Feldkirchen Day 3: Hard work, part 1 of the Team Challenge and progress

These days the Hoffenheim players are preparing for a long and gruelling Bundesliga season in their Austrian summer camp in Feldkirchen. The training sessions become very straining very quickly. “We have to reach a certain level and then just keep pushing forward from there,” said Hoffenheim's captain Andreas Beck.

This progress is well underway. Already on the first two days, the Hoffenheim players worked intensively with and without the ball. Coach Stanislawski is a big fan of integrating competitive matches into his training sessions. “Our training is very versatile and designed to cover many aspects of helping us with our football skills. The team is very happy with this so far,” explained Beck.

Quick shift in gears required

During the morning session “Stani” and his assistants set up two more goals than usual. Two at the edge of each penalty area, and two with their backs to each other at the centre of the pitch. This mean the players had to shift gears from thinking defensively to offensively in a very quick fashion. The four goalkeepers, Tom Starke, Daniel Hass, Daniel Lück and veteran César Thier all had plenty of shots coming their way.

“Every single one of us has to bend over backwards in order to get a place in the team,” said keeper Tom Starke. The competition within the team is truly massive these days at 1899 Hoffenheim. With the arrival of Holger Stanislawski, every player has been given a new chance to fight for a place in the starting eleven.

Teamchallenge part one

Cones, empty water tanks, poles and many more training utensils were waiting for the players in the afternoon. The first part of the 2011 Team Challenge was about to begin. Seven teams competed against each other on nine different stations. The rich in variety and challenging course required technical and athletic skills from the players and it caused for quite a bit of fun amongst the team. While Ronaldinho may have required several attempts during a commercial shoot for a well known manufacturer of sports equipment, Daniel Haas managed to get it right the first time around – the keeper hit the crossbar from a decent range in three consecutive attempts. Whether this would be the day's winning performance will not be revealed just yet. There were plenty of other teams still looking to complete their challenges.

Zuculini and Schipplock making progress

Sven Schipplock has made a good progress during the first days of the training camp. “He is improving by the day but his injury still needs some time to recover,” said Athletics-Coach Christof Elser. Franco Zuculini is also advancing in the right direction. “Franco worked very hard today. He was able to practice for a full 90 minutes,” explained Athletics -Coach Yannick Obennaur.

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