8.07.2022Bayer 04

Hradecky: Compete at the top again

Following his well-deserved summer holiday, Bayer 04 captain Lukas Hradecky trained with the Werkself again for the first time on Thursday 7 July. After an exhaustive first session of the new season, the 32 year-old Finland goalkeeper fielded questions from journalists.

Lukas Hradecky on…

…his summer holiday after the Nations League matches with Finland: I stayed in Finland after the internationals, was then in Slovakia and France because Joel (teammate and fellow countrymen Pohjanpalo, ed.) got married there. I followed Finnish football a bit during the holiday and watched a couple of my brother’s games. It did me good physically and mentally to switch off a bit. I would have been happy to spend another week away but I'm also happy to be back.

…his first session at the BayArena: I completed my first performance tests yesterday and also spoke to the coach. But I know for myself: I always need seven to ten days before I get really fit again. Next week's training camp is coming at just the right time.



…the training camp in Salzburger Land: I'm looking forward to it. The location is great and the training pitches are good too. And, of course, we're playing against two good opponents in Panathinaikos and Udinese. They will be exciting matches.

…the current Werkself squad: The coach is very happy with the current situation and the physical condition of the players. One or two are still missing but everybody is fit so far – and I'm very happy about that too. There were still a few question marks at this time in the last preseason. There are a few less today. But that's also good. We can see what's on the fixture list and we need every individual player. Therefore, it is important that everybody completes the whole preseason.

…big moments of the coming season: I'm obviously very much looking forward to the Champions League. The last Champions League season wasn’t satisfactory to me. This season I want to be a safe pair of hands in that competition. I'm not a fan of training so I'm looking forward to the many busy weeks on the pitch.

…targets for the forthcoming season: I think we performed particularly well in the last Rückrunde and that showed us we can compete with the big teams. We want to compete for the top positions again in the new season.

…the support of Bayer 04 fans: After the coronavirus break, we saw how our fans were happy to finally be back in the stadium. And even if there are one or two defeats they support us before and after the game as much as they can. We have to remain united to master the challenges. We get on with each other really well and I obviously hope we can play in front of a full house in the coming season.

…his personal contract situation: There's nothing new at the moment. Simon Rolfes and I had our first good discussions in Mexico but nothing more during my holiday. We'll sit down again in peace and quiet and then see what happens. I think Bayer 04 want to keep me and I'm in a good frame of mind.

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