"Lead by example"

Werder centre-back Niklas Moisander’s first interview as club captain

Become a role model - Niklas Moisander's plans as Werder's new captain (Photo: nordphoto).
first team
Thursday, 01.08.2019 // 10:43

On Thursday morning, Niklas Moisander was announced as the new SV Werder Bremen club captain. In an interview with WERDER.DE, the 33-year-old Finnish centre-back discusses his leadership philosophy, his current emotions following the announcement as well as his career plans.

Niklas Moisander about…

…his feelings following the captaincy announcement: “It is a huge honour for me to become Werder club captain. I believe we currently possess a strong team with superb players and a great team spirit. It is simply amazing because the task of becoming captain will be made easier by my teammates.”

…the weeks leading up to the decision: “That is something normal. I was vice-captain last season and I consequently stayed quiet. I always said that becoming captain isn’t the be all and end all for me. I do my thing and try to help the team. That will continue now as I begin my role as captain.”

Niklas Moisander wants to show respect to every member of the Werder squad (Photo: nordphoto).

…the timing of the announcement: “Head coach Florian Kohfeldt shared the news with me a couple of days ago, he announced the news in front of the whole squad. It really was a great feeling to be announced but I don’t think many of my teammates were surprised with the decision.”

…differences compared with his previous role as vice-captain: “I’ll have to do more media work now as captain (laughs). That is probably the biggest difference between my previous role and now. It means I will have to express my opinion post matches. However, what I say in the dressing room and how I am doesn’t change anything.”

…his style of leadership: “My style has always been to ‘lead by example’ and I believe this is important for my teammates. This means I have to show how things should be done. I want to be serious but successful at the same time. I’m still hungry for success and it is great to have now been announced as captain. It’s an important step up for me.”

…his approach to his teammates: “I can be loud if I have to be. However, as you saw last season, there wasn’t as many reasons for me to be loud with teammates as we enjoyed a successful season. If there is something to discuss, I will do it in the dressing room but I am convinced you shouldn’t do this too often. Raising your voice can lose its effect quickly.”

…differences between captaining a club team compared with a national team: “These roles are very different. We work hard every day together with Florian and you act virtually as an assistant coach. On the contrary, you only work with your national team twice a month at most. Nevertheless, it was still an honour to captain Finland.”

…his role models as captian: “When I played my first international match for Finland, Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä were the co-captains of the side. I learnt so much from them. They led by example and showed a high level of professionalism to me. This helped the team a lot and I want to do something similar.”

Niklas Moisander wearing his new captain's armband (Photo: nordphoto).

…his experience: “I have already seen a lot during my football career and know how certain things work. I had good and bad times in my previous captaincy roles. I held a leadership role during my time in Alkmaar and studied sport management for a year there too. I participated in modules including leadership with colleagues and of course I read books as part of the course. Most recently, I read Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s book as he enjoyed success last season. I am and remain always open to new ideas regarding leadership. I’m also trying to use my experience and knowledge to help others and the team, even if this is in good or bad times for the team.”

…his career plans: “Currently, I would say I will be playing football for at least two or three more years. Last season was also really good and I think I can continue to stay healthy to play for a couple more years. This is because I want to enjoy more success with Werder and play in European competitions again. That is my dream and we are working hard together to achieve this. We will see if this dream becomes reality.”

…his personal aims: “I’m not someone who is quickly satisfied with things. I simply always want to become better. I now have a big challenge ahead of me as Werder captain and I’m thrilled to take on the challenge.”

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