Patrick Herrmann tells the tale of Holstein Kiel

We want to continue to work well every week and fight for as long as possible at the top of the table. The important thing is to be focused and think game by game.”. This is how Patrick Herrmann, born in 1988, defender and leader of Holstein Kiel, the real revelation of the 2.Bundesliga, exclusively
frames the second
part of the German Serie B season starting on January 23rd. A resumption of the championship to which the Störche, the Storks, face as second in the standings with 33 points, the result of nine wins, six draws and three defeats.

If the tournament ends now, Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost region of Germany and the only one that has never had a club in the first division since 1963, would be promoted to the Bundesliga.

The team’s journey began a year and a half ago: “In the summer of 2016, with the arrival of Markus Anfang – explains the former Hannover man – explains the former Hannover man – We all needed a couple of weeks to get used to it, then in the second half we found ourselves. We put the coach’s ideas into practice and improved week by week.”

A growing performance that led the Storks to a promotion to the 2.Bundesliga that had been missing for 35 years. “Since we won it in Großaspach (Holstein’s stadium, ed.) – says the player who arrived in 2011 from VfL Osnabrück – It was an incredible emotion. I will never forget the parade in Kiel’s Old Town and the promotion party from the balcony of the town hall.”. The rise in category was followed by a surprising start in the new series as well. “I think the secret was that we continued to play in almost the same way,” the defender argues. From the euphoria of promotion we got a lot of motivation and we adapted very quickly to the new championship.”

A team dragged in attack by the 21 goals of the duo Marvin Ducksch and Dominik Drexler, but whose strength lies in the collective. “We have a common goal and we enjoy what we do,” Herrmann explained, “we are a great group that does well on and off the pitch.” A lot of good players, no real stars and a lot of organization. Our strength,” says the club’s veteran, who has made almost 250 appearances for the Storks It lies in the fact that we always have a plan, we know how to change the game system according to the opponent’s moves. We are perfectly prepared and extremely close-knit. Anything to improve? We are working to be even more flexible and have more solutions.”

A mix of quality that has placed Holstein Kiel in the middle of the promotion tussle with clubs that at the beginning of the season seemed better equipped.

“I think the main candidates to go up to the Bundesliga are Nuremberg, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Ingolstadt ,” says the rock-solid defender. In the winter market, they have also strengthened. But we think about ourselves, stay focused, and don’t get distracted by what others are doing. And let’s see what happens in the end.”

The double jump for Anfang’s eleven, who in his past also coached Kai Havertz in the Bayer Leverkusen Under-17 team, would be a dream and for Herrmann the crowning achievement of a journey that has lasted almost seven years. “I am one of those with the most experience in Holstein ,” concludes Patrick Herrmann I’m fine here and in Kiel I experienced promotions, cup victories but also disappointments such as the defeat in the play-off to go up to the 2.Bundesliga with Monaco 1860 in 2015. The entire club has grown over the years and in the summer of 2017 a further step was taken. The stadium is always full, the infrastructure is better, the attention of the city and Germany, a lot of things went well and I think we are not at the end of the race yet.”

Credits

Cover photo and Sportbuzzer.de celebration ©
Photo Patrick Herrmann ©DieWelt
Photo Markus Anfang ©Kielerleben