On Sunday afternoon, in their opening friendly of the summer during the Neurippin training camp, Vedad Ibišević led side side out onto the pitch and to a convincing 4-1 win against 3. Liga side Eintracht Braunschweig. Although the Bosnian striker wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet, he was on hand to set up Sidney Friede for Hertha’s second goal of the day with a spectacular overhead-kick. The 34 year-old will captain the side once more in 2019/20. However, this isn’t new news according to new Hertha head coach Ante Čović. “Personally, there were no doubts surrounding this decision. I have seen in my first few days at the club how Vedad handles things in the dressing room as well as his role and importance to the team. There is no reason to think about anyone else for captain.”
Nevertheless, this is positive recognition for the Bosnian. “I’m proud to continue my role as captain for next season. None of my tasks or my overall in the team has changed. As captain, but also as an older player in the squad, I have to take on the responsibility,” added a modest Ibišević. Everyone who has seen the 34 year-old play on at least one occasion knows that the Hertha number 19 doesn’t just give 100% week in week out. As a result of these qualities, Ibišević remains Hertha’s uncontested leader. “I want to give my team and also the new coaching team everything I have both on and off the pitch. That has always been the case and it won’t be changing.” New head coach Čović will be pleased to hear this as his captain takes these extra duties onto the pitch.
Lots of communication in Neuruppin
A change in coaching staff brings lots of new impulses, ideas and challenges so there has been a lot of communication between the team and the coaching staff so far during the training camp in Neuruppin. This has gone well so far for the Croatian: “Ante has a very personal style as a head coach. In the short time he has been head coach, has already managed to introduce his style of play and how he expects and wants us to play. He has given us a couple of tips to achieve this and they make a lot of sense. Each day is about improving and perfecting our game.” Hertha’s new coach is constantly interrupting drills to introduce new ideals or show the players clips from training to work on ideas on the pitch as well as improving them.
The new ideas are based on trying to create more chances in front of goal and this plays into the hands of someone like Ibišević. “Of course it is easier for us strikers to create chances in the team. However, this starts with good build up play from the back,” outlines the striker regarding the general task for the team. It remains unclear as to how many centre forwards Čović will use going into the Bundesliga matches this forthcoming season. The veteran is laughing off the discussions with a bit of humour. “So far, it doesn’t sound like I am going to play two strikers. However, that is football and that is competition for a starting place, exactly what we needed. We will give everything to play in those matches.” Vedad Ibišević also certainly has enough motivation for the new season: “As for scoring goals, I simply cannot get enough.”