History: KSV Holsten Kiel, or, to give them their full name, Kieler Sportvereinigung Holstein von 1900 e.V., were founded in their current form after local clubs FC Holstein Kiel and Kieler Fußball-Verein von 1900 merged together in 1917. From 1947 until the establishment of the Bundesliga in 1963, the Storks - known as such due to their red socks and white shorts, which resemble the legs of a white stork - were a constant presence in the Oberliga Nord, the highest division in north-west Germany at the time. Parent club Holstein Kiel were even crowned champions of Germany in 1912.
Stadium: The Holstein Stadium, the club’s home since 1911, is one of the oldest and most historic venues in German football. The ground has undergone considerable renovation in recent years after the DFB threatened to remove its eligibility for hosting third-tier matches in 2006. Bit by bit, the facilities were brought up to the standards required for the 3. Liga and, following promotion in 2017, the 2. Bundesliga as well. The Holstein Stadium can now host up to 15,034 spectators.
Coach: Ole Werner was given the head coaching job at KSV on a temporary basis last September, after predecessor André Schubert only managed to pick up five points from the club’s opening six matches of the campaign. The Storks’ form soon picked up under Werner, and, after two wins in his first four matches in charge, he was rewarded with a permanent contract until 2022. In addition to managing the first team, the Schleswig-Holstein-native is also currently completing his formal training as a coach. At 32 years of age, Werner is the youngest head coach in the division.
Personnel matters: The sale last summer of key players David Kinsombi (Hamburger SV) and Atakan Karzor (VfB Stuttgart) may have bolstered the club’s finances, but they left a big hole in the KSV midfield. The Storks have tried to compensate for the departures by modestly investing across the board while not blowing the newly-acquired transfer money. Consistent performers like Salih Özcan (five goals, seven assists) and Emmanuel Iyoha (eight goals) were brought to the club on loan deals. Phil Neumann, Alexandar Ignjovski and Finn Porath arrived on free transfers, while goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios, striker Lion Lauberbach and widemen Makana Baku and David Atanga were all acquired for low transfer fees.