Colin Kleine-Bekel
U15 team player

„We keep our feet firmly on the ground.“

No later than after the first match against Mainz 05 it was clear: the lad knows how far he‘s come, but also how far he still has to go. “Colin is a good lad. Focused, calm and works well under pressure. He’s a good fit for the team both in terms of his football and his personality.”

Matthias Röben, Educational Director for New Talent at BVB’s youth academy, knows his young players well. “We can’t give the boys any guarantee of success or promise that they’ll end up playing for the senior squad in the Bundesliga one day. But our goal is to ensure that they make the most of their time with us to develop their personalities so that if their dreams of a professional career don’t materialise, they won’t feel that they have failed as individuals.”

“My weeks are very busy,” says Colin. “I don’t have time to be bored!” Some of his teammates attend one of the three BVB partner schools nearby. Colin is from Bielefeld. “We don’t get any red carpets rolled out for us at school, but they do take our long weekend tournaments into account.”

Striking the right balance between international fixtures, local derbies and everyday chores, like making sure that the youngsters pack their own sports bags, is a particular challenge. Matthias Röben: “The football learning curve involves ensuring that our lads don’t just step up to their responsibilities on the pitch, but that they can also manage their day-to-day lives. Staying grounded is hard when you‘re reaching for the stars.”