Mark Hinze Olano from Hamburg’s fifth-division side TuS Dassendorf is no stranger to travelling. After all, the 28-year-old works as a wholesaler for a global duty-free company. The midfielder also spent several months playing in Peru, his parent’s home country.
The nearly 530 kilometre trip to Dassendorf’s DFB-Pokal “home game” against second-division side Dynamo Dresden on Saturday 10th August (15:30 CEST) in Zwickau is nothing for Hinze Olano – although it is a bit unusual. “We’ve never had to go such a long way for a home game,” he told DFB.de.
After the first-round draw was over, it was clear that Dassendorf’s Stadion am Wendelweg with it’s capacity of 2,500 would not be an option for the match against Dresden. No alternate stadiums in the North were available due to the security situation surrounding the DFB-Pokal weekend as well as the match VfB Lübeck and FC St. Pauli the following day.
However, the grounds of third-division side FSV Zwickau, whose fans have a close friendship with Dynamo Dresden, were deemed a good fit for the match. The Zwickauer Arena has a capacity of more than 10,000, and is located 120 kilometres from Dresden.
“The more packed it is, the better,” is the motto for Hinze Olano and his team ahead of what will perhaps be Dassendorf’s biggest match in club history. “I would be happy if 5,000 to 8,000 showed up,” said the Hamburg native, who grew up in Wendel, just outside of the city.
The midfielder isn’t took concerned that there will likely be more Dresden fans in attendance. “We’re used to that already from some of our league home games,” Hinze Olano said. “Although to be fair, we’re usually talking about just over a hundred people. We will have to get used to playing in a professional atmosphere quickly, if we want to have a chance.”
Hinze Olano is realistic when thinking about Dassendorf’s chances. “Dynamo Dresden are no small club within Germany,” he said. “The roles are clearly defined here. A few of the lads on our team have some experience playing in higher divisions – we’ve got a good group here. If we’re able to find the right mix of creativity and aggressiveness, then we might be able to upset Dresden.”
Personally, Hinze Olano is hoping to make his first career DFB-Pokal appearance after coming close once before. He has already experienced one DFB-Pokal match with Dassendorf in 2018. Hinze Olano was part of the squad that faced MSV Duisburg in the first round (1-0 loss in Bergedorf), but remained on the bench. “We kept up well, but were too fearful,” Hinze Olano recalls of match.
Mark Hinze Olano started his football career with Wedeler TSV. From there, he moved to the youth academies at FC St. Pauli and Hamburger SV, where the odds of making a go as a professional seemed likely. But, Hinze Olano had another path in mind. “My parents wanted to return to Peru,” said Hinze Olano, who was 20 at the time. “Since my contract was up at HSV, I was also ready to start something new.”
The “something new” was a move to Sporting Cristal Lima , one of Peru’s most well-known clubs. “As a European I knew that I would be a foreigner there – that’s exactly what appealed to me,” Hinze Olano said. Adapting was not easy. “The football there is different. At the same time, none of my teammates really understood why I moved there. Normally, it’s the opposite: players from Peru want to go to Europe. They couldn’t understand why someone would do the opposite.”
Hinze Olano had few problems adapting to life off the pitch in Peru. He made friends that remain to this day. “The people in Peru are very friendly,” he said. “The day stretches well into the night there. Obviously, you have to be careful in some areas, but that’s no different from Germany.”
Mark Hinze Olano’s Peruvian adventure only lasted half a year, due to difficulties in being eligible to play. “That was the breaking point for me,” the midfielder said. “I was allowed to train but couldn’t take part in any games. There’s nothing worse for a footballer.”
And so, Hinze Olano looked for ways to return to Germany. He joined Altona 93 in summer 2011. He also had stints with SV Halstenbek-Rellingen and Wedel before joining TuS Dassendorf in 2018, where his biggest journey to date now awaits.