Erwin "Jimmy" Hoffer (born 14 April 1987) is an Austrian football striker currently playing for Belgian First Division B side Beerschot Wilrijk. He also played for the Austrian national team.
Born in Baden bei Wien, Austria, Hoffer played for the youth teams, such as, 1. SC Haidhof, FC Tribuswinkel and Badener AC before joining Admira Wacker, where he started his professional career. After progressing through the ranks there, Hoffer started his professional career at 17 Admira Wacker, where he played from 2004 to 2006 in the first team. He also scored four times, including against Sturm Graz and Pasching.
After a two years spell, he moved to Rapid Wien where he was a replacement for Muhammet Akagündüz, who left for Turkish side Kayserispor.
Hoffer made his Rapid Wien debut on 29 July 2006, coming on as a second-half substitute, in a 1–0 loss against SV Ried. Having spent the most of the season with the reserve, Hoffer then scored a brace on 13 May 2007, in a 2–0 win over Grazer AK. In his first season, Hoffer made 21 appearance and scored 4 times.
Having missed the start of the 2007–08 season, due to international commitment, Hoffer made his first appearance of the season, where he set up the only goal in the game, in a 1–0 win over SC Rheindorf Altach on 1 August 2007. It wasn’t until on 3 November 2007 when he scored his first goal of the season, as well as, setting up a goal, in a 4–0 win over SV Ried. He then scored twice on 16 February 2008, in a 2–0 win over Austria Kärnten. It wasn’t until on 23 March 2008 when he scored a hat-trick in their 7–0 victory against Red Bull Salzburg and assisting two times during the match as well. In the last three matches of the season, Hoffer scored three goals in three matches, including scoring decisive goal, in a 3–0 win over Rheindorf Altach on 21 April 2008, a victory that saw Rapid Wien win the Austrian Football Bundesliga title in the 2007–08 season. For this, Hoffer had his contract extended, keeping him until 2011.
In the 2008–09 season, Hoffer started the season well when he score 7 times in all competitions against Austria Kärnten, Anorthosis Famagusta, SC Rheindorf Altach (four times), and LASK Linz. After three months without scoring, Hoffer, once again, went on a goalscoring form throughout the end of the year, scoring against LASK Linz, Sturm Graz (twice), SC Rheindorf Altach (hat–trick), and Austria Wien. From 8 March 2009 to 21 March 2009, Hoffer scored five goals in three appearances, including two braces against Kapfenberger SV and Austria Kärnten. After suffering a muscle injury that kept him out on a short term, Hoffer then scored two hat–tricks against Red Bull Salzburg and Kapfenberger SV in May 2009. Having finished the 2008–09 season as a second top–scorer in the league behind Marc Janko, Hoffer finished the season, making the total appearances of 39 and scoring 29 times in all competitions.
At the end of the 2008–09 season, Hoffer attracted interests from clubs around Europe. Amid to the transfer move, Hoffer made two appearance for the side in the UEFA Europa League Qualification Round campaign against Vllaznia Shkodër, scoring in the first leg, with the result was 8–0 on aggregate for Rapid Wien. Although Rapid Wien denied that any clubs were interested in Hoffer, the agreement between Rapid Wien and Napoli was agreed.
On 28 July 2009, Napoli have signed the striker on a five-year deal, for €5 million.
Hoffer scored his first goal with the partenopei (also his Napoli debut) on 16 August 2009 in the Coppa Italia match Napoli-Salernitana (3–0). After the match, Hoffer said about scoring his first goal: "I would say that there is nothing better than starting this way. I hoped I could enter the field and give my input, then the good ball came in." Two weeks later, on 30 August 2009, he made his league debut for Napoli, coming on as a late substitute, in a 3–1 win over Livorno. But as the 2009–10 season progressed, Hoffer found his first team opportunities limited at Napoli, due to striking form of Germán Denis and Fabio Quagliarella. He turned down a move to ChievoVerona in January 2010. Having spent the whole season on the substitute bench and a little playing time, Hoffer made the total of 11 appearances and scoring once.
Loan Spell at 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Hoffer was linked a move to German side 1. FC Kaiserslautern despite keen on joining Mainz 05. Ultimately, he joined 1. FC Kaiserslautern on a season long loan deal for the 2010–11 season, with no buy option. However, Hoffer expressed his unhappiness over lack of playing time at Napoli, with his first team opportunities there limited. Nevertheless, he hope his move to Kaiserslautern would make an impact in Germany, unlike his time in Italy.
Hoffer made his debut for the club in a first round cup match against VfL Osnabrück, scoring two goals, having came on as a substitute for Iliyan Mitsanski, in a 3–2 win after extra time. A week later, on 21 August 2010, he made his league debut for the club, where he set up a goal for Ivo Iličević, in a 3–1 win over Köln. A month later, on 18 September 2010, he scored a brace in a 2–2 draw against Hoffenheim. However, Hoffer found himself within a competition in the first team, which saw him being on the substitute bench. Despite this, he scored a hat–trick for the reserve side on 28 November 2010, in a 4–1 win over Wuppertaler. After briefly out of the first team, due to illness in February, Hoffer scored two weeks after returning from illness, in a 2–1 win over Freiburg on 12 March 2011. At the end of the 2010–11 season, Hoffer went on to make the total of 27 appearances and scoring five times.
Loan spell to Eintracht Frankfurt
After his loan spell at 1. FC Kaiserslautern came to an end, his next loan move was in the 2011–12 season to another German side, Eintracht Frankfurt, who had been relegated to 2. Fußball-Bundesliga on a season-long loan, view to a permanent move. Upon joining the club, Hoffer was given a number 10 shirt ahead of the new season.
Hoffer made his Eintracht Frankfurt debut on 15 July 2011, where he started as a centre–forward and played 90 minutes, in a 3–2 win over Greuther Fürth in the opening game of the season. His first goal for the club came on 30 September 2011, in a 3–1 win over Union Berlin. Three weeks later, on 23 October 2011, Hoffer scored twice, in a 3–0 win over MSV Duisburg. By the end of 2011, he added two more goals. Since joining Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffer struggled in the first team, due to competitions from other strikers. But by January, Hoffer managed to regain his first team place, forming a three men attack alongside Alexander Meier and Mohammadou Idrissou. He then scored and set up two goals during the match, in a 6–1 win over FSV Frankfurt on 18 February 2012. He went on to add three more goals later in the season. Despite being sidelined for one match, Hoffer ended the 2011–12 season with the club promoted to the Bundesliga, having 31 appearances and scoring 9 times in all competitions.
Ahead of the 2012–13 season, Hoffer returned to Napoli after the club did not take up a permanent move for him. Instead, he re–joined Eintracht Frankfurt on loan for another season on 6 August 2012. He scored his 10th goal in his Eintracht Frankfurt career, in a 3–2 win over 1. FC Nürnberg on 21 September 2012. However, Hoffer struggled in the first team, due to competitions, and his own injury concern. As a result, Hoffer asked the club to terminate his loan deal, which the club accepted.
Loan to 1. FC Kaiserslautern (second spell)
Having ruled a return move to Rapid Wien, Hoffer opted to join 1. FC Kaiserslautern again on loan for the rest of the season.
Hoffer re–debut for the club on 4 February 2013, where he came on as a second-half substitute, in a 1–0 win over 1860 Munich. In a next match against Dynamo Dresden on 8 February 2013, Hoffer scored his first FC Kaiserslautern goal since returning on his second loan spell, in a 3–0 win. Having established himself in the first team at 1. FC Kaiserslautern, he went on to score two more goals in the total appearances of 16 for the side.
At the end of the 2012–13 season, Hoffer returned to his parent club. With his first team opportunities limited once more ahead of the 2013–14 season, Hoffer was linked a move to Fortuna Düsseldorf following the club’s failure to sign Jeremy Bokila from Belgian side Zulte Waregem.
On 21 August 2013, Hoffer officially transferred to Fortuna Düsseldorf on a two-year deal, finally ending his miserable time at Napoli.
Hoffer made his Fortuna Düsseldorf debut on 30 August 2013, playing 30 minutes after coming on as a substitute, in a 4–2 loss against Arminia Bielefeld. It wasn’t until on 9 December 2013 when he scored his first goal for the club, in a 1–0 win over 1. FC Kaiserslautern. This was followed up by scoring two more goals against Energie Cottbus and 1. FC Köln. Since joining Fortuna Düsseldorf, Hoffer found himself in a competitions with strikers, such as, Charlison Benschop and Aristide Bancé which saw him placed on the substitute bench in the first half of the season. By the second half of the season, Hoffer managed to regain his first team place under the new management of Oliver Reck. He went on to score six more goals, including scoring four goals in three matches between 26 April 2014 and 11 May 2014 against Erzgebirge Aue (twice), Karlsruher SC and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. In his first season at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Hoffer made the total of 24 appearances and scoring 9 times.
In the 2014–15 season, Hoffer started the opening game of the season well when he set up a goal for Benschop, in a 2–2 draw against Eintracht Braunschweig. He then scored twice on 30 August 2014, in a 3–0 win over Erzgebirge Aue. This was followed up by scoring in the next game on 15 September 2014, in a 2–0 win over 1. FC Nürnberg. He and Benschop continued to form a striking partnership since the start of the 2014–15 season. However, Hoffer’s form led him being replaced by Joel Pohjanpalo and was placed on the substitute bench for the most of the season. Although he had some playing times, mostly coming on from the substitute bench, as well as, his own injury concerns, Hoffer scored again for the first time in eight months, in a 2–0 win over SV Sandhausen on 17 May 2015. In his second season at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Hoffer made the total of 22 appearances and scoring 4 times.
It was announced in April 2015 that Hoffer would be leaving the club at the end of the 2015–16 season after being told his contract was not to be renewed.
After leaving Fortuna Düsseldorf, Hoffer joined Karlsruher SC on 11 June 2015, signing a two–year contract, keeping him until 2017.
Hoffer made his Karlsruher SC debut in the opening game of the season, playing 45 minutes before coming off in the first half, in a 1–0 loss against Greuther Fürth. He then scored his first goal for Karlsruher SC on 14 August 2015, in a 2–1 win over FSV Frankfurt. This was followed up by scoring in the next game on 22 August 2015, in a 2–0 win over MSV Duisburg. By the end of 2015, he went to score two more goals, adding the tally to four goals this season. Since making his Karlsruher debut, Hoffer found himself in a competitions over a striking position with Pascal Köpke, Dimitrij Nazarov, Dimitris Diamantakos and Vadim Manzon and played under Manager Markus Kauczinski in a 4-4-2 tactics. However, Hoffer soon found himself out of the first team, spending time on the substitute bench. At the end of the 2015–16 season, Hoffer finished his first season at the club, making the total of 28 appearances and scoring four times.
In the 2016–17 season, Hoffer continued to remain in the first team, though he stated that: "The coach decides, I'm ready for anything, I want to help the team." It wasn’t until on 24 September 2016 when he scored his first goal of the season, as well as, setting up a goal for Moritz Stoppelkamp, in a 2–0 win over Erzgebirge Aue. He scored again on 29 January 2017, in a 3–2 win over Arminia Bielefeld. However, Hoffer remained in a competitions over a striking position with Diamantakos and Florian Kamberi. This remain until March when he suffered an injury after sustaining it in training. Despite this, Hoffer went on to make the total of 23 appearances and scoring two times.
At the end of the 2016–17 season, Hoffer was released by the club despite being offered a new contract by the club. During his time at Karlsruher, Hoffer quickly became the club’s fan favourite.
KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk
After leaving Karlsruher, Hoffer signed for Belgium side Beerschot Wilrijk, based in the Belgian First Division B, signing a two–year contract on 11 September 2017. He was linked with a move back to Rapid Wien in the summer but it never happened.
Hoffer made his KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk debut on 16 September 2017, coming on as a substitute in the 81st minutes and scored in the 84th minutes just after three minutes coming, in a 2–2 draw against Westerlo.
Austria Youth Team
Hoffer previously represented Austria levels. During the U-20 World Cup in Canada, Hoffer scored 3 times in 8 appearances in the tournament. As a result, Hoffer shaved the name "Jimmy" into one side of his head after receiving that nickname from a coach, Karl Brauneder. The nickname is a reference to Jimmy Hoffa.
In late–May 2007, Hoffer was called up by the senior national team for the first time and made his Austria debut on 2 June 2007, where he played 45 minutes, in a 0–0 draw against Paraguay.
He was part of the Austrian squad that played at Euro 2008, a competition, which Austria co-hosted along with Switzerland. The only match that Hoffer started in was their last group match against Germany in Vienna.
On 1 April 2009, Hoffer scored two goals for Austria in a 2–1 win over Romania in a Qualification match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After missing out two matches in the early 2010s, due to his lack of first team opportunities at Napoli, he made his first appearance in eight months, in a 1–0 loss against Switzerland on 11 August 2010. A month later, he scored again on 7 September 2010, in a 2–0 win over Kazakhstan. By 2012, Hoffer made 28 appearances and scoring 4 times for Austria.
- As of 24 April 2016.
|Admira Wacker Mödling||2004–05||Bundesliga (Austria)||4||0||0||0||—||4||0|
|Rapid Wien||2006–07||Bundesliga (Austria)||21||4||1||0||—||—||22||4|
|Kaiserslautern II (loan)||2010–11||Regionalliga West||1||3||—||1||3|
|Eintracht Frankfurt (loan)||2011–12||2. Bundesliga||30||9||1||0||31||9|
- 1.^ Includes Austrian Cup and German Cup.
- 2.^ Includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
- 3.^ Includes Promotion playoff.
- Scores and results list Austria's goal tally first.
|1.||1 April 2009||Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria||Romania||1–1||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||7 September 2010||Red Bull Arena, Salzburg, Austria||Kazakhstan||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2012 qualification|
|4.||10 August 2011||Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria||Slovakia||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
Hoffer was born to a large family, as he has five sisters and three brothers. Growing up, Hoffer supported Rapid Wien.
Hoffer had his wisdom tooth removed on two occasions, starting from 2010, which had him to wearing a mask. He also owned two cars: Audi Q7 and Ferrari, which was banned from bringing it to training during his time at FC Kaiserslautern.
- Austrian Football Bundesliga (1):