Football fans in Siegerland and Wittgenstein are eagerly awaiting the 18th August. This Saturday (18:30 CEST), Erndtebrück host former Bundesliga giants Hamburger SV at the Leimbachstadion in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. The Oberliga-Westfalen minnows have qualified for the main round of the tournament for the third time in the past four years, losing 5-0 to SV Darmstadt 98 in 2015 and 3-0 to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt last year. Erndtebrück are hoping that it’ll be a case of third time lucky, not least for their defender Admir Terzic. The 25-year-old once dreamed of becoming a household name, having turned out for Germany Under-17s when he was younger. However, a tragic event prevented this dream from becoming a reality.
Admir Terzic chats to DFB about the game against Hamburger SV, his time playing in the Kreisliga A, and his former teammates Mario Götze and Antonio Rüdiger.
DFB.de: What went through your mind when TuS Erndtebrück were drawn against Hamburger SV?
Admir Terzic: I was very happy. For me, HSV are up there with the likes of Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in terms of traditional German clubs; it feels as though we’ve been drawn against a Bundesliga side.
DFB.de: How does the team prepare for a game against such a big club?
Terzic: This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of our players. That’s why everyone’s so hyped up for the game. HSV are clear favourites but anything is possible in football if you’re ready to fight for it – the World Cup in Russia proved that.
DFB.de: You might have your hands full as a defender coming up against the likes of Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Filip Kostic and Jann-Fiete Arp. Have you got a plan to stop them?
Terzic: I played against Pierre-Michel Lasogga a few times when I was a youth player at Dortmund and he was at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, so I already know him. The key is to focus on our own game, and not get distracted by the names on the back of their shirts.
DFB.de: Last season, TuS Erndtebrück lost 3-0 to eventual DFB-Pokal winners Eintracht Frankfurt, but you kept up well for long periods of the game. Do you think it’ll be a similar story against HSV?
Terzic: I didn’t play against Frankfurt but we watched the game several times. With a bit of luck we could’ve nicked a result, especially when David Abraham got sent off and they had to play with ten men for a while. In the end they were more intelligent. If we defend well against HSV and keep the score at 0-0, we might be able to nick a goal. We want to make the game as open as possible without being picked off.
DFB.de: What will you and your teammates take away from a game like this?
Terzic: It’s important to not let yourself be put under pressure by the amount of fans or TV cameras in the stadium. The young players especially should try to enjoy the game.
DFB.de: You played in the Borussia Dortmund youth academy with World Cup-winner Mario Götze, amongst others. What memories do you have of this time?
Terzic: Mario is the most talented player that I’ve ever seen. He played in the A-Junioren final at Under-17 level and was the best player on the pitch.
DFB.de: You played with the likes of Mario Götze, Marvin Plattenhardt, Bernd Leno and Marc-André ter Stegen for Germany’s Under-17s. How did these players make the step up while you did not?
Terzic: After my move from Alemannia Aachen to Borussia Dortmund, I also played with Antonio Rüdiger in central defence. In my second year, I was made captain by Hannes Wolf, my manager at the time. I was invited to trials by the DFB, everything was going to plan. That was until 2011 when tragedy struck.
DFB.de: What happened?
Terzic: My father committed suicide by burning down our house. After his death, I became very depressed and couldn’t really focus on anything for about six months.
DFB.de: How did you get through this tough time?
Terzic: With a lot of love from my family. I had treatment to help with the depression for several months and Borussia Dortmund gave me all the time that I needed to recover. I lived in a boarding school at BVB with the Conny family and Matthias Kleinsteiber, who’s now the first-team goalkeeping coach. Both were always there for me and helped me a lot.
DFB.de: What happened after that?
Terzic: After my therapy, I returned to BVB, playing for the Under-23 team. In the second half of the season, I played all 15 games as we won promotion to the 3. Liga. However, it wasn’t meant to be for me at BVB. A planned move to Alemannia Aachen fell through and suddenly I was a free agent for six months. That was tough to take.
DFB.de: How much did these traumatic events affect your chances of making it as a footballer in the Bundesliga?
Terzic: I don’t want to make excuses, but it’s a heavy burden to carry.
DFB.de: After a short stay at SV Lippstadt 08 in 2014, you made the move to FC Roetgen in the Kreisliga A, before everything started to get a little better again.
Terzic: It was at this time that I started an apprenticeship as a real estate merchant, which I’ve now completed. I gradually overcame what happened to me. I want to play at a high level again and prove to people that I’ve still got what it takes.
DFB.de: Is the HSV game a bit like compensation for the fact that you missed out on a professional career?
Terzic: Definitely. I’ve played in front of 20,000 fans for BVB Under-23s in the 3. Liga, but this game will be something special.