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Five weeks after the final game of the 2018-19 campaign at Greuther Fürth,  the summer break comes to an end on Sunday when pre-season training kicks off at the Kollau training ground following a team breakfast at 1030 CET.

The Boys in Brown have not been idle during this time, of course. As usual, Christopher Buchtmann, Marvin Knoll & Co. were given personalised training plans to ensure they return to training in good shape, so that head coach Jim Luhukay does not need to focus entirely on fitness training in the first few days. On top of that, the players came in yesterday for medical examinations required by the German Football League and other performance tests, something they continue to work on today.

Among the players running out on Sunday will be new signings Rico Benatelli (formerly Dynamo Dresden) and Boris Tashchy (MSV Duisburg) plus Luca Zander, who has made his loan deal from Werder Bremen a permanent one. Some members of the squad will be missing, however, including Mats Møller Dæhli, who has been given some additional days off after being away on international duty with Norway. He will not resume training until Saturday, 29 June. Philipp Ziereis und Henk Veerman remain in rehab after suffering serious knee injuries last season.

Last season’s run-in under Jos Luhukay, who took charge of the team in mid-April,  was recently described by Robin Himmelmann as a "kind of test phase in which the new coach had a chance to get used to the conditions, the squad and the club", while for the players it was an opportunity to "get to know the new playing system.” Though it had been a disappointing season, culminating in a ninth-place finish, the keeper said he was going into the summer break “with a good feeling” because the Boys in Brown were now trying to seize the initiative and take control of matches. The task now is to take that positive feeling into the five-week pre-season preparations, starting on Sunday.



Photos: Witters