Hannover 96: the Bundesliga's surprise package on the big stage

The biggest surprise last season occurred at Hannover 96, with the Lower Saxon team finishing in 4th place in the League. This season they are now competing on three fronts: in the Bundesliga, the German Cup and in the Europa League.

Despite the burden of being in three competitions this year, Hannover want to build on the achievements of last season. "We are always hungry for more," emphasises manager Mirko Slomka.

Last season Slomka managed to perfect a successful counter-attacking style, which made his team exciting and unpredictable. The squad was also kept largely intact, as much sought-after players such as keeper Ron-Robert Ziegler or striker Dider Ya Konan were retained, despite the attraction of lucrative million-euro contract offers.

Due to injury, Ya Konan has been unavailable for much of pre-season. But he has recently returned to the first-team fold and came through a 1-hour training match without difficulty. The Ivorian was Hannover's leading scorer with 14 goals and seven assists last season, and should be fit for the season opener against TSV 1899 Hoffenheim.

Last year's success has brought with it suitable expectation: "We don't have to finish in the top five in the league, rather we want to establish ourselves in the top ten first," says Slomka. In the other competitions the manager is secretly hoping for something bigger. Hannover did, after all, win the German Cup in 1992.

Download Now!
Print Page to top