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Focus on Hertha!

New signing Karim Rekik wants to kick start his career after lost year in Marseille.

Bad Saarow – Karim Rekik watched from the sidelines as his new teammates played their first friendly at the start of their training camp in Oranienburg. It was simply a precautionary measure after the Netherlands international complained of a slight knock. But the central defender took part in the full-on training schedule – devised by the coaching team, and in particular fitness coach Henrik Kuchno – with his teammates in Bad Saarow the next morning.

Defender Karim Rekik challenges Maurice Covic for the ball.

Bad Saarow – Karim Rekik watched from the sidelines as his new teammates played their first friendly at the start of their training camp in Oranienburg. It was simply a precautionary measure after the Netherlands international complained of a slight knock. But the central defender took part in the full-on training schedule – devised by the coaching team, and in particular fitness coach Henrik Kuchno – with his teammates in Bad Saarow the next morning.

"Of course, this is a tough time but it’s clear that we have to prepare well and lay the foundations for the new season," said Rekik after his first few days. He already feels at home at the club, especially thanks to the welcome from his new teammates. "They made it really easy for me to settle in and helped me feel comfortable here right away," he said. The 22-year-old has a lot in common with one particular player in the squad. He will battle it out with home-grown talent Jordan Torunarigha to play on the left of central defence but Rekik sees him as a teammate rather than a rival. "He’s a really funny, good guy. He even listens to Dutch music – I had to laugh at that. But it instantly gave us some common ground," said the newcomer.

Fresh start with a new team

Karim Rekik came to Berlin from Marseille in summer after a disappointing year in the French Riviera. "I played a lot in my first year in Marseille but not so much in my second season." It was a difficult period with several managerial changes during his time at the club. "I worked with four managers in two years – that wasn’t at all easy with so many changes," he reflected. But Rekik also believes there were some advantages to these experiences: "I learned lots from the different tactics and formations. Hopefully I’ll benefit from that at Hertha." The defender, who featured for Marseille’s reserve team last season, can play at centre back, left back or defensive midfield. 

Salomon Kalou and new signing Karim Rekik know each other from their time together in Holland.

Despite being just 22, Karim Rekik is already an experienced player, who has spent time in the Netherlands, England and most recently, in France. His new boss Pál Dárdai is full of praise for both Rekik’s athleticism but also ability to play it out from the back. He’s also capable of marshalling the defence and those in front of him: "I’m not shy to say what I think. If I can see that someone in front of me could be doing better, I’ll tell them."

Excited for the upcoming season


Rekik is ready and raring to go for the new season. "The Bundesliga is an attractive league. I’m looking forward to getting started and playing. I hope that I can help the team – in every game and in every training session. I’m fully focussed on helping Hertha BSC succeed." The squad are currently focussed on training and there will certainly be a couple of hard sessions for Rekik and his new teammates in the coming days. After returning from Bad Saarow, the team will face their second pre-season friendly next weekend. Karim Rekik will certainly be involved – his first chance to pull on the famous blue and white shirt.

 

Teams, 09.07.2017
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