Running drills are no problem for Vladimir Darida – the Czech international is one of the players who loves them. Despite the intense daily training, Hertha’s number six is in good spirits as he is finally able to train fully again. The previous season could be seen as tough one, as the 28 year old was often troubled by injuries and as such only managed to make ten appearances in the Bundesliga. However Darida is keen to put the season behind him and look ahead. herthabsc.de spoke to the midfielder on the current mood around training, the conditions and the end of his injury spell.
herthabsc.de: Vladi, you’re halfway through the training camp. How are the legs?
Darida: So far, all good. But I did a lot ahead of the start of pre season and was still part of ‘DaVinci’ with the physio. I only took one week off this summer and started a little bit before the team. For me it was very important to be 100% at the start of pre-season, so I stayed in Berlin over summer.
herthabsc.de: Despite the hard work under Henrik Kuchno, the mood is still really high. What is that down to?
Darida: Perhaps it’s because we all had a holiday and came back in a good mood (laughs). But it is still the first week – we are all aware that the programme is essential. We will see the benefits of the hard work as the season goes on. Here in Neuruppin we can concentrate fully and focus on training, which is even easier in the training camp. You don’t have to worry about everyday things, such as cooking. It is a great service.
herthabsc.de: What do you think of the conditions here? It isn’t easy for you to draw any comparisons, but you were also here a year ago…
Darida: I’ve never had such a difficult year in my career – there were so many injuries. When you’re injured so often and for so long, it gets quite difficult mentally. When you’re always working to get your body back in shape and then get another setback, it is a little bit depressing. And rehabilitation training is always different to training on the pitch with the team. I want to tick off the season just gone and focus fully on what is to come.
herthabsc.de: The first game of pre season was on Sunday. How was it to finally be back out playing?
Darida: You just have to look at the last time I played. It was amazing, it just felt really good. I really enjoyed the way we played and the result when you consider the stage of pre season.
herthabsc.de: You can still see the enjoyment right now…
Darida: I am pleased that I’m fit again and I’m looking ahead. I have so much desire to play football and to train. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a good year.
herthabsc.de: There are a lot of players vying for a centre-midfield position. Is that competition or incentive for you?
Darida: Healthy competition is always good. With us everything is fair in training so that everyone benefits. I am in good shape, can contribute a lot and want to win. I would like to play regularly in the league again this season.
herthabsc.de: We’re still in the early stages of pre season. What kind of impression have you got from Ante Čović so far?
Darida: You can see that he has his ideals and he is setting everything in place to bring us towards that. SO far everything is working well. I think that we will play some nice football if we are able to do everything that he tells us. In comparison to last year, we are more attack orientated. It will be important to have a good balance.
herthabsc.de: What are your aims for the 2019/20 season?
Darida: My wish is to stay fit. In terms of football, it is too early to say. We will definitely come together as a group in the coming weeks and discuss that.