On Thursdays after victories, the coaching team can ask for something from the chef.

A public holiday in Paderborn - unfortunately not for everyone.

There are knuckles, sauerkraut and dumplings in the small cafeteria with a view of the lush green training grounds.

This is what the coaching staff is now feeding on.

The pros get turkey.

Hm. However: depending on which coach chooses, there can be "fun-free" occasions.

Fish fillet, for example.

That is then compatible for everyone.

The mood is pretty good at Sportclub Paderborn 07. A victory this Saturday against KSV Holstein (1.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the second division and on Sky), and the SCP would remain first in the second division.

Upward trend cemented, relegation zone far away.

And that in the first year after "overtrainer" Steffen Baumgart.

Lukas Kwasniok came from Saarbrücken for him - not a big name.

But what was he supposed to do here too?

Catholic, conservative, curious: despite all its reluctance, the club is by no means boring.

In the six seasons from 2014 to 2020 it went down and up the ladder: first, second, third division.

Third, second, first division.

Then followed an astonishingly normal season - ninth place in 2020/21, the last with Baumgart.

"Stabilize the professional football location Paderborn"

They don't want to talk down here. But don't make it any more: “We want to further stabilize the professional football location Paderborn”, says Fabian Wohlgemuth, the managing director of Sport, “a single-digit place in the table would be a success for us”. Above all, the former Kiel sports director wants to end the yo-yo phenomenon. Seven ascents and descents have been straining on my nerves. Paderborn should no longer be an elevator club. The times of the late President Wilfried Finke's eccentricity are also over. The SCP was his life's work. Spectacular mistakes were part of it: with Stefan Effenberg as trainer, Paderborn made a fool of himself in 2016. Since Baumgart's entry in 2017, it has become increasingly serious.

Wohlgemuth has been working on this in the constellation with his colleagues Martin Hornberger (general association) and Ralf Huschen (finances) since May 2020. After leaving KSV Holstein, Wohlgemuth was without a job for a good six months. Now he is applying his recipe to a similarly structured association. “The current success cannot be attributed to any individual,” says the 42-year-old, “it is the result of teamwork.” These include the 16 business councils that support the association financially and ideally in an XXL structure and feed the supervisory board. Ice cream producer, software developer, automotive supplier: a lot from the local and regional economy is there.

You can work quietly in the East Westphalian outskirts. The training center from 2017 is functional, no frills. The stadium, which was built in 2008, is a few kilometers away, is well-dimensioned, and the fact that local resident lawsuits prevent evening games are of little consequence. Similar to Kiel, Wohlgemuth brings young players and has them refined here. In the teams that he built up with the respective scouts and coaches, there were and are many young professionals trained in Germany. Extrapolated to game minutes, the DFL does not reward their use that barely - at least in Paderborn dimensions. But middle-aged and older professionals should also be able to develop here. There is no dogma. The SCP brand football should become less calculable. Kwasniok's job: fine-tune Baumgart's pressing machine.

What remains: As recently as Chris Führich to Stuttgart and Sebastian Schonlau to HSV, the SCP has again given up its best professionals. If bigger clubs bid, there is no choice. The licensed player budget of (estimated) just over ten million euros is in the lower third of the league. Wohlgemuth says: “We don't have to sell. But the upheaval is the basis of our business. "

In the city the club is economically and politically well connected; this is what the economic councilors and President Elmar Volkmann as well as Carsten Linnemann, the CDU politician, as vice-president of the entire association stand for. But this certain caution remains. When a slogan was sought for promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019, the decision was made for: "Promotion without taking off." That characterizes the attitude in the city and in the club. The ability to work in a team, solidarity, a familiar atmosphere: what is described as being down-to-earth could prevent something bigger. "Being down-to-earth must not be misunderstood," says Wohlgemuth, "we will have difficulties with the handbrake on permanently asserting ourselves in professional football."

Whether Kiel or Paderborn - concentrating on sport is easier at such locations.

Nobody misses the permanent construction sites of the big clubs in the metropolises that have been sparked by the media.

However, there is also no background noise that makes the club exciting, keeps the conversation going and drives the audience into the stadium.

Wohlgemuth and Kwasniok are annoyed that advance sales are so slow.

The new trainer has therefore mischievously advertised the ideal Paderborn weekend: Saturday to the SCP, Sunday to church, then to the general election, Kwasniok advised people in the local newspaper.

Wohlgemuth liked that.

Steffen Baumgart could hardly have said it better.