Berlin – Davie Selke shakes his head. “To Leipzig,” says the forward in a friendly manner, but “I don’t want to talk about it.” The 23-year-old, who joined Hertha last summer from Leipzig, wants to let his play do the talking on Saturday (12th May, 15:30 CEST). “I’m the type of guy who prefers to express himself on the pitch and let my play do the talking,” explains the forward.
He certainly made a statement in the reverse fixture, when he scored twice in the Blue-Whites’ 3-2 win over Leipzig a week before Christmas. He let himself show his emotions in his old stomping ground – he celebrated the goals with his distinctive celebration, followed up with a kiss to the Hertha fans. Even if the latter gesture was seen as excessive by the footballing world, it was evidence that Selke has been in the capital for a long time. “It was always important to me from the start to pay back the trust Pál Dárdai and Michael Preetz have placed in me by scoring goals,” says the Blue-White months later.
Fought his way into the team
Selke built upon that trust at the start of the season as times were tough during his early phase in Berlin. A foot injury set the forward back and he missed the first ten competitive games for his new club. “It was really difficult for me. Of course I’d have preferred to have been available right away,” says Selke looking back. He knows who helped him overcome this tough patch. “The coaching staff and the team were always at my side, which was really important for me as a new player. My thanks also go out to our physio team, who spent a lot of time helping me out.” After recovering from his injury, he didn’t take long to become a staple in Dárdai’s team. He scored four goals in his three Europa League appearances. He played a part in seven goals (four goals, three assists) in the German top flight in his ten games in the first half of the season.
Remained calm and believed in his own abilities
He didn’t doubt himself when he failed to score between the 20th and 29th matchdays. “I had to wait a long time for a goal, but I wasn’t disappointed with my performances in those games. I remained calm and believed in my own abilities and then the goals came back,” says the U21 European champion. “I can sort my season into separate chapters. About a month and a half ago I was in a phase when I didn’t score very much and everyone thought: ‘What’s up with that? Why isn’t he scoring?’ Suddenly now people are saying: ‘He always scores!’ It’s normal for players to have highs and lows like this.”
In any case, the 1.92m giant is strong-minded and didn’t allow the “drought” to get into his head. He says, “I always give my all for the team and try to make the game as difficult as possible for my opponents. That’s how I look to play every game.” The fox in the box is enjoying his best run of his time at Hertha BSC at the moment. Selke has played a part in six goals (five goals, one assist) in the last four Bundesliga games. Only Salomon Kalou has scored more league goals (11).
More than ten goals a season? A trademark for him
Is it an incentive for Selke to overtake the Ivorian on the 34th matchday? “To be the second-highest goalscorer in the team over the Bundesliga season is a trademark for me. Salomon and I can be more than happy with our performances. It’s completely irrelevant which of us finishes the season with more goals.” The season is a positive one for Selke as well as for the entire team: “To represent the team in three competitions was a challenge which shouldn’t be underestimated. It was a great experience to play in the Europa League. It was a new experience for the majority of the team, including myself and we coped with it well,” says Selke. And then he says something else which will please every Hertha fan: “I’m very happy in Berlin. The club support me and I get a lot of time on the pitch – as was promised to me in my contract. It’s been a great first season at Hertha.”