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.
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.
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.
The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 on Bundesliga matchday 12 and again succeeded in holding on to top spot in the table as well as setting a new Bundesliga and club record. The facts, stats and reaction to the away win in Bremen is here in the Werkself review.Show more
The annual Black and Red Week is drawing to a close. And day 04, on Sunday 26 November, brings you an exclusive offer on Bayer 04 membership…Show more
The first of eight games across all competitions before the winter break has been won: The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 away on Bundesliga matchday 12. The goals scored were an own goal (9') and one each from Jeremie Frimpong (42') and Alejandro Grimaldo (76'). The away win ensures Bayer 04 stay top of the table.Show more
The final international break of 2023 is over and now Bayer 04 start a busy run of fixtures up to the winter break. The first of eight games across all competitions before Christmas is today’s away fixture at Werder Bremen (kick-off: 15.30 CET). The latest updates on the game at the Weserstadion.Show more