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15,000 Volz dishes the dirt on Hoff

last updated Saturday 13th January 2007, 2:59 PM

You have only to take a quick look at Moritz Volz's website, www.Volzy.com, to get a fair idea of what this engaging character is all about. Clearly blessed with a social conscience, the Fulham player has just held an online auction, selling all manner of signed memorabilia to raise funds for two charities, the Prince's Trust and Kick4Life.

Moritz Volz and friends celebrate
Moritz Volz and friends celebrate the 15000 Premiership goal oh and a goal against Fulham Broadway

On another page, this self-confessed 'foody' provides a detailed breakdown of his favourite London restaurants. As for TV programmes, we read that he loves The Office, Little Britain and, of course, Only Fools and Horses, an absolute must for every self-respecting footballer.

But that's the thing about Volz. The 23 year-old German does 'tongue-in-cheek' better than most. Take his homage to Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, which takes up a whole section on Volzy.com. Click on the link and you will see a mini 'Hoff' getting down to his latest release alongside a personal tribute to the actor-cum-singer.

"Being German, I love David Hasselhoff," Volz explains. "It's actually the law back in the Motherland. For me the Hoff is like some kind of higher spirit. Hoff-ness is everywhere."

Latching on to this theme, supporters don't seem to want to talk about anything else. What started as a laugh has gained a life of its own. "The whole Hoff thing — yeah, I do regret it in a way," he smiles. "Actually, the English are probably more obsessed with him than the Germans are, but we're the ones that get hammered for it.

"People do think I'm obsessed with the Hoff but I'm not. It is a bit annoying because every person who approaches me now wants to talk about him when I don't really have an affection for him at all."

So no, he hasn't built a mini Baywatch lifeguard tower at home, as he playfully suggested. His spare time, instead, has been more usefully filled. Apart from cramming for an A-level in biology, Volz is putting up the last couple of items for his auction — his man-of-the-match champagne from the Middlesbrough game and the boots worn to score the Premiership's 15,000th goal.

But while the headlines worked perfectly after Fulham's 2-2 draw at Chelsea, '15,000 Volz' is still waiting to find out if the dubious goals panel let him keep it or award Paulo Ferreira an own goal instead.

"I don't see why they wouldn't give it to me to be honest," Volz says. "It was going in anyway so it doesn't matter if it goes in the far corner or at the near post."

Actually, Volz, having been used to great effect in midfield lately as opposed to his normal right-back slot, is on something of a roll when it comes to hitting the net. With two own goals to his name since joining from Arsenal three years ago, he is now firmly in credit with three this term, the latest coming at Leicester in the FA Cup last week.

And, according to Volz's online diary, his mate Leddy, who has taken on the unpaid role of "goal celebration coach", is now much happier with life after admonishing his pupil for sticking his tongue out at Stamford Bridge.

"Now we've eradicated the tongue, we can start building for the future" — the player's sense of humour shines through every word. There is, however, some method in these musings. With its irreverent attitude, the website intentionally serves a useful purpose.

"Professional football is a long way from being something that you do just for the love of it. You start off as a kid like that but these days you're under such constant pressure to perform that it can become very serious.

"You tend to focus so much on what is expected of you that it sometimes gets a bit heavy. You forget to enjoy it. That's why I like this light-hearted humour. It makes things easier and helps me to appreciate what I do.

"It is important, though, that people still see me as a footballer who's very dedicated to his work, not just taking the p*** all the time. Everyone who sees me play knows that when I step over that line I'm fully there, there's nothing else on my mind. The danger was that by saying this stuff I wasn't for real. You know, going on about the Hoff and all that."

Yet Volz's sincere side is never far away. His charity work, for instance, isn't just for show. While a long-standing association with football made the Prince's Trust a natural choice, the link with Kick4Life came about by chance.

"I got a really nice letter from a young man called Greg, who was trying to raise money to go to Africa for the charity. He wanted to run the London Marathon so was looking for sponsors. That's how I got to know the charity. I liked the fact that football is involved in connecting people to fight poverty and disease."

Volz, it is clear, doesn't conform to stereotypes. With Fulham facing West Ham, of all teams, today, here we have a Premiership footballer, in the age of 'Baby Bentleys', who can't bear to part with his battered old Volkswagen Golf.

"It suits me. Gets me from A to B. Anyway, it's my first car. I have too many nice memories."

Mind you, he doesn't much like driving, especially in central London, hence his habit of walking to Craven Cottage on match days or arriving on his foldaway bike. Yes, you heard right, his foldaway bike. He even got some reflective gear for Christmas, which really made his day.

But perhaps we should close with the real business of the day and his latest role as a barnstorming midfielder. His countenance turns a little stern in summing up the situation.

"It was a change for me this season. I didn't start at right-back, which was obviously something I wasn't happy about. I've only played there three times this season. It's gone really well in central midfield so I'm just taking it step by step at the moment.

"I'm getting a nice run-out and the opportunity to score goals but I don't really want to be seen as a utility player. There is that danger. With some good performances I want to put myself forward for the national team, which has been a target for a good few years now. I don't think I'll get there by playing in different positions all the time."

The Hoff, you suspect, couldn't have put it better himself.








Source Alan Smith at The Daily Telegraph
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