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A successful 2023/24 campaign came to an end just over a week ago. In the first of a four-part series, we take a quick look at the season just ended and reveal which players played the most, won the most duels or were substituted most often.


Nikola Vasilj was a permanent fixture in the second division last season, with fellow keepers Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover), Dominik Reimann (Magdeburg) and Florian Stritzel (Wehen Wiesbaden) the only other three players not to miss a single minute. Midfielder Marcel Hartel was the busiest outfield player, missing just 97 minutes. Missing the final game of the season saw Hartel slip to third place in this category behind Wiesbaden's Robin Heusser (58 minutes missed) and Kaiserslautern's Jan Elvedi (90 minutes missed). Other workhorses in the squad were Hauke Wahl (185 minutes missed) and Karol Mets (196 minutes missed).


Marcel Hartel led the way by some distance in this category, scoring 17 goals and making another 13 to finish top of the league rankings. His 17-goal haul was also the best return by a midfielder since Ronny of Hertha BSC went one better in the 2011/12 season. Captain Jackson Irvine came second within the squad with six goals and nine assists, closely followed by Johannes Eggestein on nine goals and four assists and Oladapo Afolayan (nine goals, three assists).


The Hürzeler XI ranked seventh in this category last term with a total of 50.4 per cent tackles won. Internally, David Nemeth came out on top with 62.7 per cent duels won. He was followed by fellow defenders Hauke Wahl (59.6 per cent), Karol Mets (59.2 per cent), Adam Dźwigała (56.4 per cent), Philipp Treu (56.2 per cent) and Eric Smith (55.9 per cent).


No Boys in Brown featured in the league's top 50 in this category last season. Adam Dźwigała was the fastest player in the squad, clocking 34.2 km/h, with Connor Metcalfe (34.1 km/h), Philipp Treu and Karol Mets (both 33.9 km/h) hot on his toes. Osnabrück captain Maxwell Gyamfi was the fastest second-division player last term with a top speed of 36.6 km/h, with second place shared by his team-mate and former St. Pauli man Christian Conteh, Kaiserslautern's Kenny Prince Redondo and Hertha's Marten Winkler (all reaching 36.2 km/h).


With five substitutions now possible during a game, a total of 170 changes can be made over the course of a season. Head coach Fabian Hürzeler made 137 substitutions in the season just ended, an average of almost exactly four a game. In comparison, Paderborn boss Lukas Kwasniok used up nearly all of his contingent, making 167 changes, while Magdeburg's Christian Titz and Fürth's Stefan Leitl (both 141 substitutions), like Hürzeler, were more conservative. Within the squad, Etienne Amenyido was introduced most often, coming on 19 times, followed by Carlo Boukhalfa (17), Andreas Albers (14) and Lars Ritzka (13). And who was withdrawn most often? Well that was Johannes Eggestein and Oladapo Afolayan, who were both taken off 24 times. Third place went to Elias Saad on 21.


At 17 years, two months and 19 days, Schalke's Assan Ouédraogo was the youngest player to feature in the second division last season. Our very own Eric da Silva Moreira was among the top 10 youngest players after making his league debut at Nürnberg in mid-March aged 17 years, ten months and 13 days. Moving on from young to old, another Schalke player came out on top in goalkeeper Michael Langer, who at the age of 38 years, eight months and 23 days was the oldest player used in the season just ended. You have to scroll down a little until you see the first St Pauli player in this category. Andreas Albers was 34 years, one month and 26 days old when he appeared in the final game of the season at Wiesbaden, putting him 19th in the league.


Photos: Witters