Past interview with Fred Vulpes – from 2013

We reproduce an interview by Thossa Busing with Fred Vulpes from 2013 originally published on the DSTFB website.

FRED VULPES (TFC Rhein-Hessen Wiesbaden)
24 May 2013
“Would love to play a tournament in the USA one day”.
The DSTFB’s interview series does not take a long break. For the 7th time, a long-time Subbuteo friend, national player and highly decorated DSTFB and FISTF official is available to give us an insight into his innermost thoughts, on current topics, his beginnings, private views and future plans – as always casually and with a lot of feeling in his fingertips. This time it’s someone who coined such legendary sayings as: “Fred, Fred, Fred, you’ve got all the time in the world” or “Ich treff’ de’ leere’ Pfoste’ nit”. The interview was conducted by Thossa Büsing. Essenheim in 1980, a small community near Mainz, about ten kilometres from the Rhine, situated between vines – how does an 18-year-old teenager suddenly find himself wanting to play subbuteo intensively?

Fred Vulpes It actually started about two years earlier when I saw the game on TV as an advertisement. Then I looked for the game in Mainz and found it in a toy shop. It was the basic pack (1 mollet cloth, 2 teams, 2 goals, etc.). For the first time, we only played among the three of us brothers: Thomas, Klaus and me. In 1980, Fortuna Limbach did a SW- tour with games against SC Sobernheim and also against us. After that, we decided to play more intensively after I got my driving licence. That was in 1981.

Fred Vulpes (right) in the German veteran national team at the international match against the Netherlands 2009 More intensive. Does that also mean international? Your brother Thomas was still very young at the time.

Fred Vulpes No, there weren’t many international tournaments yet. We got our first invitation to an international tournament from SC Jambes in Namur. That was in 1984. The tournament lasted two days. We registered for Saturday (Saturday was the preliminary round) with the belief that we would be eliminated anyway, but Thomas almost made it to the main round, which was on Sunday. We hadn’t planned for that, otherwise we would have had to make arrangements for an overnight stay. They also played with different rules there (FISA). Thomas was not the best at the beginning, Klaus was the better subbuteo player. And Klaus Vulpes hasn’t played for half an eternity now either. In the 1980s and into the next decade, the LV Südwest had plenty of members. Even in the small Saarland there was once a strong Subbuteo scene. Which people impressed you most at that time, or with which clubs did you have the most contact?

Fred Vulpes That was SC Stennweiler and Frank Scherer. Klaus had played until he met his current wife. So next year you and Thomas will celebrate your 30th anniversary on the international stage. That’s crazy! You’ve been all over Europe, from Finland to Malta, from the Czech Republic to Spain, playing international tournaments. Which tournaments, places or cities have fascinated you the most?

Fred Vulpes The tournaments in the Czech Republic (Hradiste Uherske) were the best and Helsinki was also nice.

at the Czech Grand Prix in Uherske Hradiste Are there still white spots on the international Subbuteo map where a Fred Vulpes says: I would definitely like to play Subbuteo there?

Fred Vulpes I am mainly interested in the tournaments that are new in the calendar. For example, I would like to play a tournament in Hungary. Maybe it will work out. I would also like to play a tournament in the USA.

German Team Cup Winner 2000 BSC Schwalbach.(from left) Kai Schmidlin, Thomas Winkler, Fred Vulpes and Michael Kappl. Another subbuteo side of you is not only playing, but also organising. You have been active as an official of the DSTFB as well as in the world federation FISTF for many years now. You have been a member of the FISTF board for almost 12 years now and have worked with four presidents since 2002 – with a short interruption. How would you sum up this time?

Fred Vulpes Each of these presidents had his strengths and weaknesses. Vincent was a good, if not a very good president. Piero was just a puppet of the Italians. He managed to get Subbuteo back into the shops. Laurent was a dreamer. The words he spoke were unfortunately not followed by deeds. And Luis is a worker where I thought he wouldn’t make it, but fortunately I was wrong. He is flourishing as president. The current board is a good team – we all respect each other. The FISTF World Championships in Manchester 2012 were ambitiously announced and ended up as a “Madchester” for many. Financially a disaster, organisationally a chaos. Will it be better this year in Madrid and why?

The German World Championships delegation during the FISTF World Championships 2007 in Les Herbiers (France) with Fred Vulpes (far right) as Chef de Mission and in his function as FISTF Financial Director.

Fred Vulpes I think it will be much better in Madrid because all the organisation is with the Spanish federation. They want to take care of everything (sponsors, etc.). The venue is in a 4-star hotel right next to the airport, where the players are also accommodated. The FISTF is currently working on the schedule of this event. Personally, I already think there will be a super World Cup. Meanwhile, the FISTF has finally developed a control template for goalkeepers, figures, etc., and also put it on sale. How does the normal player get such a tool?

Fred Vulpes The order can be placed on the website under FISTF-Shop. The order lands with me and is delivered after payment of the invoice by our sports director. We have sold almost 20 so far. Another long-term project is the matter of the unit goalkeeper. What are the chances that something will happen here soon?

Fred Vulpes Talks are being held with manufacturers to sell uniform goalkeepers. I don’t know anything more at the moment. In addition to your voluntary work with the DSTFB and the FISTF, you are also involved in other footballing matters – refereeing, youth work. What exactly do you do there?

Fred Vulpes (left) and his brother Thomas (right) during the FISTF Grand Prix of Austria in Vienna 2009. Also in the picture Horst Deimel and Diego Tagliaferri.

Fred Vulpes I am a member of the district youth committee in the Mainz-Bingen district and I am the class manager of the D-juniors in the Mainz-Bingen district. From the new season onwards, I will only be in charge of the friendly matches of the juniors and the Mainz-Bingen district cup round. From the new season on, I will also be in charge of refereeing the youth games. Furthermore, I am the referee supervisor for the A- and B-juniors of 1.FSV Mainz 05, who play in the Bundesliga. Finally, we have to talk about your brother Thomas. These Vulpes brothers’ duels are legendary, especially in the LV Südwest, for their explosiveness and intensity. When and how did the last match between you take place?

Fred Vulpes Oh, I can’t remember exactly. I think it was 5-6 years ago in Traiskirchen. Thomas won 5:0 in the barrage. I’m not sure. Thank you for the interview and have fun and enjoy the games.