Jerome Gondorf is putting his feet up a bit. Between the intense training sessions, the new signing took out some time for an interview with Werder. Anyone who things that the midfielder would be exhausted, tired or frustrated from the tough training sessions, would be wrong. On the contrary, “I could always have a kick-about,” said the 29-year-old. Gondorf speaks about the importance of his family to him, his deep footballing roots and his ambitions.
WERDER.DE: When you look at your family, could you have actually been anything other than a footballer?
Jerome Gondorf: “The path was pretty much laid out for me. My parents are both massive sport fans and crazy about football. All of my siblings are or were active in football.”
WERDER.DE: How is your relationship with your siblings?
Jerome Gondorf: “Brilliant, they are the most important people in my life. We have a very close-knit family and see them almost every two weeks. Family means everything to me.”
WERDER.DE: Were you always better at football than your brothers?
Jerome Gondorf: “Certainly not. My older brother had a lot of talent but was put back through injuries. I would say my youngest brother had the most talent. I hope that he also makes the breakthrough. He is currently playing in the Regionalliga. If he carries on, a lot of doors will open for him.”
WERDER.DE: Home is clearly a very important part of your life. Was it tough for you to make the step up north to Bremen?
Jerome Gondorf: “It was a difficult decision but I the feeling grew on me to do something different, both for myself in terms of football but also to develop as a person. I was lucky that I was able to play at professional level and still be at home with my family. Now it was time to make the next step. My wife gave me her backing and so we made the jump as a family.”
WERDER.DE: What was your experience of the training camp in Zillertal?
Jerome Gondorf: “We were able to really concentrate on our work. We all got along excellently, the hotel was fantastic and the food was lovely. We got the space we needed to be able to switch off from the intense sessions and to relax. That in my eyes is a very important thing.”
WERDER.DE: We spoke with Ludwig Augustinsson, who made clear that he wants to see Werder playing in Europe. What are your objectives?
Jerome Gondorf: “I am not somebody that that sets out big goals. Obviously there are aims that the club should have. Werder for me is one of the top clubs in Germany and have been a top side in Europe for many years. That the vision is to get back to that is understandable and correct but the past in my eyes has also shown here that you can achieve a lot when you take it one step at a time. Perhaps you can even surprise people. That attitude has served me well in my career. We should continue with humility despite the excellent second half of the season the club had. I get the feeling that the club and players know how to go about that the right way.”