The strongest Division 2 in the world
"If you sign someone as a playmaker, you give him the shirt with the number 10 and then get rid of his position for tactical reasons, everyone in that situation will face a difficult time. No matter if his name is Lasnik or Zidane."
Andreas Lasnik
Once again Andreas Lasnik faced a difficult decision. What was it going to be? There was no lack of offers and especially the prominent Belgian team Genk showed strong interest in hiring the free-kick expert. There was also a lucrative offer of an Austrian club that had be to considered. But what the Styrian really wanted was to play in Germany. As luck would have it, Jörg Schmadtke, managing director of Alemannia Aachen, already had his eye on him and sent scouts to his latest performances.

The German side that played in the second Bundesliga showed a great effort. They invited Lasnik twice to get acquainted with the club, the town and the people. The first impression was indeed very positive. "The club was ambitious and the whole package simply sounded fantastic", recalls Lasnik. So he put his signature on a two year contract with the club in the 250,000-inhabitant city in North Rhine-Westphalia. He was presented as the club`s new playmaker. The first pictures of Andreas Lasnik in Aachen showed him holding the shirt with the number 10 on the back.

The start for Lasnik in Aachen looked promising. On his debut in a regular game, his new team won 4-1 against FC Wegberg-Beeck in the German Cup and the Austrian fired a spectacular goal. Only a few days later the league started and to his surprise he found himself on the bench. And he would become quite familiar with watching games from the sidelines. "I didn`t play a single minute in the first seven home games. Coach Seeberger only brought me as a substitute in away games, when our opponents were in front. And I should turn the games around in the few minutes I was given by him."

The biggest German tabloid “BILD-Zeitung” had given Lasnik the nickname “Beckham of the Tivoli-Stadium”. The only problem was that the fans hardly got the chance to see him there. After a while the midfielder began to doubt in his own skills. "The first two months I was really down. But I've always behaved properly, given my best in the training and had not done anything wrong. But I had to realize that things do not always work out the way they are supposed to. This was a learning process for me."

He would not be Andreas Lasnik, if he had not made the best out of this situation. The team was intact and he felt comfortable in his new environment. "I had a girlfriend from Aachen and I got along very well with her family. I could find a lot of friends outside of the football club and that has also helped me during that hard time." No wonder he still likes to stop by Aachen every time he is in the area.

Andreas Lasnik knew that he would not get a lot of chances to prove himself, since Jürgen Seeberger changed the system and decided that he did not need a classical playmaker. And that was the favorite position of the Austrian.  Moreover, managing director Schmadtke, who was a strong supporter of the midfielder, left Aachen shortly after his arrival. So his appearances in the second German division became more and more rare. But giving up was not an option. Every training Lasnik held his head high, showed full effort and showed strong games with the reserve team in the NRW-League. And suddenly the tide seemed to turn back, because in September 2009 Seeberger`s days in Aachen were over and everything indicated Lasnik`s comeback in the first team.

A few days after Seeberger`s departure Andreas Lasnik was supposed to play another game for the reserves. His performance against Schwarz-Weiss Essen lasted exactly twelve minutes, before he had to be transported to the hospital. Diagnosis: Cruciate ligament rupture. The result: Months of rest and rehabilitation at the clinic of physiotherapist Klaus Eder in Regensburg. "It happened, of course, at the worst possible time, but the club`s new leadership with coach Michael Krüger and CEO Erik Meijer asked constantly about my recovery progress and that brought back my confidence."

By the end of the 2009/10 season, something happened that not many people were expecting: Andreas Lasnik was back on the pitch, fighting for Alemannia Aachen. The following four games should be his farewell to what was called the strongest second division in the world. But his performances were good enough to convince the scouts of his future employer in the stands.