Zieler to return home with Hannover
Posted by nickogs20 on April 30, 2010
United’s German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler has agreed to join Bundesliga club Hannover 96 on a two-year deal.
The 21 year-old stopper has just two months left to run on his contract at Old Trafford and has been looking for a new club, with both Hannover and Belgian outfit Westerlo offering trials in the last few weeks. Zieler’s preference was a return to his homeland, so when goalkeeping coach Jörg Sievers and Jörg Schmadtke were sufficiently impressed to offer a contract, the young keeper wasted little time putting pen to paper.
Hannover may currently be battling against relegation from the Bundesliga and Zieler looks set to initially be understudy to first choice Florian Fromlowitz at the AWD Arena, but the Cologne-born glovesman has no reservations about the move. “First, I certainly hope that Hannover can stay up,” he said in an exclusive interview with spox.com. “Even if they do get relegated, the club has the ambition to bounce straight back and re-establish themselves in the top flight again. I will definitely push hard to play, and it doesn’t matter who I’m up against, whether Fromlowitz or someone else. Fromlowitz is a young keeper with good qualities, but in football there is always competition and everyone wants to prevail.”
Ron-Robert joined United in 2005 from his hometown club 1. FC Koln and has appeared 68 times in competitive games for the club’s academy and reserve sides but hasn’t been able to break into the first-team picture, a place on the bench for a 2008 Carling Cup tie against Middlesbrough the closest he came to making a senior debut for the Reds. The young stopper did make two appearances while on loan with Northampton Town in February 2009 and has starred for Germany’s youth sides, most recently donning the #1 jersey at last year’s U20 World Cup in Egypt, but his lack of opportunities to play competitive football at Old Trafford has ultimately led him to seek pastures now.
There are no regrets or recriminations for Ron-Robert though. “I had five great years in Manchester, but now is the time for something new. I have enjoyed many positive experiences and developed both on a sporting and a human level. It has been an incredible time in which Manchester United has won everything: Champions League, World Club Championship. Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo were here. These are all impressions I can take with me,” he stressed. “As a young player, especially as a goalkeeper, it is of course extremely difficult to break through at such a huge club. The fact that I have not made it here is not a huge problem for me. I had a real good time here and have enjoyed an exceptional education. I have worked with very good coaches during my five years here. I have really made huge progress, and that it was not enough to make the final step and become number 1 is just how it is.”
While the next stage of his career starts when he officially joins Hannover 96 on July 1st, there’s a little unfinished business for the German back in Manchester. He has already collected a first Premier Reserve League North winners’ medal this season to go with numerous cup honours, but there is still a chance to go out on a real high in what – if selected – will be his final game for United, Monday’s National Reserve Playoff against Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Fingers crossed this chapter of Ron-Robert’s career ends on a high note and that the next chapter is a happy and successful one.