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Schultz: "We're all really excited ahead of the new season"

The Boys in Brown kick off the new league campaign at home to Holstein Kiel, third last season, on Sunday (13:30 CET). Head coach Timo Schultz can hardly wait to get started, as he told journalists at Friday's pre-match news conference.

Timo Schultz on...

...the personnel situation: "I'm assuming Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Afeez Aremu will train normally today and are thus candidates for Sunday. We'll send out a decent side. The lads who play on Sunday have worked hard in pre-season and I'm confident they can go flat for 90 minutes and match Kiel yard for yard."

...the goalkeeper position: "Both keepers have done really well. Nikola Vasilj will keep goal in the league, Dennis Smarsch in the cup. Nikola has amazing reflexes on the line and barks out instructions. He also complements our attacking game and has good positional play. I'm expecting him to give the team another push from the back and add stability with the experience he has gained over the last few years. Dennis is disappointed, of course. He's really come on well over the last 12 months and did well in pre-season, but you can only field one goalkeeper in the end."

...the attack: "Guido Burgstaller is seeded. He's a key player for us with his experience and the way he plays and leads from the front. There's fierce competition for the place alongside him, which is what you want as a coach. Simon Makienok, Maximilian Dittgen and Lukas Daschner are on form and I'm glad to have the choice."

...the excitement ahead of the new season: "In training you can see the lads are up for playing football and ready to go flat out. We have incredible running power. The lads motivate each other and also have a go at each other occasionally, which shows there's life in the squad. It's also a prerequisite for a thrilling showing at the Millerntor. Our aim is always to excite the fans and offer them a spectacle with bold attacking football, especially when we're at home. We're all really excited ahead of the new season. There's no need for me to hold any more 'every bloody Sunday' speeches. We're looking forward to the new campaign, it's incredibly attractive."

...opponents Holstein Kiel: "I'm looking forward to it. Games against Kiel are always hotly contested. We know we're up against real quality and we're ready. I expect Kiel to challenge at the top again this year, so it will tell us where we stand. We know how they play, nothing has changed in that respect, even though a few players have come and gone. I think it'll be a game between two evenly matched sides from which we'll come out on top."

...playing in front of fans again: "It'll be great to play in front of nearly 10,000 fans again. It can give the lads an added boost. When we're sold out, the atmosphere is fantastic. I'm absolutely convinced we'll pick up extra points here and there when we're roared on by the crowd in critical and decisive phases. It can be our insurance again."


Photos: Witters