The winning goal against St. Pauli, the template to make it 1-0 in Kiel for Sebastian Ernst, who scored 2-0 himself. “That is the benchmark,” said Sebastian Kerk about the calm, controlled and successful 96 style of play in the first half in Kiel. Kerk finally shines in his own feature film at Hollywood SV from 1896. In the lead role as the current top scorer in Hanover, he looks outwardly like a savage from the series “Game of Thrones”.
Kerk is not really a fan of TV spectacles. “No time,” he said in an interview. He prefers to shoot his own series of goals. There were ten goals and ten assists in Osnabrück last season. He earned the Oscar for the best standard shooter with three penalties and four converted free kicks. Its unique sporting feature is the strong left foot. That’s why 96 coach Jan Zimmermann wanted to get him. It came for 50,000 euros.
His red beard is reminiscent of the outfit of the “Game of Thrones” hero Tormund, who fights resolutely against creepy monsters and defeats a giant. Kerk has been fighting himself since playing in Hanover. Achilles tendon problems bothered him. In addition, he seemed to lack the right connection to the game partners. At home, daughter Elea Kaia, born in Hanover, kept him busy. “It’s easier for him with Sebastian Ernst and with Gaël Ondoua behind him,” says manager Marcus Mann.
Right behind the strikers and close to the goal, that’s where Kerk sees his role – that’s where he and coach Jan Zimmermann agree. “He sees me more in the center,” reported Kerk a few weeks ago. “That’s where I have my strengths. I can put my teammates and myself in the limelight there. ”Just like he did for Ernst before the 1-0 win in Kiel.
Against St. Pauli initially only in the B line-up
With Ernst and Kerk, 96 now has two “tens”, both of which are also called Sebastian. Zimmermann can no longer remove the 27-year-old from the new 96 structure after the many transfers in August.
The “game changer” of the St. Pauli game was initially only found in the B line-up. Kerk didn’t come into play until the 8th minute, because Mike Frantz was injured. In Darmstadt before the international break, Kerk – like his teammates – had hidden and lost 4-0.
The schedule of Hannover 96 in the 2021/22 season in the 2nd Bundesliga
The break that followed was obviously good for Kerk’s heel. He had to take breaks far too often in his career. After a torn Achilles tendon, the midfielder fielded in Nuremberg between 2017 and 2018 for a full year. In 2019 he stormed in the Bundesliga (27 parties), played on the big stage against Bayern (1: 1), but at that time still as a left winger. There was no mention of a leading role in the Nuremberg team.
In his only Bundesliga season, he did not manage to hit a goal. Nürnberg was relegated and things still didn’t go well. Only after moving to Osnabrück did Kerk get stuck: injury-free, in every party and as a free wildling in the Osnabrück midfield headquarters. “Personally, it went well for me,” said Kerk, but: “The descent is in the Vita.” Kerk came to Hanover determined to be more successful. And the beard, when does it come off? “Never.” Why should I? Suits him well.