Complete success: Barbecue evening with the fans

They sat together; 70 Hoffenheim fans and the players. On Saturday evening, they enjoyed a barbecue and an evening together outside the team's hotel in Leogang. The whole team, the staff and all those involved with the club were present and spent time with the fans. Many of the TSG supporters had travelled down earlier on in the day to see their side face APOEL.

Markus Gisdol and his team sat down with the fans at around 19:30 CET after their mountain run. They sat for around two hours before a few players went for some treatment with the physiotherapist or could no longer resist the call of bed.

During the evening though, photos were taken, autographs were given and conversations were had. At each table, last year's games were discussed, as were the upcoming ones of the 2013/14 season. Gisdol was surprised at the passionate insight of the fans and how much they identified with the club. “I think we all had a good evening,” said the manager in the team hotel afterwards.

The rising moon, the alpine backdrop and the green meadows of Salzburg gave the evening a special location. Rarely do the fans get this close to the TSG players. The strong bond between the fans and the team, one that was strengthened after last year's incredible relegation survival, was just as recognisable ahead of the 2013/14 season.

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