Temperatures in Mals, Obervinschgau, where FCA are holding their training camp, exceeded 30 degrees Celsius on Friday. However, that didn’t stop FCA manager Manuel Baum from demanding the best from his players as they took to the training pitch for two sessions.
Baum and his training staff divided the players into small groups and employed a variety of training exercises in order to adapt to the needs of his players. Left-back Kosta Stafylidis had to have a break due to some back problems he suffered, but overall there were 40 players in training today – something youngster Kevin Danso was by no means bothered by. He harked back to his time with the youth team, saying: “The U17s and U19s often trained together as one big group on a single pitch, so it’s nothing new for me.”
“I think it’s a good thing that the club doesn’t exclude any players, even if that means having to deal with an unusually large squad,” commented new addition Michael Gregoritsch on the size of the training group. The Austrian has felt very much at home with his new club in his first few days here. “It’s a nice feeling to come here and feel the absolute confidence in you,” said the Austrian on his move to FCA. “My long-term contract also shows the faith that the club has in me, and how much I’m looking forwarded to enjoying a long relationship with the club.” One positive side-effect of the move was that Gregoritsch has been able to join up with three fellow compatriots in the form of Martin Hinteregger. Kevin Danso, and Georg Teigl. “It’s great that I can now speak with a bit of a dialect,” said the 23-year-old with a grin.
My goal is first and foremost to avoid relegation, but why shouldn’t we be able to have a comfortable season? – Michael Gregoritsch
When asked on what his goal for his first season at FCA was, he had this to say: “My goal is first and foremost to avoid relegation, but why does that mean we shouldn’t we be able to have a comfortable season?” The left-footed Gregoritsch, who favours playing as a centre-attacking-midfielder, knows that he has a chance to fill the gaping hole left by Halil Altintop’s departure: “Halil Altintop was a fantastic player for the club. It’s great that people have the faith in me to follow in his footsteps.” The young Austrian has no doubts whatsoever over the decisions he’s made: “Coming to Germany at the age of 18 was definitely the right step to take.” Gregoritsch moved to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim before being loaned out to FC St. Pauli and VfL Bochum, and then transferring to Hamburger SV – a club for which he played 55 games over the span of two years, scoring ten goals in the process. “Every step of my career was an important move for me. Now I want to take my next step with FCA.”
Back on the ball in training camp: Raphael Framberger
That’s something that Raphael Framberger is looking to do too, as he returns to preseason following an injury to his knee. “I want to get 100% fit as quickly as possible and then show what I can do in every training session and every game,” said the Augsburg youth product on his personal aims. “It’s my sixth or seventh training camp with the first team for me, so I know the routine.”