Sport Bild: Mr. Folkrug, with 19 goals and eight assists, played a key role in Werder’s rise. At the same time, it arouses desires. Do you live in Bremen?
Niclas Volkrug (29): I suppose. Of course, it is only natural that other clubs are keen that, as a double striker with Marvin Ducksch, he has shared 57 goals fairly. But I feel very comfortable in Werder. This is very important for the player to be able to call his best performances. There are also other aspects.
Bremen is not far from the cities of Hanover. It’s very important for me to have a connection with a club – and I do that with Werder. That’s why I wouldn’t switch to every club if there was a transition at some point.
Her contract expires in 2023. Should Werder want to extend with you, would you be ready?
Basically, I think everyone who plays with Werder should be grateful. Everything else you have to ask the officials. The future will show what will happen.
What does ascension mean to you?
huge. I’ve been back on Werder since 2019. The first two years have been nothing. Playing against relegation (Werder had to go down in 2020, club relegated in 2021; editor), we didn’t have much to laugh about. Then came the second year of the band. It gave us a new spirit. Not that we need proportions.
We had the opportunity to build something new – and we took advantage of it. A great unity emerged from the team, a whole new feeling. Our team spirit can be a huge plus for us next season in the Bundesliga.
What are the key moments for that?
I would name the Schalke match from the first half of the season as an actor. Our coach quit before the game (Marcus Beigning quit on November 20 after it was learned his vaccination card was forged; editor), there were already some misfortunes before that. At that time there were two possibilities: he is deteriorating because everyone does what he wants, …
…or you two together.
What we did We said to ourselves: “Guys, this doesn’t help, we’re going to fight it as a team.” Despite the circumstances, we played 1-1 against Schalke, which is a positive experience. It was those moments that finally brought us success. Of course, team quality, tactics and performance are all part of it. But it’s good to play in a team where there is a lot of solidarity, because then you look forward to seeing the faces of the other players every day. This gives a lot of energy. I already have a great desire to see her again in the making.
How big is coach Ole Werner’s share in the promotion?
Ole Werner has outstanding leadership. The way we got to the point of our performance in every game. His point average (2.26 points per game; editor) in Werder is definitely outstanding. We felt we could win every game under him. It also gave us an incredible amount of positive energy. And something else has changed during the reign of Ole Werner.
Werder has a face again, symbolizing something: for goals, offensive football, no matter if you play with the back of three or five. I also think that everyone in Germany is happy that Werder is back in the Bundesliga. It will be important to take the euphoria with us into the new season.
You personally did not have an easy time last season, you only scored your first goal on the 24th of October in a 2-2 draw at Sandhausen.
I had to first find my role in the team under new coach Marcus Anfang. Unfortunately, that took a little longer than I had imagined. I did not register at first. Then Marvin Doksch came from Hanover, ran on the ground, which is very important for the team.
In addition, the former coach initially played only with a real striker, it was Ducksch.
So it took me a while to get back to it. But I struggled my way, and showed it to the skeptics. Because what I had to read about myself last summer went in a completely different direction.
What you mean?
Personal criticism was great The question was also asked if I would be able to return to my level of performance after my injury and be at my best. In the end, I’m happy with how it turned out. I’ve been in very good physical shape for a long time, and we’ve had a great season. I am also grateful that I was able to stay at Werder after my relegation in 2021. It was sad not to see what happened.
Your partner in attack Marvin Doksch is also called “The Ugly Bird”. He came last summer as a competitor from Hannover. How was the relationship in the beginning?
We were buddies from the start. There was no problem between me and Duckschi. We were quite open with each other, often as a mutual warning. He said to me, “Man, fullness, judge now, you can do everything better.”
How did you react to that?
I replied, “Now put your hands on your feet and run.” Every time after we talked to each other, we hugged each other and said: “Now we will do everything for the team.” It was clear to us: we see that we are not competitors based on the motto: everyone organizes their own shooting competition for the sake of brilliance. Instead, we want a harmonious interaction that benefits everyone in Werder.