Marvin Pieringer: The people here live and breathe Schalke 04

Marvin Pieringer scored his first goal for the Royal Blues in the home game against SV Darmstadt 98. The forward will be hoping that more goals follow in the coming weeks, and that he can help the team to a win. The 22-year-old spoke to about the first few months with the club, visits from his family, the atmosphere in the VELTINS-Arena, his first goal, playing for the U23s and the upcoming fixture against Werder Bremen.

Marvin Pieringer

Marvin, you have been at Schalke for over four months now. How have you been settling in?

Very well! You always need a few weeks to feel settled in new surroundings, but the players and the coaching staff welcomed me from the very beginning. I feel totally happy at the club and in the city.

Was there anyone who especially helped you to integrate with the team?

Everyone, to be honest. It was definitely an advantage that the team was finding its feet again. I wasn’t the only new face in the squad as there were a lot of other new signings alongside me.

Have you had time to explore your new surroundings in the last few weeks?

Yes, and that was something very important to me. I have looked around Gelsenkirchen and also the other nearby cities as I wanted to know where I’d be living and what the region is like. I like the Ruhr and I’ll probably take more trips in the area in the future.

Has your family visited you in Gelsenkirchen yet?

Of course, a few times! My family were in the stadium for the first two home matches against Hamburger SV and Erzgebirge Aue and they spent a long weekend in Gelsenkirchen. Since then, they have come every so often to see me. We also phone each other regularly just to see how everyone’s getting on.

It’s great fun playing in front of such a crowd.

Marvin Pieringer

What did your family think of the VELTINS-Arena?

They liked it a lot, just like I do! When I think back to the moments before the first home match, walking out onto the pitch to warm up, I still get goose bumps. Because of the guidelines at the time, there were “only” 20,000 fans in the stadium, but the atmosphere was still incredible. That was a very new thing for me. In half a year at Würzburger Kickers, there wasn’t a single spectator in the stands as everything was behind closed doors due the pandemic, and with the SC Freiburg U23s there were usually only a few hundred people watching.

FC Schalke 04 is known around Germany for its fans. What have you made of the supporters so far?

It’s great fun playing in front of such a crowd. It makes me really proud to play in front of 50,000 people, like last time out against Darmstadt. I sometimes get stopped by fans outside the training ground or at the shops. They wish me luck for the weekend and you really feel that the people in Gelsenkirchen live and breathe Schalke 04.

You have played 13 competitive games so far this season, but have only started in one of those appearances. Would you have liked to be in the starting eleven more?

I’m a footballer, and every footballer wants to play as much as possible – ideally in the starting eleven. That’s why I work hard in training every day to improve and show what I can do. I hope that my dedication over the coming months will be reflected in how much I play. Ultimately, I want to help the team in every game.

Videowürfel mit Marvin Pieringer

You are competing for a place in Schalke’s attack with Marius Bülter and Simon Terodde. How is your relationship with them?

Very good. Of course we all want to play, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want the others to get minutes. We spur each other on in training and don’t tread on each other’s toes.

Coming on as a substitute isn’t always easy, but last time against Darmstadt you scored soon after coming on. What went through your head when the ball hit the back of the net?

The feeling was indescribable – Scoring my first goal in a Schalke shirt in front of the Nordkurve, and the hope that we could go on to get something out of the game. Unfortunately, Darmstadt restored their two goal advantage immediately and made sure of the result.

You said after the final whistle that because you lost, the match wasn’t a success, even though you scored. Did you still receive one or two messages you were happy about?

My family and a lot of my friends wrote to me and I was glad to receive everyone’s good wishes. I don’t want to single out any one of those messages. I hope that I can score more in the fixtures we have coming up and that we can win those games. Then my family and friends can congratulate me not just for goals but also three points.

Of course we all want to play, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want the others to get minutes.

Marvin Pieringer

Last weekend you turned out for the U23s. Was it your decision to play in the Regionalliga against SV Lippstadt 08 to get some more minutes under your belt?

The coaching staff decided that I should play for the U23s on the weekend as there was no Bundesliga 2 action, and some of the other boys were also playing. I was really pleased because playing a competitive game helps me a lot, and it’s very different to a training session. It was good to get 90 minutes in the legs so I stay match sharp.

Your next challenge will come in the form of Werder Bremen. How do you rate the Green-Whites?

A good opponent awaits us and I think that the matchup doesn’t really sound like it belongs in the second division. Saturday evening, 20:30 CET, under the lights and two teams with illustrious histories and fans all over the country. It’s going to be a great game and I’m really looking forward to it.

One club that is playing in the Bundesliga is SC Freiburg, your parent club. Are you keeping an eye on how they are getting on?

SCF are having a brilliant season. If I have time, I watch their games and am also in touch with a few of the players. My main focus is of course on FC Schalke 04. Come the end of the season, I want to be able to say that we had a great year.

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