By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Bundesliga End of Season Awards: Darmstadt's Player of the Season

With a clean sweep of 9 votes from our writers, Darmstadt's Tim Skarke picks up Bulinews' Player of the Season award for the Hessen club.

By and large it was a season of lows for Die Lilien who mustered up 3 wins and a grand total of 17 points to finish at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. To their credit, fans at the Stadion am Böllenfalltor embraced their top-flight status and got behind their side. The loss of Philipp Tietz, coupled with the fractured tibula of Marvin Mehlem did Torsten Lieberknecht's side no favours. The odds of survival firmly stacked against them. 

However, the efforts of Tim Skarke led the charge for the plucky underdogs from the Hessen state. His contribution of 8 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances made up 26.6% of Darmstadt's goals (30) in what was the lowest tally of any side since Köln (28) this season, or Greuther Fürth (28) and Armenia Bielefeld (27) in the 2021/22 campaign. The German followed that up with 2 assists further adding to his overall goal involvements for Lieberknecht's side.

A 'Swiss army knife' style player, Skarke never shied away from fulfilling a less-favoured role in the team. While he often lined out in his favoured centre forward position or to the right of a more natural striker, Skarke took up a whopping 6 positions throughout the season. His willingness to help Die Lilien out amid multiple injury crises even saw him put in a shift at right-back in a 2-0 loss to RB Leipzig on Matchday 25. A natural team player.

On loan from his parent club Union Berlin, it is undoubtedly difficult for relegated Darmstadt to imagine keeping hold of their top scorer. Per transfer, his market valuation has risen 50% from €2million to €3million in the space of a season. Turning 28 in September, the multifaceted attacker may look to establish himself in Köpenick. The Berlin club similarly experienced a shy season in front of goal themselves. Otherwise, a move to another Bundesliga side could be easily achieved given his strong season and commendable attributes.


Tim Skarke's standout performance came just before the winter break in a 3-3 draw with fellow blue and white clad opponents TSG Hoffenheim on Matchday 16. Trailing 2-1 at the break, Skarke linked up with Luca Pfeiffer to fire home a 57th-minute equaliser. Collecting the ball on the edge of the box, his first touch enabled him to cut inside the scrambling Ozan Kabak before drilling the ball past Baumann. 

Nine minutes later, Ihlas Bebou re-established the Sinsheim lead. As the clock ticked towards its end, Darmstadt stared defeat in the face until Skarke struck again. Pfeiffer, the architect once more, capitalised on a sloppy TSG pass. Threaded through on an acute angle, Skarke remained ice-cool. John Anthony Brooks' sliding challenge did little to prevent the 27-year-old who caught Baumann out at his near post with a powerful low drive.


Accompanying our votes came with room for honourable mentions. One name that followed Tim Skarke was Fabian Nürnberger. The versatile left-footed midfielder suffered with ankle injuries all season, but bagged a goal and laid off 2 assists. The 24-year-old German never turned down set-pieces which constantly threatened opposition defences.

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