Windischgarsten – a hotspot for football clubs

Having played Verona and Trabzonspor on Thursday night, the TSG Hoffenheim contingent will return to the Kraichgau today. It is the third year in a row that the club have held their summer training camp in Windischgarsten – and according to head coach Alfred Schreuder and captain Kevin Vogt, the nine-day stay in the Upper Austrian holiday region of Pyhrn-Priel was a resounding success.

"We had very good conditions for our pre-season preparations. We got through the training objectives that we wanted to achieve," said head coach Alfred Schreuder. The Dutchman spoke glowingly about the beautiful Alpine setting and described the "Dilly Wellness Resort", in which the 50-strong TSG Hoffenheim contingent stayed for the third time, as "top". The hotel run by Horst Dilly is a coveted destination for football clubs, with the beds that TSG leave behind on Friday to be filled by the Eintracht Frankfurt players and staff the next night. The Eagles, whom TSG will face on Bundesliga Matchday 1, also chose Windischgarsten for their summer training camp.

The list of football clubs visiting the health resort, which is home to some 2,400 people and located at an altitude of 602 metres, is seemingly endless. Directly before TSG, Union Berlin used Dilly for their training camp. And prior to the promoted outfit's visit, the Austria and Switzerland U20 teams, the Austria Vienna amateurs and the professional clubs CFR Cluj (Romania), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) and 1860 Munich were all guests. In short, Windischgarsten has become a hotspot for football clubs.

Third visit to Windischgarsten

"All good things come in threes", or so goes the saying. In any case, TSG Hoffenheim certainly enjoyed their third visit to Windischgarsten. The four-star accommodation offers its guests two training pitches in good condition, while the excellent cuisine leaves little to be desired. "The conditions were perfect again, the atmosphere in the camp was good," said captain Kevin Vogt. "You can see that the hotel and its staff have experience when it comes to organising the training camps of professional clubs. Fulfilling their requirements is not easy. But Dilly manage it. Above all, we value their outstanding hospitality," said TSG press spokesman Holger Kliem. The Austrian agency Global Sports was also involved in the organisation of the training camp.

Host Dilly is proud of what his hotel has to offer. "The infrastructure for the teams is unique," he said. The very short distances are particularly valued by coaches and players, with barely 100 metres separating the rooms from the training pitches. Other Bundesliga clubs have already enquired about next year, said Dilly, who explained that no other hotel in Austria has welcomed so many German professional footballers in July. "It's an incredible advertisement for the region." TSG have had a cooperation with the state of Upper Austria for three years. Part of it stipulates that their training camp will be held in the Pyhrn-Priel region  specifically, Windischgarsten.

But footballers are not the only ones recharging their batteries in this idyllic mountain setting. The region is a coveted destination for families on the lookout for leisure activities and nature-lovers too. The region is part of the Limestone Alps and gets its name from the Großer Priel mountain range and the Pyhrn Pass, which leads to the state of Styria. Climbing is available for the brave, but leisurely hiking and wonderful bathing and swimming opportunities can be found there too. Snowsports reign supreme in the winter, when the two ski regions the Wurzeralm and the Hinterstoder, which will be one of the World Cup destinations in February 2020 are brimming with visitors. With that in mind, it's safe to say TSG Hoffenheim won't be back again over the winter break.

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