Berlin- Michael Preetz was close by as Hertha undertook their first training camp of the season in Bad Saarow, looking in on the Blue-Whites going through their paces for over a week, as well as getting a chance to observe some of the new arrivals for the first time. “We wanted to get the new men in early this season so they had time to bed in a get to know the rest of the squad,” said Preetz.
...the upcoming season: It’s obviously a special season, as it’s been a while since we were in Europe. We are looking forward to the coming season, because the squad has been fighting for nearly two years now to get into Europe, and they have earned that right in the last two years. The past has shown how tough it is to crack this challenge too. The taxing workload is also a challenge. As a result is good to be prepared, Things, which don’t get so much notice in public, such as diet or medicine start to play such an important role.
… the increased workload: It’s the same for everyone. Team who are not used to this, fighting on two or three frionts often have more problems during a season than others. As a result we’re looking to optimize the time inbetween games this season and make everything as comfortable as possible for the players. We are looking forward to the challenge and want to show that you can achieve a lot with this workload. As a development team we are always looking for the chance to young players a chance. If they come far enough then we can think about playing them in the Europa League. It’s a great stage for young players to show themselves and develop further early. But it’s a tough exercise and only a few players will play three times in a week.
…first ambitions: Clubs like Schalke, Leverkusen, Wolfsburg or Gladbach operate in a normal footballing world in front of Hertha. If we went to the limit of our abilities we were able cause those top teams problems. It always remains the aim to perform well in the Bundesliga and the Europa League and to put out the best possible die for every game. It’s a bit early to be setting goals, because we want to discuss that with the players as well. We’ve got one eye on the rearview mirror too, as we want to secure our Bundesliga status. Every year the Bundesliga gives us a chance to expand ourselves and our economic strength.
…the transfers: We were able to get things tied up with the transfers early this summer. It won’t necessarily serve as the benchmark for the coming seasons to get everything done early, but it’s certainly no bad thing that the new players can arrive and get to know the rest of the boys as soon as possible. As soon as the whole squad has been assembled then we will look at planning and we will wait to see what other demands are required. As far as departures are concerned, with Genki Haraguchi it could go either way. I think he’s a lot more cheerful than he was at most points last season. I think it was a good idea to quieten the transfer talk and wait on it.
…the John Brooks‘ departure: When it came to John we just thought it was the right time to sell him. VfL Wolfsburg were interested in him and he wanted to go there. We were very happy with the way the transfer went because it opened the door to other things. Without selling John we would not have been able to purchase Davie Selke that’s for sure.
… Jonathan Klinsmann: We were not surprised by the media interest upon signing Jonathan. I think the best thing now is to let the young lad get on with things in peace. He wants to get a chance in Europe and wanted to take his first steps towards that with us here. He is under-23 but will train with the first team. We were looking for a new second team goalkeeper as well. He must now decide if he wants to study or go into professional football. It’s a first step for him, who we definitely wanted because we see a lot of potential in him.
… the upcoming anniversary: We are very much looking forward to the 25th July and the 125 year celebrations, and we will be celebrating the whole week. But we won’t just be heralding the past, but the future as well. We cannot influence the things that have happened already, but rather only the things which lie in front of us.