Berlin – Slowly but surely the new season is approaching. The Hertha players have already completed the ‘torture’ inflicted on them by fitness coach Henrik Kuchno in Neuruppin, the second training camp in Schladming is just around the corner and the first competitive match at Eintracht Braunschweig in the cup is just three weeks away now. Head coach Pál Dárdai gave the squad the past week off, before they returned to the training ground on Monday (30th July). “We made it clear to the players that this week off was a totally different type of holiday to one after a season. I’m satisfied with how hard they have worked,” said Dárdai. “All the players have come back fresh and raring to go.”
World Cup participants back with the squad
Two familiar faces, Marvin Plattenhardt and Mathew Leckie, were back training with the squad again on Monday, after training individually with fitness coach Hendrik Vieth since their return from the World Cup. Dárdai commented, “Marvin and Mathew have been working very hard over the past weeks.” The final phase of pre-season can also be clearly recognised by the smaller training group. Five players (Sinan Kurt, Florian Baak, Maurice Čović, Nikos Zografakis and Florian Krebs) were sent to Ante Čović’s U23 side after the training camp in Neuruppin. As well as this, Maximilian Pronichev has gone on loan to second-division side Erzgebirge Aue until the end of the season. A further five players were also missing on Monday due to various injuries. Davie Selke (pneumothorax) and Vladimir Darida (knee) will miss the start of the season, while Sidney Friede (ankle ligament) and Peter Pekarik (knee) are currently out of action. Palko Dárdai, who has a stomach bug, is also out, but according to his father Pál Dárdai, “should return to training on Tuesday.”
Double training sessions in the heat
There are double training sessions planned for the team on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (at 10 and 4), before the team will train one last time on Friday morning, ahead of the trip to Schladming on Saturday the 4th August. The players will then add the final touches to their pre-season preparations before the new campaign.