Leogang day 7: Rain, again

The rain was as high as the curbs in the Austrian town of Leogang as the 1899 Hoffenheim players were making their way out of the town.

First up for the Hoffenheim team was a 45-minute jog at just before quarter to eight in the morning, with the drizzly rain definitely leaving one or two of the players longing for their warm beds. Dead on 10:00 the training session was to begin - the defending players with Marco Pezzaiuoli on the Schwimmbad training grounds, the attacking players inside the Steinbergstadion. After some passing exercises the players in the stadium practised some shooting drills. Zsolt Petry displayed his class with some sparkling efforts that bent inside the corner of the goal. After about an hour of intensive training the attacking players were told to grab their shinpads, as the defensive players made their way into the stadium for a game. Following the training, striker Vedad Ibisevic assessed the striking situation for Hoffenheim: "It's looking very good. With the guys from the U23s being with us it means a lot of new faces, but each is working hard to be fit and ready for the new season. It's just a huge shame that Chinedu Obasi is still missing. Demba's situation is a little bit better. Players like Boris Vukcevic or Peniel Mlapa are waiting in the wings to fill in the gaps for us, while Prince will definitely have improved his self-confidence following his participation in the World Cup. It is important that nobody else gets injured", explained the Bosnian.

Good news for the Hoffenheim club is that Isaac Vorsah, Prince Tagoe and Carlos Eduardo are all on their way back. They all completed a squad training session for the first time this season. Matthias Jaissle and Manuel Gulde are still working on individual schedules. At 15:30 head coach Ralf Rangnick ordered his players back to the field to continue with training. Almost immediately, the rain began once more, meaning there was a lot more zip on the footballs as they were kicked. The attackers joined the session a bit later, as they were busy working on their agility and speed on the sports hall.

Today's friendly for Rangnick's players is their second of three during this training camp. At 18:00 in the Steinbergstadion the team will face Turkish outfit Antalyaspor. "We've done a good five weeks work. Up until now we are fit, and we were satisfied with our most recent friendly, even if the opponents weren't a household name", said Sejad Salihovic.


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