SK Rapid Wien striker Christopher Trimmel is trying to keep his feet firmly on the ground despite the hype that is sweeping the Austrian Bundesliga following his recent goalscoring exploits.
Having been plucked from the reserves and thrown into the first team, the 22-year-old secured a place in the history books by scoring a six-minute hat-trick against SK Austria Kärnten at the beginning of the month − three minutes short of Hans Krankl's record of three goals in three minutes against Grazer AK back in June 1977.
However, Rapid coach Peter Pacult is committed to ensuring that the young striker remains firmly grounded, just as he did with Erwin Hoffer when he emerged three years ago. Comparisons have already been made between the two, but Trimmel was quick to play down the talk that has been dominating Austria's capital city. "I don't want to be known as the next Hoffer," said Trimmel, in a rare public interview. "I just want to do my best for Rapid Vienna."
Such is Pacult's desire to protect Trimmel that he has banned his player from speaking to the media. "He has that yard of pace which is so important in today's game and he's good in the air, too," said Pacult, 49. "He's excellent in one-on-one situations as well."
Trimmel has also made his mark in Europe, too, scoring two goals in four UEFA Europa League qualification matches, including an extra-time winner against APOP/Kinyras Peyias FC which earned Rapid a play-off tie with 1981/82 European Champion Clubs' Cup winners Aston Villa FC. His emergence has also confounded those who were quick to bemoan the lack of firepower at the club following the departure of Hoffer last month to SSC Napoli.
Trimmel has not looked back since joining Rapid from sixth-tier outfit ASK Horitschon on the recommendation of chief scout Fritz Riedmüller, featuring five times last term before hitting the headlines on his first league appearance this season. Steffen Hofmann, the Rapid captain, said: "It's mad when you think that he was only training two or three times a week just a year ago."
His rapid rise has also caught the attention of Austria coach Dietmar Constantini. Despite a career total of seven top-flight appearances, Trimmel has been selected for the forthcoming friendly against Cameroon, where the young striker will meet up with an old acquaintance, Hoffer, at the squad's training camp.
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