Pros 17.11.2021 — 19:26 Uhr

Boëtius: New roles both off and on the pitch

Mainz’s midfield engine on the team’s development under head coach Bo Svensson, his new role as a father and the upcoming home game to 1. FC Köln.

With 17 points from 11 Bundesliga games, and three wins in our last four games in all competitions, Mainz have been on the up this season, and midfielder Jean-Paul Boëtius has had a hand in that. A new father, he has played in every game apart from the season opener against RB Leipzig, seeing the positive development of the team under head coach Bo Svensson: “We’ve built up a bit of a gap to the lower places, and hopefully we can stay in this area of the table,” said the 27-year-old, who could well celebrate a milestone in the home game against Köln on Sunday (17:30 CET).

“We’ve been playing consistently recently, and we’ve had a lot of time together as a team. The team’s development started last year and has carried over to this season – hopefully into the future too,” explained Boëtius, who could celebrate a personal milestone very soon. The Rotterdam-born midfielder will celebrate his 100th Bundesliga appearance the next time he steps out onto the pitch, becoming the first Dutchman to reach this many games as a Zerofiver. “I’m probably the first Dutchman to play for Mainz,” joked the 27-year-old (We think Nigel de Jong might have something to say about that!), before going on: “I’m so thankful to the club for letting me play so many games in this great league.”

Game one of 99 so far in the Bundesliga: Boëtius makes his Mainz debut against Nürnberg in 2018.

“Good connection” with Lee

Since making his debut in 2018, Boëtius has become a top performer and a key personality in Mainz’s team structure. Initially used as a playmaker, the right-footed midfield specialist  has taken up a more defensive position recently and has impressed alongside colleague Jae-Sung lee. “I have played a touch deeper in the last couple of games, and Lee has moved further forward. I’ve been playing more as a number six and seeing more of the ball in build-up play. I do enjoy the role, as it shows off my defensive side a bit more. I try to play simple football, and so does Lee – we have a good connection on the pitch, which I think people can see,” said the Dutchman.

And the head coach agrees. Svensson recently described Boëtius as extremely important for the team, especially in the second half of last season. “He gave us creativity and an extreme work rate. He can do everything. He’s capable of going to this high level of intensity and at the same time can produce these moments of creativity. That’s what makes him stand out at the moment,” said the Dane, who also rates his midfield duo highly out of possession. “Jae-Sung and Djanga wouldn’t play if they weren’t able to fulfil the defensive demands that the position requires.”

Head coach Bo Svensson on Boëtius: "He’s capable of going to this high level of intensity and at the same time can produce these moments of creativity."

“Even game” against Köln

Things have changed for Boëtius both on and off the pitch. The Dutchman became a father for the first time a few days ago. “I’m definitely getting less sleep, but I don’t sleep that much anyway, so it hasn’t been a big problem for me so far,” said the midfielder. “We’re delighted and are feeling nothing but love. Everything is completely different now with a child – it’s a totally new experience. It’s wonderful; a new chapter has begun.”

The 27-year-old is also happy that the 05ers can play in front of fans once again. “The atmosphere is really good, of course that has to do with the fact that we’re enjoying more success than last year – you can already feel the difference. Fans are allowed back again now. They've have been ‘recharging’ for a year and now can unleash all of their energy – you can really notice that on the pitch,” said Boëtius, who is looking forward to an exciting clash against 1. FC Köln. “They’re having a good season, they have a couple of new players and a new coach. Our defence will have a big challenge, but we have some good development behind us and I’m very positive that we can deliver another good performance on Sunday to keep the three points in Mainz,” said Boëtius. “When you look at the table and how we and Köln are doing, it should be a meeting of two teams on a similar level.