By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Kainz also commits to cathedral city: "In Köln, we stick together through thick and thin."

Squad captain Florian Kainz became the fifth 1. FC Köln player to commit to the relegated club on Thursday, waiving his right to depart the cathedral city side via a contractual exit clause. 

Following the lead of four other players, FC Köln squad captain Florian Kainz has also announced that he will remain with the relegated Effzeh. Köln confirmed a new contract for the 31-year-old Austrian international on Thursday afternoon. The skipper now has working papers valid for the second division., Kainz has scored 22 goals and supplied 38 assists in 161 competitive fixtures for the club he joined in January of 2019. 

"I have experienced many emotional situations in my time at FC so far," Kainz noted in a club statement, "Winning the second division, a dramatic relegation-playoff to remain in the Bundesliga, a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League - and now, unfortunately, a very bitter relegation. But in Köln we stick together through thick and thin.”

"FC has become my club over the past five years and the city has become my second home," Kainz's statement continued, "I will do my best to be successful with the team again. I want to lead the way with my experience and I'm looking forward to the coming season."

“Flo is a key player and identification figure for us," club sporting director Christian Keller added, "He plays a very important role in the inner workings of our team. This is also reflected in his current decision in favor of FC. After a very challenging 2023/24 season for him personally, he is facing up to his responsibilities and wants to help us experience more successful times again."

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