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📖 Part 2: Wonderful Weimann's record-breaking year

In a two-part extended feature Andi Weimann lifts the lid on his return from injury and reflects on his outstanding season in red and white.

🔙 RETURN TO THE PITCH

As we pick up from part one of Andi’s Road to Recovery, July 2021 rolls around and pre-season is underway. Weimann is fit and firing after a gruelling eight months of rehabilitation. His first match minutes came against Celtic in pre-season, which for any returning player is a major milestone.

“It was tough but I think it was tough for all the players,” he chuckled. “The manager sees them (pre-season fixtures) as a training exercise, so we had a tough session the day before and we weren’t fully recovered but it was good as it was the last thing I needed to tick off on my recovery.

“I had played 11 v 11 in training but I hadn’t played against a different opponent, so it was good to tick off that last box.”

Weimann's return from injury came against Celtic in pre-season (JMPUK)

⏱ MINUTES

From then on the Austrian was at the forefront of Nigel Pearson’s plans – who signed a three year deal himself that summer – as Weimann played every minute of every fixture up until February 2022.

A quite staggering statistic for any player returning from an ACL injury, however his form was doing all the talking.

“I felt like I was ready. I had a full pre-season and I was a fully fit player but to play every single minute I didn’t expect because as you know the Championship is a tough league but I felt really fit and the manager showed that he trusts me.”

🔥 MILESTONE

Another major milestone for the Austrian was his first goal of the season which helped City claim their first victory of the new season, their first win in fourteen games. A run that stretched back to March 2021.

“We hadn’t won before that game and with how the last season had finished it had been quite a few games where we hadn’t won. So, to get the win first of all was important for the whole club and for me, personally it was another step in the right direction to get back on the scoresheet.”

That night Weimann’s second goal was assisted by one of City’s emerging young starlets, Alex Scott. The Guernsey native has flourished in his first full season at the Championship level, and he has developed a bond both on and off the pitch with one of the Robins’ elder statesmen in Weimann, who would even drive him into training.

“I think it was the manager at the start of pre-season said that anyone who lives in Bristol can you make Alex feel welcome because he was only 17 at the time and he was in with us every day.

“He was on the way in for me, so I said that was no problem and we’ve got a good relationship off the pitch, even though he’s 12 years younger than me!

“He’s only 18 and he’s been brilliant for us and I am happy that he has got his own car now,” Weimann added.

Weimann's first goal of the season came away at Reading (JMPUK)
Weimann has developed a friendship on and off the pitch with Alex Scott (JMPUK)

💪 DERBY DAY

The Severnside derby is a fixture that everyone associated with Bristol City keeps an eye on, and in the Robins’ first meeting of the season their dynamite forward delivered in style bagging a brace at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We wanted to win the game because we know how much it means to the fans and the club. As soon as I hit it I knew it was in. I ran over to the away end and saw the joy in all the faces and the whole team really enjoyed that day.”

Weimann’s first of the afternoon saw him recreate Scott Murray’s iconic hand to the ear celebration at Ninian Park, which is etched in the memory of every City fan.

“Before the game in the changing room as I was walking out he (Scott Murray) said if you score you’ve got to put your hand to your ear. When the ball went in, I forgot a little but then I thought I’ve got to do it now and ran down half the pitch with my hand to my ear.”

Weimann recreating Scott Murray's celebration after scoring against Cardiff City

🏠 HOME WIN

Following that memorable afternoon - by Weimann’s impeccable standards - the forward would experience an eight-game goal-drought. Despite not finding the back of the net he was contributing at the top end of the pitch providing both assists in City’s dramatic 2-1 victory on the road against QPR.

Weimann would be back on the scoresheet in October as he twice found the back of the net at Ashton Gate as City ended their run of 18 home defeats with a 2-1 victory over strugglers Barnsley.

“You could sense the relief in the stadium and I think from then on we have been pretty good at home,” he said.

Weimann provided the assist for Nahki Wells' late winner against QPR (JMPUK)
The Austrian's brace propelled City to home victory against Barnsley (JMPUK)

👶 NEW ADDITION

As the end of a whirlwind 2021 approached, Andi and his wife Jennifer welcomed their third child into the world and the Weimann family grew a little larger. To mark the occasion the Austrian bagged a brace in City’s 3-2 loss to Huddersfield at Ashton Gate, despite defeat the forward was pleased to find the back of the net to celebrate.

“It’s definitely tougher having three kids rather than two kids,” he laughed, “it’s an amazing feeling becoming a father again and I think it was before the Huddersfield game on the Wednesday that my son was born. I know we lost 3-2 but to score two goals for me personally that was quite nice after my son was born.

“He’s been to five games and I think we have won every one of them and I have scored, so I think he’s got to come to every game now.”

⚽️ HAT-TRICK HERO

Fast forward to the Robins’ first game of the New Year, Weimann and co welcomed the Lions to Ashton Gate for yet another memorable afternoon. City’s talisman was unstoppable as he netted his second career hat-trick in an enthralling 3-2 victory over Millwall.

“That was a special day! I think it was the first game that my son came to, so it wasn’t a bad way to start for him.

“A great 3-2 win, we went 2-1 down so to turn the game around and get my hat-trick with five minutes to go was amazing. It was my second professional hat-trick, so it was a great feeling taking the match ball home.”

When asked to compare his second career hat-trick with his first, which came away Bramall Lane against Sheffield United, Weimann still holds his first in the higher regard.

“They mean the same to me. But I think because of the goals I scored against Sheffield United with how important the game was with us wanting to get into the play-offs, celebrating with the away fans it will always be a game that I remember.”

🤩 DERBY DELIGHT

Another memorable afternoon would be right around the corner for City as they completed the double over their Severnside neighbours for the first time since 2002/03 in late January. 

A Chris Martin goal either side of half-time had seen the Robins come from behind to lead the Bluebirds, then up stepped Andreas Weimann to put the result beyond any doubt as he converted in front of a raucous South Stand.

“Chrissy managed to get two and the atmosphere at Ashton Gate was great that day. To get the double over Cardiff for the first time in 20 years, you could tell it meant a lot to everyone associated with the club. When I scored to make it 3-1 the noise was amazing.”

Weimann made it three goals against Cardiff City this season with a goal in City's 3-2 win at Ashton Gate (JMPUK)

🤝 CHEMISTRY

Much has been made of Weimann's record-breaking year, but he will be the first to hand out praise to his teammates and in particular his forward partners in Chris Martin and Antoine Semenyo.

City's lethal front three, who have been dubbed ‘WSM’, have combined for a staggering 42 goals this season and more often than not they're putting the ball on a plate for one another to rifle home.

Their form has earned high praise from player and managers alike. As well as a glowing endorsement from one of the greatest England strikers to grace the field in Derby County manager Wayne Rooney, who said ‘they are as good as any front three in the Championship’.

“A lot has been spoken about it but it has just clicked really. Antoine was injured at the start of the season and came into the team as soon as we started playing a three it took off,” he said.

Weimann and Martin bagged 34 goals between them (JMPUK)
Weimann and Semenyo combined for 30 goals (JMPUK)

“With those two playing up top and me being just in behind has helped me a lot because it’s harder for defenders to mark me coming from a bit deeper. Chrissy is the one that takes the hits to win his headers and flick-ons, Antoine is either running away from everyone or bullying the defenders and I’m just there arriving in the box and putting it away, and that’s the nicest part of it.

“When we score, we’re all happy for each other. It was good for Chris to reach double figures and then I was on nine assists looking for my tenth and Antoine missed a few chances, so I gave him a bit of banter about that. We’re all happy for each other and it’s working really well at the minute.”

The trio’s beaming confidence was evident to see in City’s final home fixture of the season which saw them romp to a 5-0 home victory against Hull City. An afternoon in which Weimann, Martin and Semenyo either scored or assisted all five goals – chemistry.

🧱 PROGRESS

Come the end of the season it would be 17th place in which City would find themselves in the table. A way off where the group would have hoped to be, but the foundations have been set for the Robins to kick on come the end of July as the Sky Bet Championship rollercoaster sets off once again. Weimann is certainly confident that he and the City squad can push further up the table in the coming season.

“Hopefully, our form towards end of this season will only stand us in good stead going into the summer, everyone will come back refreshed and let’s see what happens next year.”


🎥 WATCH THE INTERVIEW IN FULL


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