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Things are going well for one of the club's mainstays this season - both on and off the pitch. Full-back Sebastian Ohlsson joined the Boys in Brown in the summer of 2019 and has been a fixture of the team ever since. We talked to him about the team's current upturn in form and how becoming a father is enriching his life.

Sebastian Ohlsson cannot stop swooning. "She's fantastic. It's such a brilliant feeling to see the little one," gushes the 27-year-old Swede. The little one in question is his daughter Lykke, who was born on 17 January, ushering in a new and exciting time for the right-back and his girlfriend Emma. "They're both doing well and we're extremely happy," says Ohlsson. "We aren't getting as much sleep as usual, of course, but that's part and parcel of being a parent," he adds with a beaming smile.

Clearly this is a time of much happiness in the Ohlsson household. And things are going swimmingly for the Swede on the pitch as well. After missing the 3-2 home defeat to Bochum and the spectacular 4-3 win at Heidenheim due to a muscle problem, he returned to help the side secure crucial points in the battle against relegation with two solid displays in the 2-1 victories over Sandhausen and Nürnberg. "I no longer have any problems," he says. "I'm fit and ready and always give 100 per cent - whether I'm training or playing. There's an upbeat feeling in the team and we've finally turned the corner," he continues, referring to the run of five wins in the last six games. Next up is another crucial game against Darmstadt at the Millerntor, yet Ohlsson is full of confidence: "We've shown how good we are at home recently and are obviously keen to beat another of our direct rivals."

Looking at the stats, Ohlsson's performances speak for themselves. With 46 tackles won this season, he leads the way at club level in this category and is the fourth best tackler in the league overall. He also features in the internal top three in terms of distance covered, with only Rodrigo Zalazar (212.6 km) and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (208.1 km) able to better his total of 186.9 km. The Swede is unquestionably a mainstay of Timo Schultz's system. Because when Ohlsson is fit, he plays. With 1,662 minutes of competitive playing time to his name, he ranks second behind Kyereh (1,755) and his versatility makes him one of the first names on the team sheet. "I can play anywhere on the flank," he says. Ohlsson's tireless running has not gone unnoticed, of course, and he will remain at the club for at least another season after his contract, which was originally due to expire this year, was extended by a further 12 months.

Seb and girlfriend Emma needed little time to acclimatise when he joined the Boys in Brown from Swedish club IFK Göteborg in the summer of 2019. "We feel very much at home in Hamburg, so I'm looking forward to playing here as long as possible," the 27-year-old says before adding: "In footballing terms it was another step forward. The game is played at a much faster pace in Germany compared with the Swedish league, but I was able to adapt very well, as the style of play here suits me."

Ohlsson is not a big talker, but rather a dependable player who leads by example, as he demonstrated by appearing on the front cover of football magazine 11Freunde as part of a new campaign to support gay players. "If you come out, we'll back you," is the campaign message, one that Ohlsson clearly endorses: "It's an important signal that we footballers want to support.


Photos: FC St. Pauli