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Thursday 12/07/2017

All out attack on the baltic coast

Focus on Holstein Kiel

Not many had predicted such a first half to the season! Neither the most optimistic of Kiel fans, nor the league’s best-informed experts had imagined the newly promoted side from the ‘Förde‘ making such an impact throughout the first half of the campaign. With sixteen games played, Holstein Kiel are perched at the top of the table and can secure their place at the peak over the winter-break with a victory in Braunschweig. 

As is so often the case, in Kiel, the trainer is also very much directly connected with the team’s success. Head-coach Markus Anfang took charge in Germany’s far north in August 2016 and has since then guided the club to one success after the next. In the summer, Kiel won promotion back to Germany’s secnd-flight after a long 36 year wait. On the back of all the celebrating, those in charge at the club managed to maintain the euphoria into the new campaign.

Heart and harmony

To consider their start to the campaign furious may be somewhat exaggerated, but the point claimed on the first day of the season did provide the initial impulse for Kiel. The north Germans showed determination and moral in battling back from 0-2 to take a point at home against SV Sandhausen. There then followed a slight dampener, with a 3-4 defeat at Union Berlin, but soon after, the ‚Störche‘ (Storks) truly took flight and raced from victory to victory. Even the Löwen buckled under the self-confidence of Holstein Kiel as they crashed out of the DFB-Cup with a 1-2 defeat in Kiel.

Although unable to claim a win in their last three outings, KSV remain top of the pile in the ‚2. Bundesliga‘ – making them the surprise package of the campaign thus far. The Blau-Gelben will face a tough task against the division’s new-boys this Friday evening, but on Monday night in Ingolstadt,  Lieberknecht’s men proved they are capable of rising to a tough challenge.

Double-D do the damage

One great plus for Kiel this season is their well-functioning and familiar unit. Upon winning promotion, the club managed to keep all of their most important men on board. New signings such as David Kinsombi (Karlsruher SC) and Aaron Seydel (1. FSV Mainz 05) quickly settled – and effectively so! From a team which shows its greatest strength as a unit, it’s difficult to single-out individuals, however, Dominick Drexler and Marvin Ducksch are undoubtedly the leaders in the north German eleven. Ducksch has since notched up 14 scorer-points (10 goals, 4 assists), whilst Drexler’s tally of 13 scorer-points (8 goals, 5 assists) is equally impressive. On the whole, the side from Schleswig-Holstein have a keen eye for goal, proving the league’s most potent club on 36 goals to date.

An element of unease has crept in at the club of late. Considering the impressive run of form in recent months, both coach Markus Anfang, as well as several key players, have captured the interest of other clubs. The head-coach of the Störche was born in Cologne and has often been connected with trainer-less FC in recent weeks. However, on the Förde, upheaval is being kept at a minimum, with the focus clearly set on the project of Holstein Kiel.

Photo: Agentur Hübner

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