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Daschner vows to sharpen up in front of goal

Lukas Daschner moved to the Millerntor from third-division side MSV Duisburg last summer and made 25 appearances in his debut season, contributing four assists. The midfielder now aims to take his career to the next level by earning more playing time and making a case for more starting berths.

"It wasn't a difficult step to take," said Lukas Daschner, 22, on leaving his Ruhr district home for the first time to join St. Pauli last summer. "The people in Hamburg and at the club made it easy for me to settle in here," he added. "All the lads in the squad made me feel very comfortable and welcome from the very first day."

In footballing terms, Daschner has mixed feelings looking back at his first season with the club. The right-sided midfielder featured in 25 out of the 35 competitive fixtures contested but made just two starts. He came off the bench 23 times, making him Timo Schultz's most-used substitute. "I didn't make as many starts as I would have wanted," said Daschner, whose only starts came at Sandhausen and Würzburg, and would be more than happy to lose the title of most subbed-on player next term. "I've learned a lot, though, and definitely feel I've progressed over the last 12 months."

With the Boys in Brown hitting a rich vein of form after the turn of the year, it proved particularly difficult for Daschner to break into the team in the second half of the season. "When the team win nine out of eleven games, you can hardly go up to the coach and tell him he needs to make some changes," he admitted. "It's normal not to change that much when things are going well, which didn't play into my hands, of course, but it was great to see the team doing so well, even though I didn't get that much playing time. We ended up in a comfortable position, something we could only have dreamed of in the winter."

In pre-season, Daschner aims to go flat out in training from day one to stake his claim for a place in midfield. "Everybody will start from scratch again. I'll sit down with the boss to find out what he expects of me and then try to put that into practice as best I can," said the midfielder, who provided four assists in the season just ended but did not find the net himself. 

The midfielder feels he needs to become more ruthless in front of goal if he wants to take the next step. "I've got to be more clinical with my finishing. And though I got better at closing down the ball last season and am in better physical shape, there's still room for improvement. I'll work hard to play and fight my way into the team next season and hope we won't have to play in an empty ground anymore. I'm really looking forward to the time when the fans are let back in again."

Daschner is convinced the Boys in Brown can take the momentum from their impressive surge into next season despite finishing the campaign with three successive defeats. "We don't want a repeat of the first half of last season, that's for sure," he said. And after last summer's upheaval, with all the comings and goings in the squad and the arrival of a totally new coaching team, he is optimistic ahead of the new campaign: "We won't have a completely new team and the fact that everyone knows the system and we get on well as a team is an advantage."

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters

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