FSV Optik Rathenow
|Full name||Fußball Sportverein Optik Rathenow|
|Founded||1945 (as SG Rathenow) |
1991 (as FSV Optik Rathenow)
An Oberliga powerhouse in recent years, Optik has earned a string of impressive promotions to Germany's fourth-tier.
The club earned three promotions in quick succession under coach, Ingo Kahlisch, and reached Germany's 3rd tier in 1994, enjoying a three-season spell at that level competing against the likes of FC Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden. Following the Rathenowers return to fourth-tier play in 1997, the club remained a mainstay in the league till 2005.
The earliest roots of football in the Rathenow area go back to the establishment of Spielvereinigung Rathenow in 1906. In the 1930s this club merged with Turnverein Vater Jahn Rathenow to create VfL Rathenow, which went on to play second division football in Berlin-Brandenburg. A community sports club known as Sportgemeinde Rathenow was formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II out of the membership of VfL and Rathenower Ballspielclub. This was renamed BSG Verkehr Rathenow in 1948. The current day club claims its origins in the reemergence in December 1950 of the former VfL out of SG as BSG Mechanik Rathenow. This club became BSG Motor Rathenow in 1951. Playing in Soviet-occupied East Germany, the team was an unremarked local side with less than a handful of appearances in the third division 2. DDR-Liga and the early rounds of the FDGB Pokal (East German Cup) to its credit.
On 10 February 1990, following German reunification, the club took on the name Sportverein Optik based on a sponsorship arrangement with a local optical firm. On 21 February the following year, the football department became independent as Fußball Sportverein Optik Rathenow and made its only appearance to date in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) tournament on the strength of a district cup win. The team advanced to fourth-tier competition in 1992 following a championship in the Verbandsliga Brandenburg (V) and continued its string of successes by winning promotion in qualification play for the Regionalliga Nordost (III) as part of the restructuring of German football in 1994. Their stay was short-lived as they were sent down to the Oberliga Nordost-Nord (IV) following a last place result in 1996. In Oberliga competition Optik consistently earned lower table results, but escaped relegation until being sent down after a 14th-place finish in 2005. The club returned to fourth-tier play after two seasons spent in the Verbandsliga Brandenburg (V). In 2012 they were promoted to Regionalliga (IV), where they spent two successive seasons in the league before relegation. The club won the Oberliga title again in 2015 and was promoted back to the Regionalliga but lasted only one season. In 2017–18, Rathenow were again crowned the champions of Oberliga-Nord and the club made a swift return to the Regionalliga for 2018–19.
- As of 20 January 2019
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
The club's honours:
- FSV Optik Rathenow – Die offizielle Website
- Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9
- Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (in German) Historical German domestic league tables
- FSV Optik Rathenow at Fussball.de (in German) Tables and results of all German football leagues
- "FSV Optik Rathenow 2018/2019". FSV Optik Rathenow. Retrieved 1 January 2019.