At one point he’s battling for the ball, the next he’s setting up an attack. Niklas Dorsch is used in many different areas of the German U20 midfield. After the 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in front of 2540 fans, the side can be happy with their good performance. Meikel Schönweitz’s team now take on Switzerland on Tuesday 16th Ocotber and will want to get the win. Ahead of the match, Niklas Dorsch spoke to DFB.de-Interview with editor Ronny Zimmerman about his role in the U20 side, their style of play and the start to the season with FC Heidenheim.
DFB.de: Mr Dotsch, in an intense and at times heated match you managed a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands. What did you make of the game?
Niklas Dorsch: Overall we can be very happy with the performance, even though we all really wanted to win. Our first 20 minutes were very positive, especially the opening chances. We started the game well, we were really present in the duels and didn’t allow the Netherlands much room to breathe. The fact that we conceded almost immediately after we scored was unnecessary. We have to learn from that. We played some more good football in the second half, were good going forward and had one or two chances to take the lead again. It’s a shame that we couldn’t quite get the win.
DFB.de: Although this was the first time you’ve played in this formation with the U20s the play looked very fluid. How can you explain that?
Dorsch: We all know each other a bit from playing in various youth teams together. For example I played with Salih (Özcan) in the U17 team before. Not only that but we’ve also met one or two times at club level. In the U20 team we all have the opportunity to run with the ball and play good football. You could see in our performance that we were quick to find one another.
DFB.de: You played in the midfield diamond in front of the defence. Are you in this role more to create or to defend?
Dorsch: All in one (laughs). I like doing work off the ball and getting involved in duels, which you could see in the match - I want to get involved defensively. At the same time I like to have the ball at my feet and help with our build-up play. In the national team the build-up play normally comes from the central defenders up to the centre circle where we then push forward. At my club we play a bit different. These different approaches are very interesting for me.
DFB.de: Speaking of clubs, you are currently playing for FC Heidenheim this season and have been in the starting XI six times so far. What’s the difference between a Bundesliga 2 game and an international match?
Dorsch: Football-wise it’s very different. At international level you need a much higher level of technical play and you often have to look for a lot of playful ways to get out of tricky situations. In the Bundesliga 2 duels and physical strength are a more common way to create room for yourself.
DFB.de: How happy are you with your start to life at FC Heidenheim overall?
Dorsch: If I can play then I do. I feel very at home in Heidenheim and was welcomed very well by the boys there and the club as a whole. We can be very happy with our recent results and want to build on them. At the start I realized the huge difference between the Bundesliga 4 and Bundesliga 2, however I’m developing everyday and want to continue to grow this season.
DFB.de: The reward for your excellent performances is the call-up to the U20 national team. What does that mean for you?
Dorsch: Some more games can definitely come along and that is always a nice reward. If I think about the future and which big tournament is taking place in 2024 in our own country, then of course you definitely want to draw attention to yourself with every platform you get, whether that be an international match or a Bundesliga 2 game. I have the right support, lots of chances to show what I can do.