It is not just our big boys who have made the history books this year - with their tenth title in a row. Our future hopefuls had a year to be proud of too - time for us to take a look back at the highlights of the past 12 months.
UEFA Youth League
Our youngsters have an incredible record of reaching the latter stages of the elite U19 competition - Samson Baidoo & Co kept that up in dramatic style in the spring. A match away at BSC Young Boys awaited in the play-off round. Sandro Ingolitsch's side were on the brink of exiting the competition after going 0-2 down after an hour of play at the Wankdorf. Our boys were not going to give up though! Raphael Hofer, Moussa Yeo and last-minute goalscoring hero Zeteny Jano created their very own Miracle of Bern. Their spot in the last 16 was ensured, but it was not possible to repeat similar heroics against the youngsters of Real Madrid.
The 1-3 defeat is well behind us now. We have just seen a great group stage in the current season which Onur Cinel's boys crowned with a 4-2 win over Benfica. The 14 points gained against Inter Milan, Real Sociedad and the Portuguese giants not only ensured a group win, but also a new points record for FC Salzburg in this competition.
ÖFB Youth League
We have rarely had a season quite as special at academy level as the 2022/23 campaign! The U18 side of co-operation partners FC Liefering took the title with a commanding 15-point advantage over Rapid Vienna, while the U16 and U15 teams were equally impressive - as all three age groups completed an ÖFB Youth League treble for the fifth time after 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 - with our teams winning 21 of the past 24 academy trophies.
Our title defence is going according to plan - the trio of teams are all at the top going into the new year, with the U18 and U15 sides incredibly boasting 100% records! Head coaches Daniel Beichler, Tobias Kern and Wilko Bauer are well on course to claim honours this spring.
Topping the table at Christmas is just the latest success for Kern's crew, who finished third in the Next Generation Trophy, the most prestigious U16 competition in Europe. Young teams from the biggest names in European football battled it out in August on the Red Bull Football Academy complex. Red Bull Bragantino took the title this year ahead of Sporting Lisbon.
U16 women's team start up
We are not just breaking new ground in men's football. After a trial day in January, it was finally time in September for our U16 women's team to play for the first time. Assembled from girls from the Salzburg region along with from the bordering regions of Bavaria, Upper Austria and Tyrol and coached by Dusan Pavlovic, they took a brilliant 6-2 win over the U14 boys of Pinzgau Saalfelden on their debut. The girls continued where they began - with eight wins from 11 clashes seeing the girls firmly in the leading pack of the U14-1. Sparkassenliga, just two points behind leaders Seekirchen.
Everything is set up for another highly succesful year in 2024! While Samson Baidoo, Karim Konate & Co. led the charge of our youngsters last year, there is now another set of talents eager to shape our football of tomorrow.