Fabisch, Suhonen and Sousa: Young trio breaking through

Having impressed for the under-19s and in their training appearances so far with the first team, Jonah Fabisch, Anssi Suhonen and Travian Sousa have been rewarded with a spot on the plane to Lagos for the club’s winter training camp. introduces the trio.

Despite not seeing them in over three weeks, their faces were at least familiar for the experienced pros in the HSV squad. Jonah Fabisch, Anssi Suhonen and Travian Sousa, all born in 2001, have been training with the first team for a while, getting to know their teammates as well as the training staff during sessions at the Volkspark, whilst all made an appearance in the friendly against Eintracht Braunschweig on the 10th October in the second international break of the season. The trio are less well known outside of the four walls of the HSV academy next to the Volksparkstadion, yet that could all change given the promising signs the youngsters have been showing for their age group side as well as during opportunities with the first team. Dieter Hecking reinforced the faith he has in the trio by inviting them to the club’s winter training camp in Lagos next week, another opportunity for the 18-year-olds to hone their skills and continue to impress the gaffer.

The opportunity is no doubt the most exciting for Jonah Fabisch (born 13th August 2001), born and raised in Hamburg as a HSV fan. Despite spending the majority of his youth in the Hanseatic city, the defensive midfielder was born in Nairobi during his father Reinhard’s stint as Kenya’s national team manager. Coming from a sporty family, Fabisch’s mother Chawada Kachidza is the Zimbabwean record holder for the 100m hurdles, providing the athletic genes that have suited the youngster so well in his fledgling career. The 18-year-old, particularly memorable for his haircut which has brought comparisons with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel, joined the Rothosen in the summer of 2012, moving through the ranks at the HSV academy as well as enjoying a call-up to the German under-16 national side. Fabisch has established himself as one of the key cogs in the under-19 side, leading the team out as captain over the first half of the season in the Bundesliga Nord/Nordost.

Regularly by his side at the highest level of under-19 football in Germany is Anssi Suhonen. The Finnish under-19 international, born on the 14th January 2001, signed for the Rothosen from the Scandinavian nation three years ago and lives alongside Sousa in the Alexander-Otto-Academie, leaning German in double quick time and integrating himself in his new home town. The small number 10 has scored eleven and assisted seven in his 62 games for the under-17s and under-19s, being rewarded with his first appearance in adult football for the under-21s against SV Drochtersen/Assel on the 12th October 2019. The Finn has really taken a step forward during the 2019/20 season, making his non-competitive debut for the first team against Braunschweig a mere two days earlier, using his explosive pace and tight dribbling to great effect.

The trio is complete with the addition of Travian Sousa, who has made an electric start to life in Germany. Having been plucked from Sacramento Republic FC, the now 18-year-old (born 19th September 2001) suitably impressed the HSV hierarchy to be given a long-term contract after a successful trial in spring 2019. Having to contend with a new continent, a new language and a new club, ‘Tray’ understandably encountered a number of teething problems, as is usual when moving halfway round the world at the tender age of 18. The youngster knuckled down, on and off the pitch, as under-19 coach Daniel Petrowsky switched the natural striker to left-back, making use of his natural athletic ability as well as his prowess with the ball at his feet. This has proved to be an attribute for both Sousa and Petrowsky, with the left-back already having delivered four assists in the A-Junioren Bundesliga Nord/Nordost. Jan Gyamerah’s broken fibula meant the California native was thrust into the limelight earlier than anticipated, impressing in first team training as well as during the friendly against Braunschweig in October. The American import, along with Suhonen and Fabisch, will be hoping to impress Hecking during the team’s training camp in Lagos, as the trio continue their ascent of the footballing pyramid at HSV.