Football: The white leather ball has a long tradition
The local facts alone speak for themselves:
- Nine football pitches
- Successful football clubs that play in the 1st Salzburg Landesliga and in the Westliga.
- Extraordinarily committed football talent development
- Thousands of members
- Several hundred spectators at every game
- and an unmistakable euphoria around the sport on the green grass.
No wonder then that more and more top players again cross the border and set up their training camp in Saalfelden Leogang.
But why here exactly?
“Saalfelden Leogang”: The whole package
There are plenty of beautiful places in the world that have good training conditions. But there are very few that have "The Whole Package":
- the climatic conditions
- the altitude
- the excellent hospitality
- the perfectly manicured pitches
- the healthy and balanced home cooking
- and - the ability to compete against other prestigious teams in friendly matches
Salzburger Land Fußball Camps
The latter chiefly made possible by the Leogang resident Hannes Empl with his company “Salzburger Land Fußball Camps“, or SLFC for short. As CEO and founder of the SLFC, which has its headquarters in Leogang, he organized his team training camp for football clubs across the province of Salzburg and is one of the most successful in the industry. Today, over 70 football teams come to Salzburg province a year to prepare for their upcoming games here in optimal conditions.
The proof of the high expertise in the football sector…
...was the award in 2008, when Leogang was selected as the site for the UEFA Team site for the Russian national team. Since then, many other teams have enjoyed the benefits of the Salzburg mountain region
Here is a small extract:
National Team of Serbia, National Team of Belarus, Women's National Team of Nigeria, Women's National Team of USA, VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Moenchengladbach, 1899 Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Bucharest, Maccabi Haifa, Besiktas BJK, NK Zagreb, Rapid Bucharest, MTK Budapest, Al Hihal from Saudi Arabia,...
1:0 for the Football Camps in Saalfelden Leogang
The white leather ball has a long tradition in the Saalfelden Leogang region. The local facts alone speak for themselves: 9 football fields, successful football clubs that play in the 1. Salzburger Landesliga and in the Westliga, extremely committed young talent development, thousands of members, several hundred spectators at every game and an unmistakable euphoria around the sport on the green grass. No wonder then that more and more top players are crossing the border and making their hobby into a profession. Hannes Empl is proof of this success, having first played at SC Leogang, then at FC Kufstein and eventually in Salzburg. One day Hannes Unterrainer (Church Rector in Leogang), who himself had good contacts with foreign top teams, whether he could imagine that his Kufsteiner colleagues could play against a Ukrainian team. “Why not?”-- and so the two teams competed against each other in Leogang. That was about 11 years ago. When Hannes Empl later played in Salzburg, a similar story happened again, just with different teams: Salzburg against the Czech Republic in Leogang. Well, from a spontaneous idea a hobby was born and from the hobby an internationally respected company: The SLFC GmbH organizes football camps around the world and brings the most prestigious national teams and club teams to Tyrol and Salzburg. The office is located in Leogang.
The football camps in our latitudes started to really boom in 2008 after the Russian national team came to train for the European Championships in Austria in Saalfelden Leogang. Trainer Guus Hiddink was delighted: “This is the best place I've ever trained in." Even the daily Russian newspaper "Sport Express,” with a circulation of 20 million did their bit to add to Saalfelden Leogang's notoriety. The reporters were reporting directly from Saalfelden Leogang for more than 14 days and mentioned it constantly. In Russia the impression grew that the Pinzgau region must be a football metropolis. In the years that followed other teams and club teams came who wanted to train here. Now you might ask the pertinent question: ”Why here exactly? There are plenty of places in the world that offer good training conditions.” Yes, that’s true. But there are very few that have "The Whole Package": the climatic conditions, altitude, excellent hospitality, the perfectly manicured pitches, the safety, healthy and balanced cuisine and herein lies the USP: the ability to compete against other prestigious teams in friendly matches. Hannes Empl was able to do this because he could survey the whole field. They all booked through him. He knows exactly who, where, when, how they train. He can put the pieces of the puzzle together. And since he is a native son of Leogang and raised here, he’s made “his region" into the Number 1 summer camp for football teams. This summer alone about 70 teams trained in the Tyrol and Salzburg and 150 matches were played. Of course one or two national teams as well as some club teams will be back in Saalfelden Leogang.
“Leogang is heaven on earth.” Radomir Antic, Trainer of the Serbian National Team
The top-class hotel industry of course plays a big role because that is responsible for ensuring that the players feel completely pampered. Luckily, Saalfelden Leogang can boast excellent 4 - and 4S -star hotels that completely meet the needs of the athletes. The tourist trade is of course also happy about the overnight stays and the additional sales volume created by this new market niche. And even the local football clubs are proud that the best teams in the world are training on their pitches. Especially for young players it is a great incentive. And who knows what football stars are yet to come from Saalfelden Leogang?