FC Augsburg kick off their new season against Regionalliga outfit SC Verl on Saturday 10th August (15:30 CEST) in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, before beginning their Bundesliga campaign away at Borussia Dortmund a week later.
FCA head coach Martin Schmidt can’t wait for the season to start and is looking forward to his side’s first competitive game of the new season. FC Augsburg must live up to their title as favourites in their first round clash against SV Verl in order to progress to the second round. Head coach Schmidt, however, warns his team to not take the opposition too lightly: “Of course, since we are the Bundesliga side, we are faced with the task of beating the underdogs. However, realistically speaking, such a side can be just as difficult if we become complacent. Verl were able to hold Paderborn to a draw in the quarter-final of the Westfalenpokal. We must remain completely focused on the match and achieve our goal.”
The Bundesliga side’s visit is undoubtedly a very special occasion for the SPORTCLUB Arena in Verl. Schmidt also understands how motivating a cup game can be: “This game will be one of the highlights of Verl’s season. They will be pumped up and certainly won’t make it easy for us. Our mentality will be crucial.”
A new goalkeeper and a few players to return from injury
For the DFB-Pokal game Schmidt will have an almost identical squad to choose from as in the friendly game against FC Bologna, however with one exception: With the recent addition of Tomáš Koubek, FCA have strengthened their goalkeeper position and he is already available for selection: “He is performing at the highest level and brings real quality to our team. He is an asset both on and off the field.” Ruben Vargas, Philipp Max and Jan Morávek will all be unavailable and will resume training next week. Alfrd Finnbogason und Raphael Framberger, on the other hand, returned to training this week.
Above all, Martin Schmidt wishes for one thing from the new season: Stability, “we want it to be a relaxing season for the fans. We want to be solid throughout the season so that we can book our ticket for our tenth season in the Bundesliga as early as possible!”