Marvin, you had planned to fly out to the Ukraine in order to watch Germany play the Netherlands during the EURO but your plane never made it to its destination. What happened?
The plane was hit by lightning and we had to turn around. As a passenger, we noticed the impact but there was no panic on board. There wasn't any immediate danger, but in order to be sure, it was decided that we better turn around and check that everything was OK. Obviously, we knew that we weren't going to make it for the game and some passengers were very disappointed about it. I was happy that nothing serious happened and didn't make such a big deal about missing the game. In the end, I watched the game at home with my wife.
Meanwhile, the team has started their second phase of the pre-season preparation. The first phase included an intensive fitness programme. How did you cope with that and what state are you in currently?
The team already had a very good level of fitness when the pre-season preparation started. We all worked very hard during our holiday. Nonetheless, the fitness programme was very intense, as we had three training session a day for a whole week. Our fitness level is now even better and we can build on that, but we can also still improve.
There are a number of new signings in the team. What is your impression of them so far?
The quality of the team has certainly improved. The new signings fit in very well – they are young and hungry for success. I think that they will help us perform at a higher level – first in training and then hopefully in our competitive games as well.
How do you personally deal with the competition in the squad?
It's a motivational factor for me. I feel that competition in the squad is necessary in order to reach your limits. If the competition is high in training, you can't allow yourself to sit back and take things easy. That also makes it easier for us to perform well when it matters.
The coach has set the season target at a international qualifying spot. What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
I like the fact that the coach has publicly declared a season target for the team. However, its easy to define goals ahead of season, you have to live by them as well. We are responsible for what happens and we have to reward ourselves for the effort that we are putting in at the moment. We have to show consistency at a high level. Something we failed to do last season, when we weren't greedy and consistent enough.
You will become a father soon! Have you asked your team mates yet how to cope with the stress and sleepless nights along with playing professional football?
I spoke to Tom Starke and also our physiotherapist Peter Geigle about it. Both confirmed that I was about to experience a very special time, in all sorts of aspects (laughs). I do however believe that fatherhood will give me more strength for the upcoming tasks.