It was not that Hannover 96 and former Germany U-21 international goalkeeper FLORIAN FROMLOWITZ had played poorly during the first half of the Bundesliga season. It was just that one-time Germany U-19 international shot-stopper RON ROBERT ZIELER had been so exceptional during training sessions. And so during the Winterpause, Hannover 96 trainer MIRKO SLOMKA boldly decided to make the switch.
So far, the move has proved quite successful for the Lower Saxony club, who currently stand third in the Bundersliga after finishing 15th in the German top flight a season ago.
Zieler has conceded just four goals in his first-ever seven Bundesliga starts and the 22-year-old native of Koeln has also turned in clean sheets in three of the the last four contests for die Roten.
Former Germany U-19 international goalkeeper RON ROBERT ZIELER of Hannover 96 makes a point blank save on Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen’s Peru international winger JEFFERSON FARFAN during the late January Bundesliga match at the AWD Arena in Lower Saxony. (Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Zieler joined the perennial English Premier League powerhouse in the summer of 2005 as a youth trainee. Two years later, the German youth international worked his way up to games for Manchester United’s senior reserve side. To start the 2008-09 campaign, Zieler was assigned a first team squad number (38) by the Red Devils for the initial time.
Of course, veteran international EDWIN VAN DER SAR, the record holder for caps in the Netherlands, has been first choice at Manchester United for quite some time. And Poland international TOMASZ KUSZCZAK as well as the talented young Englishman BEN FOSTER have also been about Old Trafford in recent years. So the young German never did get a first team game in any competition for the Red Devils.
This past summer, Zieler ended his five-year stay in England and returned to Germany to sign with Bundesliga club Hannover 96 on a free transfer.