Matthias Ginter: “I'm not surprised by Hoffenheim's start to the season”

Matthias Ginter is a Freiburg youth product. The 19-year-old has been with SCF since 2005 and has become a consistent part of the first team. Ahead of his side's meeting with TSG, the defender spoke to about his Fritz Walter Medal, Freiburg's poor start to the season, the Europa League and the derby match.

Hello Matthias, you were recently awarded the Fritz Walter Medal for the second time in a row. What does it mean to you?

Matthias Ginter: It's a fantastic honour because it doesn't just acknowledge my own performances on the pitch, but also all of the people that have supported me over the past few years: my family, coaches, friends and the Freiburg School of Football. I needed them in order to develop as much as I have over the past years.

You would no doubt swap it for a better start to the season, right?

Matthias Ginter: Sure – but all those other things have nothing to do with our poor start. It's not been great, we know that and it's frustrating.

What's gone wrong for you in the first two games?

Matthias Ginter: After such a good season last year and the many departures we've had, it was clear that we'd need a bit of time. You could see in the game against Leverkusen that we were still not quite in tune. We were a little better in the opening home match against Mainz though.

How are the new players integrating into the squad?

Matthias Ginter: They're great guys that have really applied themselves in the team and we've incorporated them well. Mike Hanke and Gelson Fernandes have been voted straight into the group of team leaders. We just need to keep working hard in training now to make sure things come together in matches, and that's exactly what we're doing.

You're a flexible player – sometimes you play in defence, sometimes in midfield. Where do you see yourself in the future?

Matthias Ginter: I feel more at home at centre back. I played in midfield a lot in the youth teams. It's important to be flexible. A lot of worth was placed in that during my training at the Freiburg School of Football and us young players can benefit from it a great deal.

The Europa League group stages will be drawn at the start of September. Has it been on your mind? It will be your first European appearance.

Matthias Ginter: It's still a while away yet. We're just focusing on the Bundesliga at the moment. There's no time for anything else. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to playing in the Europa League. We've earned it.

TSG have started the season well. What are your expectations in the derby?

Matthias Ginter: I'm not surprised by Hoffenheim's good start to the season. They have a lot of quality in the team. We'll try with everything we've got to put up some strong resistance. If we can put what we've been working on in training into practice on the pitch then we're another step further.

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