Following the World Cup the focus returned to the Bundesliga and 1899 Hoffenheim couldn't have wished for a better start. A 4-1 win over Werder Bremen saw the men from Kraichgau take top spot. Added bonuses were the performances of two new signings, Peniel Mlapa and Tom Starke, who were making an instant impact. At opposite ends of the field one shot and one stopped. Mlapa, who signed from 1860 München, picked up right where he left off at his old club by finding the back of the net. "Ten minutes before half time Marvin won the ball before threading the perfect ball into my path. I took it in my stride, took two more steps, shot and scored." It was his first Bundesliga start and his first ever Bundesliga goal and that's how it all went down in the eyes of Mlapa. What a start.
Tom Starke was another new face making his debut at Hoffenheim during the month of August. He's a well known face in the Bundesliga after spells with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Hamburger SV, SC Paderborn and MSV Duisburg and known as a somewhat of a journeyman. Since his move he has stepped into the number 1 spot and shown great presence between the sticks for 1899. In his 10 appearances he has managed to keep 5 clean sheets, proving his credentials. "I felt good here. It's an ideal area and my family loves it here. The training facilities couldn't be better", explained Starke. A injury hampered the keeper in the run up to Christmas, but he should be ready to step back into position come the turn of the year.