The 23-year-old is not lacking in footballing quality. That has been clear for a long time, not only to Schmidt himself, but also to those around him. There were various opinions on the reasons why he could not show it, but in the end the “realisation that he had to make a change in his behaviour” played a critical role in the way everything worked out. “In the end, life is what you make it,” said Anfang.
The extension of Christian Groß’s contract is another indication that hard work pays off. “He always gives it his all, takes the lead and never gives in. That’s a character trait that sets him apart,” raved Anfang, who puts ‘Grosso’s’ leadership qualities down to those very attributes: “When a 32-year-old, who is perhaps not playing at the moment, throws himself into training, no 23-year-old can really start feeling down.”
Groß is a role model in terms of commitment and dedication - a player who has had a distinctive career up to this point. As with Schmidt, who is almost ten years younger, few people expected Groß to make the step up to the first team. “He has always been one of the most reliable players and he presents himself in such a professional manner now. He brings experience to the team and a vision of the bigger picture. That is a big help to our young team.”