Fin Bartels is beaming. He has just signed the paperwork that will keep him at the club until 2020. The 31-year-old speaks to WERDER.DE about the four years he has already spent at the club, the next two years, his fondest memories and his current injury.
WERDER.DE: Fin, the option in your contract to stay until 2020 has been taken up. How important is that step for you?
Fin Bartels: “Of course it's huge! It is no secret that my family and I love it here in Bremen. I must say I am extremely thankful to Werder and so now I am looking to get back fit again as soon as possible because I can’t wait for these next two years here."
WERDER.DE: What was the decisive factor for you to stay at the club?
Fin Bartels: “I can only repeat what I have already said. The whole environment here is great and playing with the Green-White fans at your back is a dream come true. All of that has stayed the same even though I have been on the sidelines of late.”
WERDER.DE: This extension comes in a difficult time for you. Since the Achilles injury you suffered in December you have been working your way back to fitness. Is this extension therefore even more important to you?
Fin Bartels: “Yeah I think so. It shows how much the club values me, which is really great. They recognise that I have given everything for the club since I have been here. It makes me more determined to come back even stronger.”
WERDER.DE: Give us a little update. How is your foot doing and when can we expect to see you back out on the pitch?
Fin Bartels: “It’s all in the pipeline (grins). I would love the process to be quicker but these things take time. I’m back walking but it still gives me pain at times. Things are taking a tad longer than expected, I still can’t run but I’m hoping to be at full fitness when the club joins back up again for pre-season training."
WERDER.DE: What does your daily training plan look like at the minute?
Fin Bartels: “To be honest, it’s not too different to when I was fit! I put the hours in in the rehab centre at the training ground and also in the gym. I sit on the bike or do some weights but that’s about it really. I just can’t wait to be able to be able to play out on the pitch even if it is freezing cold."
WERDER.DE: In the last few weeks the team has been picking up points consistently. Are you disappointed to only be watching from the sidelines or are you pleased with the developments that have been going on?
Fin Bartels: “First and foremost, it has been huge the way that we have almost climbed our way out of danger. We have made a huge step and you can see the developments we have made as a team. All of that is extremely important for us. After the summer though, I am hoping to no longer be a spectator to all of it."
WERDER.DE: You have been at the club for the last four years. What is your best memory from that time?
Fin Bartels: “It has been four years full of highs and lows; from relegation battles to dreams of being in Europe. Above all I remember the Frankfurt game when we managed to stay up in the last seconds but as well playing in front of the Green White Wonderwall, they were both real highs that I will never forget."
WERDER.DE: Is there any particular goal that sticks out in your memory even today?
Fin Bartels: “In truth there has been so many it’s hard to pick one out (laughs). The goal from a corner against Stuttgart a couple of years ago was really beautiful and important too, or the move against Leverkusen with four or five passes and then the finish from Davie Selke. Yeah there’s been a few good one but they are definitely not the last."