This hasn’t been Davie Selke’s first pre-season with Hertha. After all, the striker has been at the capital since 2017. However, the arduous, five-week long preparation has been a very different one for him this time. It’s not usually a period of the season the players enjoy, but Selke has been savouring the chance to push himself. At the third time of asking, the German striker has managed to get through a Hertha pre-season without getting injured, with just a couple of days to go until the first game of the 2019/20 campaign against VfB Eichstätt (Sunday, 11th August, 15:30 CEST). “I’m feeling good – I’m fit and raring to go,” said Selke. Between Wednesday’s two training sessions, he managed to find time to talk to herthabsc.de about the battle for places, season goals and the opening game.
Davie Selke on…
…his focus in pre-season: This summer, it was important for my focus to solely be on the football, on training and the games. That’s why I didn’t take part in any interviews. Getting injured in pre-season has almost become something of a pastime for me in recent years and it really sets me back. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case this time. I’m feeling good – I’m fit and raring to go. At 24 years old, I know by now that my fitness levels need to be at a certain point to be able to play my best football. When that’s been the case, things have worked out for me.
…Ante Covic’s playing style: The new coach wants us to work our way out of situations by keeping the ball on the ground, which I’m a fan of. I think it’s a playing style that benefits all of the forwards. The aim is to win the ball high up the pitch and break quickly. If we can’t do that, then we’ll look to work the ball around and wait for the perfect moment to drive forward. You can sense that there has been a change in coach; everyone is giving their absolute all and there are a lot of new exercises. I’m intrigued to see how we implement Ante’s ideas when it comes to a proper match – that’s what it’s all about after all. We showed promising signs in the friendlies, particularly in the win against Crystal Palace, but they weren’t competitive games, so we won’t get ahead of ourselves. There are of course a few things that will still need adjusting.
...the competition in the squad: When we play in a 4-3-3, then there will be a central frontman. Both Vedad Ibisevic and myself can play that position. It’s sure to be a good battle, just like in recent years, but the competition spurs us on. Whoever performs better will get game time. My initial focus is on the things I can affect myself, so fitness and my work in training. If I then get my chance, whether from the start or off the bench, I need to be ready. If I stay fit, I will get minutes under my belt. I think it’s good that we’ve signed a player like Dodi Lukebakio. Competition is healthy. If we want to take the next step, then bringing in players like him is the way to do it. It improves the overall quality in training; everyone wants to play and make their case to the coach.