Every year in August, the whole of German football gets geared up for the new season. Whether it is fans, players or coaches, they are all excited. For Davie Selke, the past two summers have been very tough. This is not because he has lacked excitement for the upcoming season but because the striker has been injured. The summer before last, the U21s European Champion was out with a foot injury and this summer he had a punctured lung. Both times he has had to take a break and focus on rehabilitation instead of training and playing. “I am an impatient person. The time on the sidelines was not easy for me,” said the 23-year-old a few months after recovering from his injury. Still, the long time of suffering is over and he is improving every week. In an interview with herthabsc.de, the striker spoke about his situation in 2017, the current season and the game against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim this Saturday (24/11/18, 15:30 CET).
herthabsc.de: Davie, an assist in Dortmund, your first start of the season in the DFB-Pokal in Darmstadt and your first goal of the season in Düsseldorf. Is your form on the rise?
Selke: I am in good condition and I feel fit. Last season I feel I did well by scoring 10 goals after missing the start of the season through to injury. It was all the more frustrating that I got injured this summer too and missed the start of the season. The limited playing time so far has not been optimal for me. However, I am finally getting back into a good rhythm.
herthabsc.de: You are an extremely ambitious player, with great expectations for this season. How difficult was it for you, to get another injury setback?
Selke: I was not in a good emotional state. I was hurt and had to deal with it. Luckily, it was not a cruciate ligament rupture; otherwise I would have been out for six months. In these situations, you have to stay positive. The first week after my injury, I went back home to a place where we don’t speak about football. Of course, it was difficult sometimes, especially when I saw pictures of the boys at training. I haven’t been to the training camp in Austria yet and that is annoying as you lay the foundations for the upcoming season there.
herthabsc.de: After your complex injury, you were back sooner than expected on the training ground. Were you surprised that you were already back in the matchday squad on matchday three?
Selke: last year, I have been a bit late to join the players on the pitch but I didn’t feel like I had lost any fitness. I got some match practise in the Europa League last year. This year, the injury to my lung was a little worse and I noticed in training that I was not in prime condition. But naturally I am happy to be able to fight again for the team.
herthabsc.de: In the striker position, head coach Pál Dárdai is spoilt for choice. Vedad Ibisevic is one of the most reliable strikers in the Bundesliga, but you have shown how important for the team you are last year.
Selke: Agreed, I can only continue to give my all. The coach then decides whether I start or not. I think that if it wasn’t for my injury, I would have played more. When I came back to the team, the boys had been on a good run of form so it was difficult for me to break into the team. Besides being our captain, Vedad knows where the goal is.
herthabsc.de: For the game against Hoffenheim on Saturday, Dárdai has not selected his starting striker yet. Why should you start?
Selke: (smirks) I am a player, who likes to start games. I need touches early on and challenges to completely get into the game. I am always up for a fight in the match. If you start the game, there are different phases of play in which you participate in. Maybe, the first couple challenges don’t come off well but you always will have a third or fourth. I get into the flow of the game by challenging for the ball and then I can start running with the ball. I want to start and give everything I have got. Otherwise, I just have to give my all as a substitute and help the team succeed.
herthabsc.de: After a good start to the season which has included a victory over Bayern and a draw in Dortmund, you have lost against both Leipzig and Düsseldorf. How have you found the results so far?
Selke: Maybe we are currently just going through a bad patch, which every team goes through at least once during the season. We were outstanding at the start of the season. Everything worked perfectly. We were very dominant and we were very solid at the back and we were confident that we could beat Bayern München at home, which we did. We wanted to win against Leipzig as well but we were disappointed and annoyed that we were unable to win. The game in Düsseldorf was unique. However, there are certain phases during a season where this happens. It has not worked out for us in the last two games. We want to beat Hoffenheim and that is our target for this weekend.
herthabsc.de: You played at Hoffenheim as a youth player. What memories do you have from your time at the club?
Selke: Hoffenheim played a big role during my youth days. I had four great years there, I learnt a lot mentally, especially after VfB Stuttgart let me leave (chuckles). In a few years though, it all got better. But on Saturday, the three points are the most important thing. It will not be easy because Hoffenheim have a very, very good coach in Julian Nagelsmann. Offensively, they are extremely strong and are flexible and ready to find solutions. But we will have our fans behind us and we want to be brave and fight from the beginning, confront our opponents with problems and win the game.