Tom Bischof was 16 years, eight months and 19 days old when he came off the bench for Hoffenheim at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 19 March 2022. In doing so, he became the youngest player to ever represent TSG. He has now firmly established himself in the senior squad and is getting regular game time. “Four months ago, I was still thinking a lot about whether I would be in the squad and I was hoping to be used in some capacity. Now I’m thinking about whether I’ll be in the starting XI,” said the midfielder, as he reflected on the developments of the past few months.
The 17-year-old does not lead a normal teenage life. While his friends of the same age go out at the weekends, he prepares for Bundesliga matches. “I’m living my dream and for that, I’m happy to do without things that other 17-year-olds normally do. As a young player, I always have to show more than the others in training so I cannot afford not to be in top shape.”
Being a professional footballer before turning 18 years of age raises other challenges. “I still can’t drive a car alone so my mother always sits on the passenger seat and then picks me up again after training too. Of course, the lads in the team always give me a hard time for it but I can cope with that. Even if the car journeys are sometimes demanding,” Bischof said with a laugh. Then he suddenly becomes a normal teenager who has to deal with the challenges of accompanied driving with his mother, who is “not the easiest front-seat passenger”.
The March issue of SPIELFELD also includes a profile of Kevin Akpoguma, “the good shepherd” in the senior squad who always keeps a close eye on the young players. TSG Hoffenheim’s gymnastics department is introduced, with its extensive range of activities for young and old – as is Essed Sindy, the TSG first team’s hairdresser. SPIELFELD has also accompanied Grischa Prömel throughout his rehab and reconstructed the long road back to action together with him, his doctors and his coaches. The more than 110-page club magazine also includes many other exciting insights about TSG.
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