Marvin Plattenhardt is approaching another landmark – but it’s not to do with his age. His first game back in the new year will be the 30-year-old’s 222nd competitive game for the capital city club, having joined the side in 2014. He has absolutely earned the moniker of a veteran, and last year, in his seventh season he even assumed captaincy of the club. “I can only repeat what I said then – that I’m extremely proud to be captaining Hertha BSC,” said Platte, who has received plenty of praise for his performances from head coach Sandro Schwarz. “Platte is always very clear and supportive within the club, and along with two or three others, really brings the dressing room together. He does it really well and all in his own way,” the coach said.
Our left-back was therefore keen to emphasise that his teammates also play a role in this. “The togetherness is there. All in all, everyone has grown closer together in the last few months – in the dressing room, with the fans, the whole club,” he commented in his observations of recent weeks. In an interview with herthabsc.com, the defender discusses the moments that brought the team together, working with the coaching staff, and development goals for the second half of the season.
herthabsc.com: Platte, you had to be taken off early against Köln, but you were right there for the celebrations in front of the fans. So first things first, how is your health?
Plattenhardt: Thank you, I’m actually doing rather well. My adductors took a little strain so I’m currently missing out on training. But ideally, I can hopefully take part in one or two sessions in the year remaining. However, we’re not going to be taking risks.
herthabsc.com: What sort of feeling did that last win of the year win give you? Joy? Relief? Or exhaustion after a few intense months?
Plattenhardt: I absolutely did not feel exhausted after the final whistle (grins). True, we put in a lot over the summer and worked hard. But on the training pitch we have always tried as a group to produce our optimum performances, and prepare as best as we can for upcoming matches. That can take its toll. But after the game against Köln joy simply outweighed anything else, although there was definitely some relief too.
herthabsc.com: Everyone in blue and white noticed that – on the field, in the stands and even on Sunday during the member’s meeting...
Plattenhardt: Perhaps it was really just was a big reward for all of us. Despite a few losses or the times where we felt that we should have taken more points for performances, we never gave up. On the other hand: games like against Leipzig and Bayern where we showed spirit but didn’t get anything at the end actually brought us closer together. Of course, the wins were the most important thing, but even losses strengthened us on our path upwards.
[>]Games like against Leipzig and Bayern where we showed spirit but didn’t get anything at the end actually brought us closer together.[<]
herthabsc.com: You’ve been captaining the side since summer. You know this club like the back of your hand now having been here for eight years – what has changed since you took the armband?
Plattenhardt: “I can only repeat what I said then – that I’m extremely proud to be captaining Hertha BSC. And of course, that normally means I’m getting picked for matches (grins). I’m always in discussion with the coaching staff, but I also want to be someone that the lads can talk to, and be quickly aware of anything that would affect us. That’s my promise, using the experience that I have gathered down the years. But that can only happen if I bring the performances myself. But I must also say that the team makes that easy for me. The togetherness in the dress room is there.
herthabsc.com: What sort of role does Sandro Schwarz playing among the coaching staff?
Plattenhardt: Definitely a big one! The coach has clear ideas that he communicates to us. Those include speeches and principles that leave no doubt. Looking back on the first half of the season, there was only maybe one game that we didn’t do well at in. That simply shows how well our preparation and analysis has been. And that’s what Sandro Schwarz and his team have brought.
herthabsc.com: Which particular experiences and special moments have stood out to you so far this season?
Plattenhardt: The first win in Augsburg was definitely good for our spirit, for sure. Both home victories definitely also boosted our confidence. The biggest bother would be dropping points late in matches, which is something we absolutely need to eliminate in the second half of the season. Köln was a good example of this: We got our second goal and then defended our advantage dominantly. Other than that, we were all delighted that Marco Richter and Jean-Paul Boëtius were both able to return to us so quickly following their testicular cancer diagnoses – those were very emotional moments.
herthabsc.com: Every Hertha fan feels that unity when watching your matches. A further positive – the fans’ energy is definitely there. How does that benefit your team?
Plattenhardt: It’s an unbelievably big help to us! We saw that at the start of the season when, having been knocked out of the Pokal by Braunschweig, they continued to stand by us. What’s clear is that when we fight hard and give it our all, then they will give back to us! All in all, we’ve grown closer together in the last few months – in the dressing room, with the supporters, and the club as a whole.
herthabsc.com: You’ve already mentioned the second half of the season. What factors make you optimistic that the team are going to continue to develop?
Plattenhardt: Our core principles will remain the same, but we’ve got to keep improving the details and specifics in our game. There were always phases during the games that didn’t go so well. If we can improve there, we will score more points. We want to grow that gap to the relegation to as large as we can.
herthabsc.com: On 7th December, you’ll be playing your final friendly. After that, you’re more or less free until the start of January and you head to America for a training camp. What are your plans?
Plattenhardt: More or less, exactly (laughs). We will be making plans and be completing as much work in these few weeks as we can. But that’s all fine with me and is part of the job. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, and definitely spending a couple of days back home.
[>]All in all, everyone has grown closer together in the last few months – in the dressing room, with the fans, the whole club.[<]