Interview with Peniel Mlapa

Hoffenheim striker Peniel Mlapa is currently enjoying a rich vein of form, having scored seven goals in his last three games for the Germany U21s. He is yet to feature for the Hoffenheim first team. But the 20-year-old is glad for the match practice he is currently amassing in the reserves, as he revealed in an interview with

Penny, congratulations on your hat-trick, your second one in a short space of time. How do you explain this great goalscoring form for the U21s?

I can't explain it really. Sometimes, as a striker, thinks just go well for you, even shots from distance, like the one against Greece. Goals like that aren't one of my typical strengths, but I guess I'm in a good run of form now.

Your last game was fort he Hoffenheim reserves. Do you hope that you'll be in contention for a place in the first team matchday squad for the game against Hamburger SV on Sunday?

Yes of course. My goal is to be in the squad every week and get as much playing time for the first team as possible. At the moment it's tough because there's a lot of competition for places up front.

Match practice is always important, especially for young players. The game you've played under reserve team coach Frank Kramer must have been a great benefit to you.

Yes absolutely. Training is important, but playing competitive games in the reserves, first team or otherwise, is always something different, and every game you play improves you as a player. But I do want to eventually be playing in the Bundesliga.

You received your second yellow card of the qualifying campaign against Greece, and are now suspended, which means you're now back at Hoffenheim. Your fellow strikers at Hoffenheim, on the other hand, only return today. Is that an advantage for you, with Sunday's game in mind?

No I don't think so. It doesn't make much difference really. I think I have a good chance of making the squad anyway. I'm disappointed that Vedo and Sali didn't get the result they wanted against Portugal, but hopefully that will spur them on to play well for the club.

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