OstDeutscher Sieg | Part 8 | Jumping From A Sinking Ship

Cash-strapped SV Dessau 05 suffered relegation back into the German sixth tier on goal difference in 2024/25. And manager Ruprecht Prusseit needed a bit of time away from football to gather his thoughts and consider his options.

Three years into the save, Prusseit’s profile has increased slightly. His attacking coaching has increased from 5 to 8, defending from 1 to 3, mental from 6 to 8, determination from 4 to 6, level of discipline from 5 to 8, people management from 6 to 9 and, potentially most crucially, motivating skills from 16 to 20. But realistically, he wasn’t going to improve as a manager at Dessau, as they couldn’t even fund his second coaching course. However, Dessau did have an exciting pool of talent that should be good enough to compete in the sixth tier and potentially earn another promotion to add to his CV.

The Dessau board was desperate to keep their manager, offering him a new contract four times between the end of the season and his contract expiring on 30 June. But the issue of players being on non-contract basis saw star man Tom Berg depart on a free transfer, which proved the final straw for Prusseit. So when the Lok Stendal job became available at the end of June, he jumped at the opportunity to apply and was swiftly asked for his staff changes on 8 July. Nine days later, they finally came in with a one-year contract to double Prusseit’s wage to £500 per week.

Ruprecht Prusseit was the new Manager of 1. Lok Stendal!

Who are 1. FC Lok Stendal?

1. Lok Stendal are also a semi-professional club located in Stendal, a town of 38,000 people in the Saxony-Anhalt region. The club was originally known as Viktoria Stendal, which was founded in 1909, but went through numerous name changes before becoming Lok Stendal in 1949. Stendal play at the 6,000-capacity Stadion Am Hölzchen.

In this save, Standal spent three seasons in Verbandsliga Saxonia-Anholt but gained promotion last season, which means Prusseit is heading back up to German Division North East – South. Prusseit’s new board expects him to play defensively solid, direct and counter-attacking football with the aim of avoiding relegation. Financially, they seem in a much better position than Dessau with £400k in the balance and only a loss of around £9k last season.

It looked to Prusseit as if the Stendal team had more about it than his former side. That was led by exciting midfielder Adrian Horner, fellow midfielders captain Sumaila Carvalho and Marvin Bokemeyer, winger Tshepo Gaoloalwe, goalkeeper Stephen Jäckel and centre-back Rene Schumacher. There was also plenty of potential in winger Malte Beste, midfielder Alija Grubesic, winger David Nurudeen and full-back Éden Traoré.

Another Season Of Struggle?

Having just failed to prevent the relegation favourites from going down, Prusseit again finds himself at the helm of the relegation favourites in the now 19-league division! Stendal are 150/1 to win the league with Magdeburg (1/91) again overwhelming favourites followed by Nordhausen and relegated Meuselwitz (11/2).

Prusseit only had three days to prepare for his first match as manager of Stendal at home to Dresdner SC, another East German side that had been promoted from German non-league. And they started well as young striker Mamadou Keïta scored thanks to some dreadful goalkeeping and diminutive midfielder Henry Friday made it 2-1 just after the hour mark. The visitors had a man sent off before Prusseit’s men added two more in injury time. And the game saw Stendal break their attendance record as 735 people flocked to see their new manager, beating the previous record by 16, and setting a new gate receipts record of £4k as a result. By comparison, Dessau’s highest attendance all of last season was just 337.

However, they then faced four of the top five promotion favourites. Keïta scored again in an unsurprising 3-1 defeat at Nordhausen before Nurudeen scored twice in a 5-3 loss to Eilenburg, a 3-0 thumping at Magdeburg II and a cruel 2-1 defeat at home to leaders Wilmut Gera, who scored a last-minute winner.

They snapped the losing streak with a 0-0 at 2nd-place Bautzen thanks to Jäckel making 13 saves. That was followed by another point in an absolutely wild game at home to Merseburg, in which they fell behind and equalised twice inside 18 minutes, conceded again in injury time, equalised nine minutes after the break and went behind again a minute later. Merseburg scored again late on and it seemed all over but Schumacher got one back in the 94th minute then Carvalho scored a 96th-minute penalty to seal a 5-5! And it became three successive draws with a 2-2 at 6th-place Halle thanks to goals by Carvalho and Gaolaolwe.

But Stendal’s winless streak extended to 11 games with a 4-2 defeat at home to leaders Meuselwitz, 3-0 losses at Grimma and Oberlausitz, then a Gaolaolwe brace nicked a 3-3 at home to Sandhausen.

Vital Games Against Fellow Strugglers

Stendal finally faced a run of games against teams not in the top half of the table at the end of 2025. Their winless streak continued with a 2-2 at home to 12-place Hohenstein as striker Zakaria Asante finally scored his first Stendal goal after 16 hours of trying. A big game took them to 16th-place Martinroda but they still couldn’t win as Horner’s goal secured a 1-1 draw.

But they finally snapped their painful 13-game winless streak as Prusseit switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation with two holding midfielders at Zorbau. And that worked well as first-half Carvalho and Asante strikes downed the 9th-place side 2-1 despite being thoroughly dominated. They backed that up by going to 18th-place Auerbach and nicking a 3-1 victory thanks to Gaolaolwe’s 89th-minute strike and Carvalho’s injury-time penalty.

They took the confidence from those victories into a must-win game at home to bottom-of-the-league Rudolstadt. The impressive Gaolaolwe curled home a delicious 25-yarder inside 18 minutes then created the second for the in-form Asante, who sealed another 3-1 victory late on.

That much-needed change in fortunes lifted Stendal out of the relegation zone and four points clear of the drop zone. But that was cut to three even as they gained a hard-earned 1-1 at fellow East German side Plauen. Another East German team followed as they travelled to Dresdner SC and Asante’s early goal was enough for another 1-1 again against the run of play. The young striker Matthias Lindrath sealed a third consecutive 1-1 and an eighth game unbeaten at home to 9th-place Nordhausen. But that ended in the final game of 2025 in a 2-1 defeat at 4th-place Eilenburg, who nicked it in the 92nd minute.

That took Stendal into the winter break in 15th and with a four-point gap to the relegation zone. However, the Stendal fans certainly got entertainment as their 36 goals scored was more than leaders Oberlausitz and the joint-second highest in the league and only 16th-place Merseburg had conceded more than their 45!

First Return To Dessau

Prusseit faced his first trip back to Dessau as his Stendal side took on his former employers in the first round of Verbandspokal Sachsen-Anhalt. His new team eased to a 2-0 success with second-half goals by Carvalho and Asante. Speaking of Dessau, they currently sit 10th in the 18-team Verbandsliga Saxonia-Anhalt and 18 points off promotion.

The manager had enjoyed an interesting time in his first five months in Stendal. His team had been on a club-record-breaking winless streak then recovered impressively, all while delivering goals aplenty for their fans.

Could Prusseit avoid a repeat of last season and avoid dropping into a relegation battle? Join us on Monday to find out!


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