1.09.2020Bayer 04

News in brief: Bosz and Feifel can continue with five subs

The DFB has announced the number of substitutions allowed for the new season, the kicker has included several Werkself players in its rankings, and Germany U21 coach Stefan Kuntz talks about Florian Wirtz‘ future with Germany: the news in brief on Tuesday.

The Werkself returned to the training ground for the first time on Monday after a short ‘summer break’. The team under head coach Peter Bosz play their first competitive match in just under two weeks time. Regional League North outfit Eintracht Norderstsedt provide the opposition in the first round of the DFB Cup at the BayArena on 13 September (kick-off: 15.30 CET). As was the case last term after the break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, Bosz will again be able to make five substitutions. That was announced by the German Football Association (DFB) at the start of the week.

It remains to be seen whether the Dutchman will be able to make five instead of three substitutions in the Bundesliga. The German Football League (DFL) has a general meeting planned for Thursday 3 September and that will be on the agenda.

The decision of the DFB applies to the women’s cup competition plus the women’s Bundesliga as well as the men’s DFB Cup. That means Achim Feifel, head coach of the Werkself Women’s team, will be able to make a total of five substitutions at three different points in every game in the new campaign.

Lars Bender and Kai Havertz impress

The kicker is currently looking back at the second half of last season. The Monday edition of the specialist magazine published further parts of its biannual ranking of German football. Lars Bender was sixth in the full backs category. The Werkself skipper just outside the top five. “Lars Bender is better than the Bundesliga average in defensive midfield as well as at right back,” was the reasoning. “A highly reliable factor in all competitions.”

The defensive midfield ranking includes a Black and Red trio in the up-and-coming section: Charles Aránguiz, Julian Baumgartlinger and Kerem Demirbay. A position further up the pitch – attacking midfield – sees Kai Havertz at the top of the listings. The Leverkusen playmaker is second in the international section – just behind Thomas Müller (FC Bayern). The assessment: “In the second half of the season, Kai Havertz rediscovered his inimitable mix of dominance, fluency and goal threat.”

Player of the Year: Havertz fourth

The ranking continues – with a clear result: Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was voted Player of the Year with 276 out of 525 valid votes. Bayer 04 congratulate the player. The record champions’ number nine found the back of the net in the recent games against the Werkself: Lewandowski scored three goals in the three games in the league and the DFB Cup. Hats off!

Lewandowski is ahead of teammates Thomas Müller (54 votes) and Joshua Kimmich (49). Kai Havertz was in the highest position after the treble winners from Munich. The 21-year-old scored twelve goals for Bayer 04 in the Bundesliga last term. With 17 votes, Havertz shared fourth place with Timo Werner (RB Leipzig, now at Chelsea).

FC Bayern boss Hansi Flick was the top coach Hansi Flick (223 vote) and the best women’s player was Pernille Harder from double winners VfL Wolfsburg (212). The vote held by kicker every year since 1960 is open to members of the German Sports Journalists’ Association (VDS).

Germany: Kuntz sees Wirtz in the U21s

The current international break sees Florian Wirtz join his teammates at the Leverkusen training sessions. By agreement between the DFB and Bayer 04, the 17-year-old did not join the U21 national squad. The Germany U21 coach Stefan Kuntz is still planning to include the Pulheim-born player in his squad in the future. “We’ve discussed with the DFB what’s best for the development of Flo. We believe that would be the highest junior team,” said Kuntz. That means Wirtz would bypass the U18 team. The shooting star would have become the youngest ever Germany U21 international with an appearance in the current international break. His debut has just “been put back a bit,” said Kuntz.

Women: Opening home game live on free TV

The Bayer 04 Women’s team start their new league season two weeks before the Werkself. On Sunday, 6 September (kick-off: 14.00 CET), there is an away game at SC Freiburg. The team under head coach Achim Feifel start their new season at home a week later. MSV Duisburg visit Leverkusen on Friday, 11 September. The kick-off is at 19.15 CET at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. If and when, or how many, spectators will be permitted at these games will announced by Bayer 04 through the club channels as soon as possible. It is already certain that the first home game for the Werkself Women’s team will be live on free TV on Eurosport.

Sebescen: Kreisliga instead of Bundesliga

Zoltan Sebescen played for Bayer 04 from 2001 to 2004. He made 32 appearances in the Bundesliga for the Werkself, and 18 in the Champions League. After his time at Bayer 04, the right back took a break – until his comeback for TV Unterboihingen. Sebescen, now 44, last year opted to join the Kreisliga club from Swabia. In his debut at the weekend , the former professional player scored the third goal in the 3-0 win for his TV. And if there are no Kreisliga games, Sebescen still likes playing for the Bayer 04 Veterans.

Fritz and Hussein: DFB Referees of the Year

Not just players and coaches are honoured at the end of the season. Every year, the DFB presents awards to the best male and female referees. In 2020, the winners were Riem Hussein and Marco Fritz. The latter refereed the Werkself twice in the Bundesliga last season: At the 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig and the 1-0 away win at SC Freiburg. Hussein was in charge of one match for the Bayer 04 Woman in 2019/20 in the FLYERALARM Woman’s Bundesliga: a 0-0 draw at FF USV Jena.

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