A Powerful Raising Hero
Alexander Schwolow ,known as “Schwolli”, is the best example of how a Bundesliga club strategically and cautiously builds up a young keeper over the years to become a regular goalkeeper. His Target? Champions League.
Strong in football, ambitious, powerful in leaps and bounds, with strong penalty area control – the 27-year-old has everything a modern goalkeeper needs. Schwolli names passion as an important factor as the basic prerequisite for being good. Up to the D youth team he played half on the field, half in goal. “I used to jump over the cow fence in the sprint to get the balls and run up the slope to get more power,” he says of his beginnings as a child on the farm. Today, his jumping power and speed benefit from this.
The penalty killer
Alex’s most successful two seasons were built on impressive penalty shootout performances. When he won the DFB Cup with the A-Juniors of SC Freiburg in 2011, his team knocked out VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-final in a penalty shootout and in the final against Hansa Rostock it came again to the nerve-racking spectacle. The decisive shot was saved by Alex, who won the cup 7:5.
Four years later he played a sensational DFB cup season with Arminia Bielefeld. The third-league team beat the Bundesliga teams Hertha, Werder and Borussia Mönchengladbach, and it was only in the semi-finals when they lost, against Wolfsburg. There were penalty shootouts against Berlin and Gladbach and Alex was on the spot: “Twice I was able to save the decisive ball. Those are just great memories.”
His career has always been a steep one: At 16, he moved from SV Wehen Wiesbaden to SC Freiburg. Afther his youth he became goalkeeper of the amateurs in the regional league, in the last game of the 2014 season he made his debut in the Bundesliga. Always his sponsor: Coach Christian Streich, who develops him “athletically and personally”.
As number one into the Bundesliga
A loan to Arminia Bielefeld gave him playing practice at the highest level. In the beginning, the twelve-time German U-national player was not enthusiastic, because he wanted to become the number one in Freiburg directly. But Bielefeld turned out to be a stroke of luck where Alex filled up on stability and self-confidence: “The year in Bielefeld was outstanding for me, I found many friends and don’t want to miss this time.“
The initially planned two-year loan was shortened: Freiburg relegated to the 2nd league and required his return. A win-win situation for Alex, because “two awesome clubs” wanted him. Freiburg returned to the Bundesliga and Alex is the goalkeeper with whom they immediately succeed in seventh place – Europa-League-Qualification. Only in the following season will things not go as usual, but Alex also knows how to convince in the fight for class retention because his consistency is impressive.
Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper for the car fan, he raved for Oliver Kahn’s spectacular parades, oriented himself on the modern game of Jens Lehmann at the 2006 World Cup, on Manuel Neuer and René Adler. His target? One day to play Champions League himself.
If you believe the rumours in the press, there are lots of offers every year, from Paris or Leipzig for example. Freiburg has become his home, which he loves: “That would have to fit very, very well – and that hasn’t been the case so far.”