‘Schick 2.0’: Gedikli looking to U19 finals

The Bayer 04 U19 team could not have a better end to the year: The team under head coach Sven Hübscher remain unbeaten after eight games in the U19 Bundesliga West. There was even a runaway 7-0 victory over Wuppertaler SV. Emrehan Gedikli played a big part in that result. The 18-year-old centre forward, who has a first team contract at the Werkself, scored four goals.

In an interview with, the Bayer 04 homegrown player talks about the inevitable comparison with a Leverkusen teammate, targets for the U19 team as well as his own footballing situation.

Emre, how often have you been asked about Patrik Schick since yesterday's game?

Gedikli: Very often. A lot of them call me Schick 2.0 or Patrik in the dressing room. (He laughs) Apart from that, they all congratulated me on scoring the goals.

Patrik Schick bagged four on Saturday in the 7-1 victory over Fürth and you did the same in the U19 match against Wuppertal. How did it all go so smoothly against WSV?

Gedikli: The team were really up for the last match of the year and wanted to give their all in the last game before the winter break. It was important for us to take the lead early on against an opponent who likes to sit back. We succeeded in doing that and quickly broke the deadlock. Almost every chance went in.

You are unbeaten after eight games in the U19 Bundesliga West and go into the winter break in second place. What's made you so strong this season?

Gedikli: We always stick together as a team and look to get back on the front foot after conceding goals. For example, we went behind in the derby against Köln and didn't play well in the first half at all. We were significantly stronger after the break and then in the end battled for a deserved point.

What role does coach Sven Hübscher play?

Gedikli: He's obviously played a big part in our performances to date. I have a very good relationship with him. He demands a lot from us players and in every individual session as well. The whole coaching staff prepare us really well for the matches, he finds the right words at half-time and shows us video footage of good and bad moments in the game. Basically he's very relaxed. But if it's important then he is always completely on the case and focused.



Have you set yourself one of the two top places and thereby participation in the finals of the U19 Championship as a target for the season?

Gedikli: We set ourselves that target before the start of the season. Competing at the top is always the target at Bayer 04 is a matter of principle. That will apply after the winter break in the top match (6 February against league leaders Dortmund, ed.).

You train with the first team but mostly play for the U19s at the weekends. What's your assessment of your personal situation and what are the possible benefits of this split?

Gedikli: This set-up brings a lot of benefits for my development. The level at training with the first team is obviously significantly greater and the sessions are even more intense. Also, I can learn a lot from players like Patrik Schick and Lucas Alario. There is no doubt my aim is a place in the first team matchday squad. But if I'm playing for the U19s instead then I always give 100% and I do all I can to help the team and to show what I can do. I want to be patient and continue to work hard and then further chances and appearances with the first team will come of their own accord.


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