Fun & full commitment as TSG commence pre-season training

Monday saw TSG Hoffenheim complete their first public training session of the 2018/19 season. Julian Nagelsmann welcomed 23 players – including new signings Vincenzo Grifo, Leonardo Bittencourt, Ishak Belfodil and Joshua Brenet – in Zuzenhausen, as the Champions League participant's first-team squad were put through a variety of training exercises in temperatures of almost 30 degrees.

Being back on the pitch had the TSG Hoffenheim players and coaches in high spirits. "You miss it. Especially after almost seven weeks away, you're happy to restart," said coach Julian Nagelsmann after the first open training session in Zuzenhausen. Goalkeeper Oliver Baumann concurred: "We're all delighted to be back here again. It feels good."

Having begun their pre-season preparations yesterday with fitness and performance tests, the players were put through a brief warm-up before trying out the new Bundesliga balls by Derbystar as they underwent a series of high-intensity training exercises. With temperatures of almost 30 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, Nagelsmann drove his team on intensely during the almost 90-minute session, while taking the opportunity to get a good look at new signings Vincenzo Grifo, Leonardo Bittencourt, Ishak Belfodil and Joshua Brenet too. But there was only time for a fleeting impression. "It's always a tad unfair when you observe the newcomers more, as they're already a bit nervous anyway," joked Nagelsmann, who was happy with the effort in the session. "The team made a very good impression."

Twenty-three players present as training recommences

Twenty-three players took part in the training session for the Champions League participants on Monday morning. Gregor Kobel, Adam Szalai, Florian Grillitsch, Ermin Bicakcic and Howard Nordtveit were all on international duty during the summer break and so will not resume training until the end of the week. Steven Zuber and Andrej Kramaric are still representing their countries at the World Cup, while Dennis Geiger and Lukas Rupp remain injured.

Among the attendees were Alfons Amade, Christoph Baumgartner and David Otto, who were all promoted from the U19 squad, and Philipp Ochs, Joelinton and Felipe Pires, who have returned from loan spells at VfL Bochum, Rapid Vienna and Austria Vienna respectively.

The next open training sessions will be held at 10:00 CET on Tuesday (3 July) and Wednesday (4 July). As it is not possible for many fans to attend the TSG first-team's training sessions in Zuzenhausen on weekdays, Julian Nagelsmann has scheduled another open session for 10:00 CET on Saturday 7 July.

Fans were able to follow the first open session today live on the TSG Hoffenheim Facebook page:

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