Since the start of the week, the club from the capital have begun preparations for the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. New Blue-Whites head coach Ante Čović has led his first three sessions in charge of the team and the players have got a taste for what to expect over the next six weeks of training. Now, the squad have travelled north-west of Berlin to the Brandenburg town of Neuruppin for their first training camp of the summer (3rd-10th July). The Blue-Whites will use all of their preserved energy to raise their standards in Neuruppin. “In the afternoons, our focus will be on putting the foundations in place so that we can get into the right mindset for the new season,” said the new head coach, who also wants to use the time in Neuruppin alongside assistant coaches Harald Gämperle and Mirko Dickhaut to get to know their squad better.
Athletics coach Henrik Kuchno will be leading the team through sweat-inducing fitness and conditioning sessions this week in Neuruppin. “Alongside our work, I’m convinced that Henrik Kuchno will be able to put the athletic foundations in place for the rest of the season,” said Čović. Other exercises on the programme include interval runs, circuit training and work with medicine balls or weights.
It is no secret to players that they can expect a tough week of training in Neuruppin. “Hard work is a pivotal part to every pre-season,” said captain Vedad Ibišević. “I think Henrik is excited for these days of training,” added Davie Selke with a grin while Per Skjelbred said: “We are all excited for that relieving feeling once the sessions are over. We will have to go through the pain but know it is important for us.”
Players on senior international duty return – Thomas Kraft misses trip
24 players have been in training action so far this week but goalkeeper Thomas Kraft has been ruled out of the week long training camp with a shoulder injury. Luis Klatte will replace the 30 year-old, who instead will be training individually in Berlin. The players who have represented their senior national teams in June have also returned for pre-season including Peter Pekarik, Niklas Stark, Ondrej Duda and Muhammed Kiprit. New signing Dedryck Boyata, who had been training individually with athletics coach Hendrick Vieth this week, will also travel to train with his new teammates. Ante Čović will therefore have 28 players at his disposal in Neuruppin. Alongside Kraft, the only other absentees are the Germany U21 internationals who have only just returned from Italy following Sunday’s European Championship final defeat. New signing Eduard Löwen, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Arne Maier have been given an extended holiday following the tournament and will start pre-season training on 16th July, linking up with their teammates on 19th July.
High temperatures expected in Neuruppin – Friendly against Braunschweig
Čović will lead two sessions each day during the Brandenburg training camp with the exception of Sunday, 7th July. The Blue-Whites will face 3. Liga side Eintracht Braunschweig in a friendly at 15:00 CEST instead. “We have only arranged one friendly for this training camp as we wanted to place more focus on the physical work,” said the Croatian head coach. The friendly is set to be played over three sets of 40 minutes.
Hertha will stay in the Resort Mark Brandenburg hotel, just a ten minute journey from their training base at Neuruppin’s Volkspark-Stadion. The team are expecting to train through a heatwave this week with temperatures exceeding 20 degrees for the entire duration of the training camp.