Professionals | 28/03/2019

Portrait in GeißbockEcho

Geis: More than just standard

His career was initially continuously uphill. From his village club to Champions League. Then followed a loan to Spain, a half-year without match time before a return to 2. Bundesliga. A change of direction, which in football there is no template for what has gone on in Johannes Geis’ career.

“I have not been dissuaded from my path," Johannes Geis remembers the time well when he dared to take the step from his youth club to SpVgg Greuther Fürth. "There was a lot of talk in the countryside. ‘He’ll not make it’, many had said." But shortly before his 15th birthday, Johannes Geis moved from his parents' home in the tranquil Oberstreu in Unterfranken to Fürth, which is around 150 kilometres away. "Family has always been important to me. My environment has always supported me 100%. I am very grateful for that.”

His parents drove him to the training sessions and games since his first steps in the youth. "Without them, I would never have come so far." Although there were already ups and downs in youth, Geis never thinks of stopping. "Most of the time I was sitting on the stairs in training gear because I wanted to be early to training." The midfielder is also early in his athletic development - usually always a year higher. Geis iss also regularly selected to regional teams, and a career in football seems realistic.

But there are no guarantees. "Of course, luck is part of it too. I have seen many players with great talent who have not made the move for a variety of reasons." Geis moves first to the boarding school of Greuther Fürth and progresses to the junior national team. At the DFB, he already meets Timo Horn because they play in the same year. "From the team here at FC, I definitely know Timo the longest. At Schalke, I met Christian Clemens and Marco Höger. Before that, in Fürth, Lasse Sobiech was already my teammate."

Goalscoring debut in Frankenderby

In Fürth "Geisi" made his first appearance in 2. Bundesliga while still an under-19 player. "Mike Büskens was the coach of the first team back then. There was more focus on the youth. I benefited from that at the time. Just like Felix Klaus, for example, with whom I used to live in a shared apartment. Although we were still very young, we were trusted with a lot - this gives you the strength to keep going.”

In the promotion year, 2011/12, Geis made three appearances and then in the Bundesliga eight. However, Johannes Geis will only gain Bundesliga experience after Mike Büskens had to go as head coach. Under his former mentor, he had only made the squad once. It was interim coach, Ludwig Price and later Frank Kramer that then put faith back in the 20-year-old. The highlight in these eight games was the away win in the Frankenderby against Nürnberg. His first Bundesliga goal turned out to be the winner. "I will never forget that. Unfortunately, we were relegated at the end of the season."

For Johannes Geis, however, the path does not lead back to 2. Bundesliga. 1. FSV Mainz 05, with coach Thomas Tuchel, sign the then 20-year-old in summer 2013. Geis would be a regular player right away. In two years, the defensive midfielder missed only a league game - no regular occurrence in the Bundesliga. It was then the logical consequence, that larger clubs were interested.


GeißbockEcho Johannes Geis
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