There were enthusiastic renditions of 'Happy Birthday, Volli' amongst the Werkself squad throughout the day. Before breakfast, Kevin Volland was the recipient of lots of handshakes, embraces and congratulations – before the training session where there was a serenade for the 26-year-old. Many happy returns, Kevin!
The training camp is primarily aimed at making intensive progress in improving fitness levels. No wonder, as two weeks after returning from Salzburger Land the Werkself have the first competitive encounter of the new campaign with the DFB Cup tie (18 August) away to CfR Pforzheim. But that doesn't mean that tactics took a back seat. "We did a huge amount of tactical work in the first few weeks and now we're carrying that on at the training camp," explained Herrlich at this afternoon's press conference in the team hotel. That was repeated in the first part of the second session of the day. But then the focus was once again on the physical side of the game – with an intensive fitness work-out. No holds barred.
More good news today when Panos Retsos and Charles Aránguiz were able to return full training after their recent periods on the sidelines. And Karim Bellarabi, who was rested after suffering the worse effects of the heat, was also able to put his boots on again today – after a solo session this morning, he may be able to join in with the full training session tomorrow afternoon. Keeper Lukas Hradecky – the only member of the Werkself group at the training camp – will have to keep away from training. In the shadow of the training ground (and his team-mates) in Zell am See, the Finn completed a cardio-programme and fitness drills in the mornings.
Hats off. At the morning session, the Werkself received a vocal reception from some 30 fans from back home. In return, they were welcomed by head coach Heiko Herrlich in the stands – each with a handshake from the boss. The 46-year-old coach had a chat with the Bayer 04 fans; thanking them for their support last season. Respect indeed.
With temperatures over 30 degrees at the second training session in the afternoon, the coaching staff certainly put the players through their paces. A visit to Lake Zell provided a welcome opportunity for the Werkself to cool down. Led by birthday boy Kevin Volland, Julian Baumgartlinger and skipper Lars Bender the whole squad took the plunge in the lake. The trio led the way diving into the water from a wooden jetty with their team-mates joining in the fun. Others remained on the banks cooling their legs – as far as the 'lake monster' Sven Bender spared his team-mates... ;-)
After the final training session of last season and the extended break due to the World Cup, Julian Brandt finally rejoined his team-mates on the training ground today. It was no surprise the Germany international was in demand with the members of the media present, as well as with fans and Bayer 04 TV. The 22-year-old did not miss the chance to do the Bayer 04 Instagram story on Monday between the training sessions. Talking of which: Via the hashtag #B04inAustria (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) it is possible to keep up-to-date with the Werkself in Salzburger Land round the clock. It's worth a look.
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