Werkself pros train with Bayer 04 youngsters

16.50 CET on Wednesday night shortly before the start of training at the Kurtekotten Performance Centre. Bayer 04 youth team players spread out on the training pitches as usual. But there were several special guests at training in the middle of the action – from the Werkself senior squad. Robert Andrich and Co. completed several sessions with the youth players from the U12 to U15 teams. Afterwards the children and the first team enjoyed pizzas together in the changing rooms and there was enough time to pepper the Leverkusen pros with questions.

The U12 players started warming up on pitch one at 17.00 CET on the dot. But there were two additional players there last night: Nadiem Amiri and Karim Bellarabi joined in with the youth players while Xabi Alonso's assistant coach Alberto Encinas worked in tandem with U12 coach Yannick Lamberz in preparing the first drill in the 90-minute session.


Loads of parents were on the touchlines to see their children train with the first team players. "The parents are absolutely thrilled with this event – and the children really so," declared Rainer Fehl, parental support officer at Bayer 04, on the edge of the pitch at Kurtekotten.

match with Diaby, Technical work with Wirtz

There was an international element on the next pitch. Amine Adli and Alonso's assistant coach Sebastian Parrilla joined the U13 training group. The kids had no problem with the English instructions from the Argentinian or talking to the France U21 international Adli.



While Niklas Lomb held a session with the keepers from the four youth teams, there was a seven vs seven tournament for the U14 players on the pitch at the end of the complex. Wearing a yellow bib was Germany international Florian Wirtz. In the team without the bibs: Bayer 04 regular starter Robert Andrich. There were no signs of nerves from the youngsters. As usual, they played their fast passing game.

The warm-up routine for the oldest youth team present, the U15 side, was followed by a practice match. In the middle of the action was the France international Moussa Diaby.

"great connection between the BayArena and Kurtekotten"

Time moved on and it was soon the end of the unusual training session for the U12 to U15 age groups. Afterwards there were pizzas the first team and youth players in the dressing rooms and there was obviously a lot to talk about. There were plenty of questions for the pros. Selfies and autographs were also on the agenda. Memories of an unforgettable day with their idols...


"A more than successful event that once again shows the great connection between the BayArena and Kurtekotten," said Maximilian Straub in summing up the session. The assistant head of the Performance Centre, Thomas Eichin, was the organiser of the joint training session for the youngsters and the pros. "The lads had real fun as did the pros. We are already looking forward to the second part next week."

The second group of the Werkself squad will work with the Leverkusen U8 to U11 teams.

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