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In the run-up to the forthcoming trip to Hannover 96, Afeez Aremu, who slotted into the starting XI at very short notice against Jahn Regensburg, took time out to answer questions from the media on Tuesday.

Afeez Aremu on...

...his second season at FC St. Pauli: "It's usually quite hard for footballers when you're in a country for the first time and everything is still new. I know the processes better now. I've also worked a lot on myself, and things are easier for me in general. Guys like Leart Paqarada, Philipp Ziereis, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Christopher Avevor helped me from the start by translating things for me, for example, which was a big help."

...a potential return to the Nigerian national team: "There's a chance of that happening, of course. I'm still very young, so it's a big wish of mine."

...the tribal marks on his face: "I've had the tribal marks since I was a baby. Everyone in my family has them. I'm proud of them, they're a part of me."

...his personal goals: "I give my all in training and I try to perform out on the pitch as well. I think every player has the dream of playing in the Bundesliga one day. Some of the lads have already done that. We'll continue to work hard in training and give our all on the pitch and we'll see where we finish at the end of the season."

...his current situation: "We have good competition in the squad. Everyone wants to make it as hard as possible for the coach to pick the team, of course. We all push each other, I like that. I have to perform on the pitch for my team and the club if I want to stay on the pitch. I keep working hard for that."

...where he can still improve his game: "Everyone sees my strengths in defence, but I do think I've improved my passing game since I've been here as well. I've had a lot of conversations with assistant coach Fabian Hürzeler where we've discussed what I need to do better. I'd love to score occasionally and set up goals up, of course, something I did a lot at my previous clubs, so maybe I can do it here soon, too."

...the first few home games with fans: "I thought: wow, this is great! When I came here last season, there were only a thousand or so fans at the Millerntor, but there are more now. It gives me an extra energy boost. I hope I get to play in front of a sell-out crowd one day, too."

...his impressions of Hamburg: "There are lots of African shops in Hamburg where I buy stuff for cooking. I'm still on my own and I like to cook, so that's OK. A friend from Kiel comes to visit me more often now and we go out in the city. Now we're planning for my wife to join me in Hamburg from Nigeria soon."


Photos: FC St. Pauli



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