16.02.2023Bayer 04

Pentz: ‘I already feel at home’

Patrick Pentz joined Bayer 04 two weeks ago from Ligue 1 club Stade Reims. The Austrian was in the Werkself squad for the first time at the weekend in the away game at FC Augsburg (0-1). The 26-year-old goalkeeper talked to about his motivation for the move to Leverkusen, the surroundings where he feels comfortable, his neighbours in the dressing room as well as working with the other keepers.

Patrick, you've already been in Leverkusen for two weeks. How have you settled in with us here at the club?

Pentz: To be honest, I really feel at home although you've got fewer mountains here (he laughs). It was important to me to make a change in my situation this winter. I didn't have to think about it very long when I got the offer from Bayer 04 – Leverkusen are a big club and I definitely wanted to take this great chance. And then everything went really quickly.



You played in Austria for years, including at RB Salzburg and Austria Vienna, and then you went abroad for the first time to France in the summer. That didn't seem to work out so well for you. What do you need to feel happy and be able to produce performances and what attracted you to Bayer 04?

Pentz: If you don't speak a language 100 per cent, the food is different and there’s another culture then it is very different. I underestimated that. I was open to it and it was an important experience for me but I just feel comfortable here in Germany – also on the pitch. The style of play was physical in France. In contrast, in the Bundesliga it all depends on speed. Our training here is about tactics and technique, we often train moves in restricted spaces with lots of quick shots. I'm really up for that.

What reception have you had from your new teammates?

Pentz: Funnily enough, I'm in the French-speaking corner of the dressing room. So I can continue working on my French and I almost understand everything. It's only difficult to me if, for example, Moussa (Diaby, ed.) and Amine (Adli, ed.) talk in slang to each other. But I'm practising hard every day (he laughs). We've got a lot of different characters in the team, everybody's really open, we've got lots of really cool blokes here. It's a great team.

How have you got on with the other keepers up to now?

Pentz: ​It's a great working environment. Amongst the goalkeepers, and in spite of the pressure to succeed, you have to get on as you spend most of the day with each other. Here at Bayer 04, I noticed straightaway how professional everything is, what incredible quality there is and that we can also have lots of fun with each other. I really feel at home.



Your father Werner Pentz was also a successful goalkeeper and is currently the goalkeeping coach with the Austria U16 team. What role has he played in your career and how often do you talk to each other about football?

Pentz: My father did play but got involved with coaching very early on. For example, he worked as a coach with Rambo (Ramazan Özcan, current Bayer 04 U19 goalkeeping coach, ed.) in Salzburg. Of course, he didn't force me to be a goalkeeper. But I do think he wanted it to happen. But it would never have worked out if he had tried to coach me himself. We would only have argued all day. We often talk about football but sometimes we have completely different opinions. After that we don't speak to each other on the phone for a couple of days but that's okay and it’s all part and parcel of it. But we were unanimous on my decision to come to Leverkusen. (He laughs).


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