Eugen Polanski:
“We've had to suffer at times” - #tsginrsa

Eugen Polanski is a leading player at TSG. In an interview with, the midfielder spoke about the heat and rain in South Africa, the youth players at the training camp and the friendly against Kaizer Chiefs on Friday.

Eugen, you and the rest of the team are now over halfway through the training camp in Johannesburg. How has your body coped with the strain so far?

Eugen Polanski:Of course it's noticeable that we're at a training camp and that I've put in a decent workload. There have been a few aches and pains, but we've got a lot of diverse training sessions and an important friendly ahead of us. The hard work will bring us all a step forward though, I'm confident of that.

It really chucked it down this morning for the first time since you arrived. Is training even harder on a heavier pitch?

Polanski:The rain this morning was really extreme. The pitch truly was heavy and there were a few puddles, but that can happen anywhere: In Germany, Turkey or even Spain – we accept that and get on with our job. We've experienced the other extreme so far – drought and heat. We've had to suffer through one or two training sessions, also because the pitch has been quite hard. But I have to say, the groundsmen are doing a really good job. The conditions are very good. A lot of work has gone into that.

You touched on the friendly against Kaizer Chiefs…

Polanski:I think it will be a highlight for all of us. Kaizer Chiefs are the top South African side. We're also going to be playing in an amazing stadium full of brilliant fans. The whole team is looking forward to it. It's also a chance for everyone to showcase themselves to the coaching staff and stake a claim for a place in the team.

There are a few more training sessions before that game. How far are you as a team after a week of training?

Polanski:I don't think we've lost much at all individually. The break wasn't very long and we had training schedules. Everyone looks fit out there on the pitch. Now it's about putting the pieces together. We have a few screws to tighten and we're putting in a lot of detailed work so that we find our way back to being a team and function even better together. We're working really hard towards the return of the Bundesliga against Augsburg. We want to be successful again as soon as possible.

Has there been anything new tactically or have you been building on what was already in place?

Polanski:If we started working on new things now then we would have done a lot wrong in the first half of the season. That's not the case. We know what the manager wants from us, but you have to stay on the ball as a team and individually and keep on practising so that you can improve and become even more stable.

You are one of the most experienced players in the squad. There are also a lot of young players here. What impression have they made on you?

Polanski:It's a very important phase for those youngsters. The likes of Andreas Beck, Sejad Salihovic or myself were their age once and were in the same situation of being granted the chance of travelling and training with the first team. The past has shown us that players like them will get their chance at Hoffenheim if they made a good impression. They've slotted in well and have been fully involved in the sessions – no one is holding back.

You've already praised the training pitches. What about the other aspects?

Polanski: It's just as we pictured. The hotel is superb; we've got our own chef who has catered for us very well. The atmosphere in the team has really added to an already great training camp. We're highly focused but we've not forgotten to enjoy ourselves. It's very important to be relaxed and take some time out between sessions so that you can return to work fully concentrated. The team have done that incredibly well.

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