In his first full season as 1. FSV Mainz 05 head coach, Martin Schmidt well and truly stamped his style on the team, producing energetic and hard-working performances to land the club a top-six finish.
Season in a nutshell
Schmidt pushed his charges to the limit in 2015/16 and their efforts were rewarded with and a guaranteed spot in next term's UEFA Europa League group stage. Indeed, Mainz have never enjoyed a better campaign in their 111-year history. Schmidt has a knack of getting the best out of his players, transmitting his untamed passion for the game while helping them improve at the same time.
Top three games
MD24: FC Bayern München 1-2 1. FSV Mainz
Before the match Schmidt announced his side were heading to Munich with the intention of winning - and it was no empty threat. The visitors took a first-half lead through Jairo, and although Arjen Robben equalised after the break, Mainz struck late through Colombian forward Cordoba to become the only side to record a win at the Allianz Arena all season.
MD23: 1. FSV Mainz 05 3-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Mainz left their visitors with no chance, putting in their best performance of the entire campaign to down Die Werkself thanks to Malli's brace and Cordoba's second goal of the season.
MD21: 1. FSV Mainz 05 2-1 FC Schalke 04
Taking three points off the club that sporting director Heidel will join this summer will have been particularly gratifying for Mainz, even if they did end up one place lower than Schalke in the final standings.
Malli's blistering form faded somewhat towards the end of the season, but this was without doubt his finest campaign yet. The 24-year-old attacker's pace and agility helped him menace Bundesliga defences across Germany and also earned him his international debut for Turkey. Malli finished as Mainz's top scorer with a personal-best 11 goals, while the four assists he contributed meant he had a direct hand in almost a third of the team's goals.