliga after 13-year absence.
  • Australian midfielders Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe contributed to promotion.
  • St. Pauli will play in Bundesliga next season alongside Holstein Kiel.
  • Australian players Irvine, Metcalfe, Luongo, Burgess, and Circati to feature in European top-flight leagues.
  • St. Pauli's promotion marks first time above city rival Hamburger SV in league standings.