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Diamantakos: "Seven goals aren't enough for one season"

For Dimitrios Diamantakos, the 2018-19 campaign ended on a high. The Greek marksman found the net three times in the last four games to finish the season as the club's leading scorer despite missing most of the second half of the season due to injury. A positive end for the striker, then, who not only visited friends in Athens while on holiday in Greece, but also worked on his fitness for next season.

Before setting off on holiday after the game at Fürth, Dimitrios Diamantakos looked back at the season just ended with mixed feelings. In the first half of the campaign he featured in 12 of the 18 matches played but started only five of them before missing the majority of the second half due to injury. The striker reported back just as the season was entering its final stages – and how. He got on the scoresheet at home against Regensburg and the away games at Dresden and Fürth to top the internal scoring charts with seven goals ahead of Henk Veerman and Alex Meier (both six).

"Towards the end of the campaign I took the chance given to me by the new boss and scored a few goals," he said. "That was obviously good for my confidence and good for me mentally. But scoring goals is my job, so I have to say that seven aren't enough for one season." Diamantakos had set himself the target of ten goals before the start of the second half of the season, only to be stopped in his tracks by an injury that left him having to settle for seven after a strong finish.

"The first game of the year at Darmstadt was a disaster," he said. "I went into it feeling good after the winter break only to pick up a groin strain that ruled me out for several weeks." It truly was a day to forget for the striker, with the Boys in Brown eventually going down 2-1 after taking a first-half lead.

The 2-1 defeat at Darmstadt was the lowest point of the season for Dimitrios Diamantakos.

The 2-1 defeat at Darmstadt was the lowest point of the season for Dimitrios Diamantakos.

"When I'm fit and playing, I know I can be of use to the team," continued Diamantakos, who like many of his teammates was dogged by injury and only featured in 18 of 34 possible games last season. Looking ahead to next term, he set himself a clear target: "For starters I aim to stay fit and well." Instead of taking part in the US tour or relaxing on the beach, the striker spent his summer holiday working on a rehab programme. "I don't want to have as many problems with my adductor muscles next season. Last year was a tough one for me."

His season may have ended on a personal high thanks to those three goals in four games, but the team had to settle for a chastening ninth-place finish. All the more disappointing for Diamantakos, as the Boys in Brown had been challenging for promotion for much of the season. Yet the last few matches gave him cause for optimism: "Our performances were good, the results less so. Nevertheless, we played active football and that was positive."

The striker was reluctant to make any predictions as to where the Boys in Brown will finish or how many goals he will score next season. "Every season is different, but I hope we can make a good start like we did last year," he said, "We need to be more consistent, though. It will also be important for all of us to stay injury-free as far as possible, not just me. Anything is possible if we can pick up where we left off. The new system is very good for us as a team. We really enjoyed it and so did the fans."


Photos: Witters