Niklas Stark is one of the new faces of DFB. He favored the shocks that hit the hamsels and Boateng. And he has clear goals.
A year ago, Nicklas Stark was a "regular" player in Herta and coached by coach Pal Dardai as a leading player. After the good first round, he suddenly grew bigger: a board from the inside for a place in the national team.
The 1.90 meter center played its strong performances in focus. In March, the first call came from national coach Joachim Low, followed in May by the second nomination. There is only one use in the DFB T-shirt – yet. In an interview with t-online.de, the 24-year-old spoke about his future in the national team, the upcoming season with Herta, and explained what he thought of Manuel Neuer.
Mr. Stark, you have half a year behind. With Herta, you lost the relationship with the international business in the second round, suffered an injury, but were also nominated for the first time for the senior team.
Niklas Stark: The national team was an indisputable accent. Unfortunately, the hurt was on the way, so I could not help the team in the final stages of the season. But these circles are actually a problem for us. This lasts for several years and no one knows why. It's time to change it.
They were hurt in April and could no longer play matches in the league. Were you afraid to lose your place on the DFB team?
During that time, I had regular contact with the national coach and I informed him again and again how he looked. We met at noon and told him I was expecting to be on time. Then he assured me that he would take me with him. This gave me motivation and strength. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to play in the matches against Belarus and Estonia. I was already disappointed, that's clear. But it was still a great time and there are more games I can play.
How does the national coach plan with you?
I was told that, especially with regard to the future, this is planned with me. There are several more players in front of me, but for me this is only a double motivation.
Niklas Stark (r) In duel with Timo Werner. (Source: Sven Simon / imago images)
Are you hoping for the European Championship next year?
Of course, if you are in the qualification, you want to be there for what you are responsible for. But we have a whole season ahead of us, where many things can happen.
These nominations and their achievements last year also cause greed in other clubs. How do you handle it?
Much of it goes past me. Most people send me friends on my cell phones (laughs). I no longer read so much about myself. I stopped him. But, of course, it's great to be connected with some clubs. That makes me proud. But while there is nothing serious about rumors, it does not matter.
But do you intend to play for Herta in the upcoming season?
Football can always be fast. Of course, I'm planning with Herta at the moment, I'm in the preparation of the club. We work very hard on tactics and systems and on a lot of details. I focus on this and I do not think of leaving.
Niklas Stark in a friendly match against Eintracht Braunschweig in the preparation for the Herta BIA season. (Source: Contrast / imago images)
Would you rather tempt local or foreign countries?
I always deal with things only when they are up to date.
Your coach Ante Covic definitely plans with you, has a solid role in the team for you. Even as a leader, you are becoming more and more important.
The coach wants to take great responsibility. This is an incentive for me and this is my own statement. I have to talk more and give instructions on and off the pitch. We all have to take on more responsibility, but I like to go forward.
Is your position in the center an advantage? After all, they have almost the whole field in front of them.
Of course, the back center always has a leading role. He sees the game in front of him. If he does not speak, who else will do it? No one in the stadium can hear the keeper behind, the coach outside is also very difficult. For us, the central defenders and the six pointers always say a few bars.
Besides Captain Vedad Ibisevic (left), Niklas Stark is one of the leading players in Hertha. (Source: Metodi Popow / imago images)
How important is the master's hand for your hand?
After all, I do not care. It's a sign from outside, but it does not matter to me anyway.
As you count among the leading players in Herta, which have been in existence for several years, you are among the newcomers to the DFB. Are you looking for something from experienced players?
When it comes to leadership, I'm trying to take something from one or the other. It is interesting to see, for example, that Manuel Neyer ticks and heads the team. But I also want to continue to study in terms of attitude and playful quality. The attitude of many players is really impressive. When the first ball goes forward they blow with incredible step forward. These are things I not only record, but I turn to Herta here. Especially with Ante I speak and discuss this. He is very open to him and we agree on most aspects.
How does Ante Covic handle you and the crew?
He talks to us a lot and is very in love with the details. He has a clear plan, wants exact distances and clear positions. We must bring this perfectionism into our heads to get the most out of it. There is not much room in the Bundesliga, and if you are right, you have only a decimeter more and you can realize totally different things. He is trying to tell us what I find very good.
Set Herta on an offensive system: New Chief Trainer Ante Covic. (Source: Contrast / imago images)
Ante Covic has an offensive style of play, giving more benefit to possession than Pal Darday previously. Does this help you in terms of national team where tactics are also designed to play with the ball?
Basically it's more fun when you have the ball. This increases self-esteem. You laugh more and football brings more joy. Begin a good game or sometimes go ahead is better for me as a defender, as the ball just back and forth and here and there to duel. But that was not forbidden at Pal.
What do you plan for yourself in the upcoming season?
So far I do not think in the distance, but I would like to make my debut for the DFB, which would be sensational. The European Championship is certainly my goal. It would be a dream to be in the team. However, performance must be consistent. This is the requirement. Of course, we also want to improve with Hertha, but above all we need to clearly formulate what we want as a team. This does not help if individuals communicate goals.
For Herta, but the next season is possible more financially. Thanks to a deal with investors, your club has a lot more money than a year ago. How did you hear about it?
It was a push message from the Hertha BSC application on the smartphone (laughs). I'm glad we have a bigger budget to think ahead. Football is constantly evolving, so we have to move on.
The fans are separated. Many are happy with the deal, but many are not. Can you understand the critics?
In today's football you need money to stay competitive in the Bundesliga. That is why we need those investors who believe in us and keep us at that level or even bring us to a new level. It's just important these days. If we are in place and the others pass, no one is happy. But without that money, for example, we could not hold the popular favorites like Kalou. And that certainly will not please fans.