Stuttgart succeeded in bouncing straight back into the Bundesliga after just one season in Bundesliga 2, building up a head of steam after a rather slow start to win the league with an average crowd eclipsing those of the top-flight champions in Italy, France, England and the Netherlands.

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The 2007 Bundesliga champions are back in the top flight ten years after clinching their last title, and just 12 months after the conclusion of a 41-year permanence in the Bundesliga had seen the club plunge to a new depth.

It was understandable, therefore, that a rebuilding exercise took place last summer with Jos Luhukay – who had previously led Hertha Berlin, Augsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach to promotion – the man earmarked to make Stuttgart his fourth successful promotion project. Jan Schindelmeiser took over as sporting director and the fans flocked to the Mercedes-Benz Arena to get behind the team, setting new records for Bundesliga 2.

Watch: Stuttgart's top ten goals of 2016/17:

The euphoria did not last long, however. After just four matches, the first cracks started to appear and irreparable damage to the relationship between Luhukay and Schindelmeiser saw the Dutch coach pack his bags. That bolt from the blue could well have been a blessing in disguise, as it compacted the club and, with the hitherto unknown Hannes Wolf placed in charge, Stuttgart stealthily started to turn things around.

The then 35-year-old may not have been known in professional circles, yet he had an impressive CV of having guided Borussia Dortmund to titles at two different youth levels. His proficiency with young players saw him blood new talent together with the already-present array of more experienced heads, thus finding the blend for success. "We've come on a great deal under Hannes Wolf," said club captain Daniel Ginczek. "He's a coach with clear ideas and he gets his message across, pushing and supporting us in training."

Hannes Wolf has made sure those who did not know him 12 months ago are now aware of who he is. © gettyimages / Alexander Scheuber

Wolf and Schindelmeiser shared the same vision, which was to eke the potential out of even the youngest of players with an eye on the future. They had both succeeded in the past, with Schindelmeiser helping Hoffenheim reach the Bundesliga and Wolf launching the careers of countless talented youngsters, and they were successful in their first year together in Baden-Württemberg.

But having passed the first test and delivered Bundesliga football back to the Swabian city, can they carry the job forward? The club are in a healthy position again, and have every right to think big. "We've got no fear to set ambitious targets," said Schindelmeiser. "We want to keep on moving up."

Orel Mangala is the first new arrival in Stuttgart this summer. © VfB Stuttgart

Squad strengthening has already commenced, with Orel Mangala drafted in on loan from Anderlecht after having already worked under Wolf at Borussia Dortmund. They have managed to keep hold of Simon Terodde, whose 25 goals inspired Stuttgart's title-winning campaign and earned him the Bundesliga 2 golden boot. He is a key character off the field too, as Schindelmeiser explained. "He embodies a lot of the values which are important to Stuttgart," he said.

He did not have the best of first seasons in the Bundesliga, struggling to make an impression with Cologne in 2010/11, but returns with more maturity and experience, as do his club. Back in the big time having used last season effectively as an important exercise in reflection and renewal, Stuttgart's own new beginning has started well, and the next steps are set to follow from 18 August.

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Read: new-look Stuttgart primed for Bundesliga return