His professional development thrust him into the cross-hairs of many Bundesliga clubs from an early age. “I had trials at FC Bayern Munich and at TSV 1860 Munich, and in the end I decided to choose 1860. Their youth system ranks among the best in Germany”, Volland reminisced. It turned out to be a very good decision. At 1860, he matured into one of the 2. Bundesliga's best players, notching 14 goals as a support striker last season, no mean feat for a 20-year-old. Now having rejoined TSG (he was signed by the club in 2011 and loaned back to the Lions), Volland is determined to prove he is ready to play in Germany's top flight.
When pressed about his chances of featuring in the first team this season, Volland remained optimistic, saying he would do everything in his power to force manager Markus Babbel into picking him. “If I get a chance in the first team, then I'll do my level best for the team, regardless of what position I'm played in. My favourite position to play would of course be as a second striker, but we'll see.” It is a goal that he and the rest of the squad have been training hard for at their training base in Füssen, Bavaria. “I'm really putting in the work to give myself the best possible chance of getting some playing time,” said a determined Volland.
After having finally arrived in Sinsheim, Volland has found that the transition has been made easier by the presence of two Germany U21 teammates in Sebastian Rudy and Boris Vukcevic. And his roommate on tour Stephan Schröck has also helped him settle in; the two of them have known each other for a number of years and played against one another in the lower leagues and the 2. Bundesliga last season. “We exchanged a few tests before coming and he's become a very good friend of mine.”
And there is one other figure that has had a positive influence on Kevin: his father Andy. The former German international ice hockey star embraced his son's choice to favour football over ice-hockey, a tough decision for the young Kevin to make. “As a kid I played both for about three years: football in Thalhofen, ice hockey in Füssen since there was no ice rink in Marktoberdorf. But the driving became stressful for my parents and at some point I decided to give up the ice hockey and concentrate on football.
It was a good decision, and one that has eventually led him to Zuzenhausen and TSG Hoffenheim. Volland seems to have done everything correctly.