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Zweitligist Darmstadt 98: Kempe zieht Parallelen zur Aufstiegsmannschaft von 2015


Status: 01/11/2023 8:36 p.m

Tobias Kempe knows how to get promoted to the Bundesliga with Darmstadt 98. He also sees the spirit of 2015 in today’s team, but he also notices differences.

Tobias Kempe knows the feeling of rising with the lilies: on May 24, 2015, he scored the 1-0 win against St. Pauli and was the celebrated hero at Böllenfalltor. This year, Darmstadt 98, as autumn champions, have every chance of making the Bundesliga dream come true again. “I want to do something big with the club again,” said Kempe in an interview with hr-sport at the training camp in Spain.

Much more variable under Lieberknecht

Only Fabian Holland and Kempe from that team are still on the pitch today. “A lot of time has passed, a lot has changed. Football has also changed again, especially in Darmstadt. We had many coaches with different styles of play,” summed up the 33-year-old. What Torsten Lieberknecht instilled in the team could become a trump card in the second half of the season: “We’re much more variable than before.”

The most important parallel to the successful team of 2015 is quickly identified for Kempe. “Back then we were just as tight-knit a bunch as we are now.” The team spirit should be the decisive factor in favor of the lilies this time too. “You can tell: This squad just lives for the club. Every single player is passionate and wants to be part of the club. That’s important and it used to be the same.”

Still motivated and ambitious

Darmstadt 98 was already close to returning to the top flight last season. “Last year, fourth place was painful because we had an outstanding season and were up there for a long time,” Kempe recalled. “We lost a few bonus games in the second half of the season, which cost us third, second or first place.”

In those bonus games against the league’s heavyweights, the Lilies want to be smarter this time. Kempe, leading player and member of the team council, has already sent out a signal: in December he extended his contract until 2025. “I’m still just as motivated and ambitious as I used to be,” he said now.

Tobias Kempe celebrates the rise of the lilies in 2015.

And he can also tell his teammates how nice it can be to get promoted to the Bundesliga at Bölle. He is still asked about it to this day. “You just talk about things like that because it was a good time. It was a very special moment,” he said. “I still watch it myself and talk to my friends and family about it.” In the summer of 2023, maybe the next special lily moment will come for him.

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