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Wahl: "Bring the championship to Hamburg"

A Hamburg lad winning promotion in Hamburg is about as good as it gets, and for Hauke Wahl, the dream came true at FC St. Pauli. A correspondingly upbeat centre-back took questions from the media after training on Thursday.

Hauke Wahl on...

…getting promoted to the Bundesliga: "It was obviously very special for me, especially with my family being there on Sunday, which made everything even more special than it probably would have been at a lot of other clubs. It was incredibly emotional and a very long road – but it was worth it."

…his long journey to the Bundesliga: "Anyone who knows me knows the Bundesliga has been a major objective for me. We came so close with Kiel and it took me a long time to get over it. Getting to the Bundesliga has been my aim for as long as I've been playing in the second division, preferably not via a move but by going up with a club and experiencing all the emotions of getting promoted. I'm just extremely happy at the moment. After our first game in the Bundesliga, however, it'll be back to the daily routine, and we'll have to work hard. I'll enjoy it till then."

…his former club Holstein Kiel getting promoted: "I'm obviously delighted for Holstein Kiel, not just for the city and the club, but also for all the staff who were a part of my life for many years. They deserve it, especially after missing out twice in the play-offs."

Hauke Wahl and David Nemeth celebrate promotion to the Bundesliga after the 3-1 home win over Osnabrück.

Hauke Wahl and David Nemeth celebrate promotion to the Bundesliga after the 3-1 home win over Osnabrück.

…the Wiesbaden game: "We're greedy for everything. I've never won a title in my career, with the exception of a regional cup, though that's a few years ago now. We're fully motivated because we want to be able to present the championship shield on Monday. I've heard lots of fans saying we should go for it. Bringing the championship to Hamburg is a great incentive for us."

…the end-of-season party on Monday: "We want to celebrate winning the league there. It would the culmination of a magnificent season. I hope lots of fans come. I'm really excited and looking forward to it. The support from the fans has been incredible – in good phases and bad. I think you could feel the bond between the fans and the team. We want to take the opportunity to say thank you to the fans for what they did for us every week. For me, it's special to play in front of so many fans away from home and see so many people at training every day and at grounds across Germany on a weekly basis."

…the pre-season target: "I think you saw what the team are capable of last season, especially in the second half of the campaign. That gave us a lot of confidence and put us on a very different footing compared with previous years. All we had to do was tweak or improve things, and that's why the goal was getting promoted to the Bundesliga. We sat down a lot together and our team coach, Hinnerk Smolka, played a big role in that, organising, holding and presiding over the discussions. A goal like this has to evolve, and everyone has to feel comfortable with it. You have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. We knew we were setting the bar high in setting such a target and we'd be judged by the coaching team against that, so we didn't make it easy for ourselves, but it worked."

Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters