16.07.2019Bayer 04

#B04inAustria – Day 2: Visit from DFB Cup winning captain

The coaching team led by Peter Bosz planned the tastiest session of the week for Tuesday morning – fitness work was the priority. Lars Bender, Kevin Volland and Co. worked their socks off with the ball at their feet at the Alois Latini Stadium. Up to the point when nearly everybody’s batteries had run down.

Maximum demands

'FCT' is an abbreviation that has caused one or other footballer to begin sweating before the start of a training session. Understandably so. Football conditioning training is about pushing the players to their physical limits and maximising their fitness. As with this morning, when Peter Bosz divided his players up into three teams with seven outfield players to play matches against each other. After the warm-up and a range of passing drills and positional moves, the games lasted for 40 minutes: yellow against red, yellow against blue and blue against red. The games lasted three minutes each with rolling subs. Under blue skies with a temperature of 26 degrees. No effort was spared. Urged on by Peter Bosz and his assistants Hendrie Krüzen and Xaver Zembrod on the touchlines. It lasted until the players started to clearly appear tired.

Victory for red team

"The fact several players were laid out on the ground at the end shows they gave 100 per cent," said the satisfied Dutchman afterwards. "We are working with different players – what the limit is for one player is perhaps too little for the next or even too much. That's why several players completed sprints beforehand. We have to try and differentiate and find the right balance. And I think we achieved that today," said Bosz. No pain, no gain. Many a Werkself pro can be delighted to have survived the toughest session of the week. The mini tournament was won by the red team consisting of Niklas Lomb, Ayman Azhil, Lars Bender (Cem Türkmen), Karim Bellarabi, Aleksandar Dragovic, Joel Pohjanpalo and Daley Sinkgraven.

Rudi Völler joins the team

Rudi Völler joined the Bayer 04 group around midday. The sporting managing director of Bayer 04 arrived at the team hotel just before lunch. The route would not have been a problem for him as the former sporting director has been present every year since the first visit in 2013. "We all feel very much at home here," said the 59-year-old who was more than happy to field questions from the media representatives. Possible transfer activity was the main interest. "We made the most important decisions a couple of weeks ago," said Völler talking about the transfer of Kerem Demirbay and the retention of Kai Havertz. "Everything else we are doing now is fine tuning. Where can we improve? How can we strengthen?" Those questions are occupying the management at the moment who, according to the 1990 World Cup winner, are united: "We've more to do yet."

Franco Foda pays a visit

Another familiar face called in on the Werkself on Tuesday: Franco Foda, captain of the DFB Cup winning side of 1993. Since 2018 he has been working with the former Stuttgart man Imre Szabics in coaching the Austrian national team with Julian Baumgartlinger and Aleksandar Dragovic established members of that squad. Foda and Szabics not only dropped in on the morning session at the Alois Latini Stadium but also visited the team HQ to meet up with their international charges in the lobby.

Baumi continues working on his comeback

Talking about Julian Baumgartlinger. While his team-mates had time off after lunch, Baumi continued to work on his comeback. After the 31-year-old suffered inflamation in his foot, the Austria captain has had to ease off and is still not able to take part in full training. Nevertheless, he joined the trip to his home country to work on his return alongside his team-mates. The Werkself number 15 worked in the hotel fitness facilities; in the afternoon he completed a 70-minute special session with the ball under the guidance of head physio Sven Elsinger.

Afternoon kick-about

The time, where Baumi was working hard in the afternoon sun over the Salzburger Land, was used by others to be active on the pitch. The Black and Red team assistants formed a group that put on their boots along with sporting director Simon Rolfes and team manager Hans-Peter Lehnhoff for a kick-about at the Alois Latini Stadium. The two former midfielders and Bayer 04 legends again amply demonstrated they have not forgotten anything about playing the game.


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