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Wahl: "The second half of the season impressed the whole of football Germany"

The Boys in Brown started their pre-season preparations on Monday and with them Hauke Wahl, formerly of Holstein Kiel. The new recruit took time out after training on Wednesday to speak to the media.

Hauke Wahl on…

...the first few sessions: "It's been fun. I've been in the professional game a few years and so I know pre-season can sometimes go on for longer and be more strenuous. We started working details and substance right away. I like it when we get down to business straightaway."

...the forthcoming trip to Scotland: "It shows the importance St. Pauli have abroad. I've never been to Scotland. Playing at a Scottish ground will be quite special and I'm looking forward to it. The Scotland trip is also great for getting to know the others because we'll be hanging out together for three days."

...his decision to move to the Millerntor: "I decided quite early in the second half of the season that I didn't want to extend my contract after five years in Kiel. I had a great time there and felt very appreciated, so it was difficult for me not to extend. But then I was open for anything. I could see myself moving abroad, to another second-division club or to one in the Bundesliga. Around the time we played St. Pauli at home it became clear the move would happen."

...the strong second half of the season: "The whole of football Germany took note, not just me. It was very impressive. The way they played football and the ten wins in a row. I saw for myself on the pitch how good the team was."

Opponents in mid-May but teammates now - Hauke Wahl and Elias Saad.

Opponents in mid-May but teammates now - Hauke Wahl and Elias Saad.

...his intended position and the fierce competition in defence: "I'll evolve, simple as that. You have to see how everything fits together. You can't make a blanket statement about where you'll play exactly and in the end it doesn't matter. I enjoy playing football so much, so I just want to play. I've often been exposed to competition, I've had to assert myself and often managed to do that. It's nothing new for me. The guys did an incredible job last year. For me, it's good they're here because I can learn a lot from them."

...a leadership role like the one he had at Kiel: "In the long run it is a goal of mine, I also see it as an assignment, but the first task is to get to know the lads. I know most of them by name already but I still have to learn a few nicknames. It has to develop and then a team structure will develop as well over the course of pre-season. Obviously I want to play a leading role in that."

...head coach Fabian Hürzeler and his philosophy: "I have a very positive impression. His sessions are long and intensive but full of substance and fun. I have to carry on internalising the philosophy, and I've already received a lot of input in just three days. That will continue in the next few days and weeks."

...returning to his hometown Hamburg: "I love Hamburg and it was always clear to me that I’d live in Hamburg when I retire from the game. It's a really nice step. It's very special to have an opportunity to play here at such a special club. I'm really looking forward to it and still can't quite believe it's only fifteen minutes until I'm really at home. My father came to almost every home game at Kiel and he's happy as well. He'll still be able to go to every game."

...his targets and the possibility of promotion: "We've only been training together for three days, so it would be very presumptuous of me to talk about targets. We have to get to know each other first, gel as a team and develop a team spirit. The league is tougher than it was last year because two big clubs have come down."

Photos: Witters