Kevin, pre-season is coming to an end. It’s a good moment for every professional footballer, isn’t it?
Kevin Vogt: I am really glad. Pre-season has to be done of course and it is a big part of football. After the summer break, it takes time to get back into the rhythm of things. The intensity increases, you have more training sessions and the games always take longer to recover from. When I play 75 or 90 minutes for the first time, it takes me longer to recover in pre-season than during the competitive season when we have games week in week out. But we all know that the pace will be increased even more now. That is a new experience which I am really looking forward to. I am very happy that pre-season is almost finished and the competitive fixtures are starting again because that is what football is all about. These games bring your excitement levels back up to 100%.
It was your second summer with TSG. How did it go in comparison to your first summer with the team?
Kevin Vogt: The comparison between the two is huge. This summer has been really different for me; I have developed into a different type of player. As a new arrival everything was new, I had to get used to everything and I needed time. This pre-season was just a lot easier because I was more settled. It meant I could focus on other things.
Last year you needed a bit of time to settle into the side. How are this year’s new arrivals settling in?
Kevin Vogt: In the first few weeks the new signings seemed to blend in really well. Of course it helped them that the core of the team has stayed together. Lots of what we learnt last year has been incorporated into our game now and so we were able to implement that very quickly in pre-season this year. That meant the new signings could adjust more easily. Nevertheless lots of self-initiative is required and I think the new guys have done very well. It is of course a process which the newcomers have to go through. But they will settle with time. They are on the right track.
On Saturday, you have a cup game against Erfurt. What do you know about the opposition?
Kevin Vogt: We have not analysed Erfurt in detail yet but that will happen later on in the week. We know the task at hand. Erfurt started their competitive season a few weeks ago and so they have found their rhythm. We know, however, that we are the favourites and so we want to play like favourites with a concentrated performance. If we play to the best of our abilities, we can progress.
After the cup game, Liverpool will come to Sinsheim. Footballers like to think about one game at a time, but surely you have already thought a bit about the match against the Reds and TSG’s first big European night?
Kevin Vogt: Of course I have already thought about it, because it will be special for all of us. I can’t help smiling when I think about it. It is a great draw and I cannot wait. I rate our chances, although it will be a seriously tough task. But we are relishing the challenge. However, that does not mean that we’re going to disregard the Erfurt game. We can look forward to the game against Liverpool but we have to put in a top performance on Saturday.