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New recruits James Lawrence and Matt Penney trained with their new teammates for the first time on Friday. Afterwards the two Britons spoke to journalists about…

…their first day of training at the Kollau

Lawrence: "They congratulated me on my birthday yesterday. They're really good singers (laughs). It's a very open group and it was really cool to be received like that on the first day. We've been given a very warm welcome."

Penney: "I have to agree. The first impression is very good, both on and off the pitch."

…the move to FC St. Pauli

Lawrence: "We were speaking for a week or so and then it all went very quickly. On Wednesday morning I got the call saying they wanted to sign me right away. I had the medical on Thursday and trained for the first time today."

Penney: "It was a bit longer with me. We then agreed with the club that it was the right step for me and my career to improve as a player."

…their fitness

Lawrence: "I did the normal training with Anderlecht and the friendlies. I feel ready even though I haven't played a competitive game this season. We'll see how it goes in the next few days and weeks."

Penney: "I feel physically fit as well. I had a good pre-season in Sheffield."

…their positions

Lawrence: "I'm a central defender and like to play the ball out from the back. I'm assured on the ball, but I like to defend as well. St. Pauli have had a lot of injury problems at the back and I'd like to help them solve those problems."

Penney: "I'm a left-back who likes to get forward. First and foremost, though, it's my job to defend."

…a conversation about Hamburg with Anderlecht player coach Vincent Kompany

Lawrence: "I spoke to him briefly about Hamburg but because everything went so quickly, we didn't have time to go into much detail."

…FC St. Pauli

Lawrence: "I've heard a lot about the club from friends in Europe. My brother lives with his girlfriend in Berlin, for example. St. Pauli have really good fans."

Penney: "I've already seen a bit on social media. It makes you want to come and play in this atmosphere."

…Lawrence's place in the Wales team

Lawrence: "I've been playing for Wales for a year now and have slotted in well. I've spoken to Ryan Giggs and will be with the team in the international break. I was in contact with the coaching staff throughout the transfer window and I think St. Pauli's a good thing for me personally. The second division is a tough league that will keep me on a good level and in the running for a place in the national team."

…training and playing with global star Gareth Bale

Lawrence: "It's exciting to play with players like him. You can always learn something from them."

…working with Jos Luhukay at Sheffield Wednesday:

Penney: "We've been in permanent contact since then. I believe in his vision of football but that means nothing. I have to prove myself on the pitch and I want to improve."


Photo: FC St. Pauli