The 2.Bundesliga season didn’t disappoint this season, with plenty of drama, plenty of quality and plenty of emerging talent coming through. Five players from the 2.Bundesliga will be travelling to Brazil and it’s the perfect platform to show fans what their all about.
Starting with the oldest of the five, Jasmin Fejzić is a twenty-eight yearold goalkeeper who plays his football for VfR Aalen. Fejzić will be spending his summer trying to help Bosnia & Herzegovina make a good impression in their first ever World Cup. This season Fejzić has made thirty-one appearances for Aalen, he kept 12 clean sheets, making a total of one-hundred-seven saves, while saving two penalties in the process, Fejzić playing a major part in helping his side to a eleventh place finish. Aalen were able to finish mid-table largely thanks to their very solid back line, with Fejzić in goal Aalen finished with one of the best defensive records in the league, only conceding thirty-nine goals (thirty-seven of them when Fejzić was in goal). Despite proving to be a key player for Aalen, Fejzić hasn’t made his debut for Bosnia and that’s down to the impressive goalkeeper in front of him, the man preventing him from making his debut is Stoke City’s Asmir Begović. Although we may not see Fejzić in action this summer, his performances this season show he’ll be ready to step up for Bosnia if anything happens to Begović.
Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Mathis Bolly has recently switched nationality, from Norway to Ivory Coast and so far for the country of his father’s birth he’s made four appearances, three friendlies and one World Cup Qualifier. His debut for the Ivory Coast came in the World Cup Qualifier against Gambia, Bolly came off the bench to play forty-four minutes in the 3-0 victory. His other appearances have seen him play Mexico, Bosnia and most recently a short run out against El Salvador. Back in Düsseldorf it hasn’t been the best of seasons for the young winger, the twenty-three year old has experienced an injury hit season, forcing him to only appear in fourteen games. Earlier in the season Bolly missed the month of September due to injury and then in January he had a tear in the abductor muscle, this kept him out of action till April. Bolly’s first game of the season came in Düsseldorf’s third to last game of the season when he scored the third of four goals in a 4-0 victory against Erzgebirge Aue. Bolly is one of the most exciting players to watch in the 2.Bundesliga and with his outstanding pace he will certainly cause a few problems for sides at the World Cup, however this is most likely to be late on in games, coming off the bench when sides start to tire. Despite being able to play on both wings and upfront Bolly has a lot of competition in all those areas, upfront there’s Drogba, Doumbia and Bony, on the wings there’s Gervinho, Kalou, Gradel and Ya Konan.
The first of two 2.Bundesliga players representing Australia. Mathew Leckie has enjoyed a very good second season at FSV Frankfurt and unlike many other players that may be using the World Cup to earn a move to a new club, Leckie has already completed a move away, he’s moved to another 2.Bundesliga side, FC Ingolstadt. During the season Leckie has made 31 appearances playing upfront or on either wing, the twenty-three year old finished as the club’s second top scorer after scoring ten goals, he was also able to assist on eight occasions. Leckie has made seven appearances for his country, making his debut in November 2012 against the Republic of Korea, however he wasn’t able to make much of an impact after coming on with only two minutes left of the game. His first goal for Australia came in the 3-0 victory over Canada back in October 2013. Although Leckie is capable upfront he’s going to find it tough to get a game there, Australia legend Tim Cahill occupies that role, so we’ll most likely see him playing on the right or left of midfield.
The second Australian representing the 2.Bundesliga at the World Cup is twenty-one year old Ben Halloran. As well as being the second Australian playing in the 2.Bundesliga, he is also the second Fortuna Düsseldorf player heading for Brazil. Halloran’s international career is only just starting, he recently made his debut against South Africa and it’s been his only appearance so far. The youngster has had a decent first season at Düsseldorf, in his eighteen games he has one assist and he’s netted six times, five of which were in the last six games of the season. Halloran’s late form helped Düsseldorf secure a sixth place finish and the young Australian will be hoping to impress and potentially earn a couple of appearances. It will be a surprise if Halloran makes a start but he will certainly come off the bench at some point.
Although it’s just been confirmed that Osako has signed a three-year deal with recently promoted Köln, I’ve included him because he spent last season in the 2.Bundesliga. Osako has been a terrific addition to 1860 Munich after signing him from Kashima Antlers back in January. In his fifteen appearances for 1860 the Japanese striker managed to score six times, while also setting up three. His impressive displays saw him quickly raise to one of the 2.Bundesliga’s brightest talents and he certainly deserves to test himself in the top flight. For Japan Osako has made eight appearances, scoring three times, the first for his country was against Australia in the EAFF East Asian Cup, he scored twice in the game, his second was the winner in a 3-2 victory. The new Köln recruit will be fighting with Mainz’s Shinji Okazaki for a starting spot and there won’t be much shortage of supply with the likes of Kagawa and Honda playing behind him. Out of all the 2.Bundesliga players heading for the World Cup Osako is the one most likely to make an impact for his country.
Article for VAVEL_Bundesliga.