Berlin – Summer, sun, pre-season and Schladming. Once again Pál Dárdai has chosen this as the perfect way to ensure his squad are fine-tuned for the new Bundesliga season. From the 4th to the 11th August Hertha will be back in Schladming, a destination which Hertha have now been visiting in the summer since 2014. The only time that Hertha didn’t visit the town famed for its background of mountains and fresh air, was back in 2016 when Hertha had to play the qualifiers for the UEFA Europa League.
Four players out injured
The main difference between the trip last year is that Hertha will play three pre-season friendlies as opposed to two. Hertha will take on FC Liefering (06.08.18, 17:00 CEST), Al-Shadab Riad (08.08.18, 18:00 CEST) and Aiginiakos FC (10.08.18, 18:00 CEST). “We have a big squad and every player should get the opportunity to play at least 90 minutes,” explained Dárdai. 26 players will travel to Austria, with four staying at home due to injuries – Vladimir Darida (bone marrow oedema in the knee), Peter Pekarik (knee), Davie Selke (pneumothorax) and Sidney Friede (ankle). Florian Baak was called up from the U23 squad to replace Friede, while goalkeeper Dennis Smarsch will stay in Berlin to gain some minutes with the U23’s.
Final test before first competitive game
The final test ahead of the first competitive game against Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Pokal (20th August, 18:30 CEST) will be against Hallescher FC on the 15th August (16:00 CEST). Hallescher FC, who like Braunschweig are in the third-division, will take on Hertha in the Stadion auf dem Wurfplatz/Amateurstadion in Berlin. The Bundesliga begins on 25th August (15:30 CEST) with a fixture against promoted side 1.FC Nürnberg.