Two games into the season and Darmstadt sit comfortably in sixth position in the 2. Bundesliga, would be 1st had it not been for a late, late Ingolstadt equaliser last weekend. It was partly thanks to the goals of new striker Dominik Stroh-Engel which enabled the Lilies to earn an unlikely promotion and the 6 ft 6″ striker is back on target this season with a goal in each game. We caught up with Dominik a couple of weeks ago at the Darmstadt training ground and chatted with him about past, present and future.
Bundesliga Fanatic: Dominik, did you think twelve months ago that you would be playing in the 2. Bundesliga?
Dominik Stroh-Engel: No, absolutely not. When I arrived at Darmstadt the target was to stay in the 3. Liga. However, as the season developed we became a good team with some great players and in the end we got promoted, which nobody expected at first.
BF: Last season was unbelievable. Can you please try and describe it for us?
DSE: At the beginning we did struggle a bit with a small team since we did not have many players in our squad. We didn’t start the season well but we brought in a couple of players and won a couple of games which reminded us what a good team we were and we got better as the season progressed until we saw that we could get into the promotion mix and in the end we achieved it.
BF: It wasn’t just a successful season in the 3. Liga but also in the DFB Pokal. First with the victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach (0-0, Darmstadt won 5-4 on pens.) and then with an excellent performance against Schalke 04 (1-3 defeat). Do you think that the 3. Liga level is getting higher and higher?
DSE: Yes, absolutely. In the last few years the football of the lower leagues has developed a lot and therefore most of the teams, if they play at their best, can perform well, even against Bundesliga teams.
BF: With the season already here, what are your goals from an individual point of view?
DSE: As a newly promoted team we can only look at consolidation in the division. Personally for me it would be lovely if I could score 10 goals and that is also the target I am aiming for. It can’t always be 27 goals, so I’d be very happy about 10 goals!
BF: As you said you scored 27 goals last season so I’m sorry to ask but did you receive any offers in the summer?
DSE: Yes, I did receive offers but I feel so at home here in Darmstadt that we have started talks with the club to extend my contract. For me that’s a good enough reason and I think we can still achieve a lot with this team.
BF: Lastly, a prediction for the season?
DSE: We will definitely stay in the division thanks to our good players and a strong team performances.
You can listen to the full interview in German on Aufstieg Podcast’s SoundCloud page by clicking here
Header courtesy of dpa