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BOYS IN BROWN START PRE-SEASON IN SCORCHING HEAT

FC St. Pauli started pre-season training on Friday afternoon after a break lasting 25 days. With the temperature hovering around the 35 degree mark, Timo Schultz and his coaching team laid on a varied session for the players that placed the focus on game-related exercises and work with the ball.

The new season is underway! A perfectly manicured pitch awaited Philipp Ziereis, Finn Ole Becker and Co. for the opening training session at the Kollau on Friday afternoon. First up for the players, though, was an extended team meeting in the auditorium, followed by a photo session with the assembled media. New signings Nikola Vasilj, Jakov Medić, Lars Ritzka and Etienne Amenyido, the entire coaching team plus James Morgan and Ole Marschall, the new recruits to the backroom staff, were all present when the players finally took to the training ground at 16:20 CET. Timo Schultz did not have a full squad at his disposal, however. The missing players will be eased back into training step by step.

New acquisitions Lars Ritzka, Etienne Amenyido, Jakov Medić and Nikola Vasilj with head coach Timo Schultz (from left to right).

New acquisitions Lars Ritzka, Etienne Amenyido, Jakov Medić and Nikola Vasilj with head coach Timo Schultz (from left to right).

The workout began with the outfield players completing a few laps of the pitch under the watchful eye of performance coach Christoph Hainc Scheller, who broke up the running with a series of coordination exercises. The ball made its first appearance some 15 minutes into the session in a game of 7-against-3 and a variety of passing drills. At the same time, Dennis Smarsch, Nikola Vasilj and Under‑23 custodian Jesper Heim were put through their paces by goalkeeper coach Mathias Hain.

Despite the appearance of a few clouds and a light breeze, the Boys in Brown worked up a proper sweat, which with the temperature reaching as high as 35 degrees was hardly surprising. After around three-quarters of an hour and several breaks for drinks, the coaching staff divided the players into three teams who went up against each other in a contest involving three full-sized goals.

With the ball being moved around really well, the intensity levels and the mood went up several notches. The players egged each other on, and every goal was celebrated raucously. After thirty minutes of exciting action, the first session of pre-season ended with a gentle run and a series of warm-down exercises.

"That was a lively start," said centre-back Philipp Ziereis at the end of a scorching opening to the pre-season campaign. "I won't have been the only one to have really enjoyed being back out on the pitch with the lads and a ball after the summer break".

New signings Nikola Vasilj, Jakov Medić, Lars Ritzka and Etienne Amenyido have now been allocated their shirt numbers by the way. Vasilj will wear No22 between the posts, centre-back Medić No18. Left-back Lars Ritzka has been given the No21 shirt, forward Amenyido No27. Eric Smith, who wore the No18 jersey last season, has opted to wear the No8 this term.

 

Photos: Witters

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