Nassim Boujellab: It’s a dream come true
After impressive performances in training and a strong showing during the friendly in Sevilla, U23s player Nassim Boujellab is starting to make a name for himself. His reward came on Sunday (31/3) in Hannover, when he made his Bundesliga debut after replacing Suat Serdar in the 79th minute.
“I had hoped before the game that I would get on for a few minutes, so it’s great that it happened. It’s a dream come true,” said the 19-year-old, who has come through the Schalke youth academy (Knappenschmiede) and stood out for the U23s this season. In the fifth division (Oberliga Westfalen) he has scored 13 goals and registered three assists in 19 appearances.
Positive feedback after the game in Sevilla
Boujellab’s impressive statistics haven’t escaped Huub Stevens’ attention. “The coach gave me a chance to show what I can do in the game against Sevilla,” he reflected on his 75-minute stint in the Trofeo Antonio Puerta. “It seems that I took my chance. Mr Stevens gave me a lot of positive feedback after the game.”
You can even sense how big and special the club is as part of the youth academy.
The youngster admitted that he was slightly nervous when he found that he would be in the squad for the Hannover game. “I couldn’t go to sleep straight away,” said the Sauerland-born man. “The club is unbelievable. You can even sense how big and special the club is as part of the youth academy.”
The midfielder also praised the footballing education he has received as a youth player. He feels that U19s coach, Norbert Elgert, has played a big part in him reaching his dream of playing Bundesliga fooball. “Norbert prepared me really well for adult football in the U19s. I went through a good school under him”, praised Boujellab.
Hard work and fun
He also feels that Stevens has trust in him as well. “Work hard, give your all, win tackles and have fun,” is what the Dutchman said to Boujellab as he brought him on Hannover. The German-Moroccan will be now hoping to pick up more minutes during the rest of the season.
Boujellab didn’t have to sing in front of the team before his debut: “Thankfully I already did that during our trip to China,” he said with a smile on his face, having already experienced life in the first team briefly last summer.