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TRAINING CAMP DIARY DAY 9: OVER AND OUT!

Training camp in Herzlake – FC St Pauli's pre-season preparations are underway! What goes on during the energy-sapping workouts and friendlies? And what happens in between? Each day, Colin from the club's media team brings you an informative and sometimes irreverent look at what it's like to be in training camp.

One last time. Time to get up and greet the ninth day of training camp with a cheery "good morning" one last time. Will we suffer an onset of melancholy now our time at this lovely hotel has come to an end? I think we will somehow. With people frantically packing their last few things and scurrying round the room to make sure they've got everything, I feel some of those school trip vibes I mentioned on day 1.

I'm reminded of my very last school outing at junior school when my mother gave me a list to make sure I didn't forget anything. No matter what you do, something always gets left behind or lost. Like the missing sock gobbled up by the washing machine – we've all been there!

Before you get all teary at the thought of all this, I should say that a lot of work got done today as well. The Boys in Brown took to the training ground for the final time at ten o'clock. After the warm-up and various shooting drills, head coach Timo Schultz gathered his players together for one last practice match. The matchup between the green bibs and the blue bibs held a lot of promise, but the story of the game is not long in the telling, given that each half lasted just 15 minutes.

The support of the staff members under the gazebo was there and the sprinkling of spectators in attendance were up on their feet with just a few minutes on the clock when a long ball found Guido Burgstaller. The striker crossed from the left to the advancing Lukas Daschner, who was left with the simple task of prodding the ball over the line. One-nil to the blue bibs! Or so everyone thought. Because the ever-vigilant referee, Timo Schultz, immediately blew his whistle for offside. Was this a case for the officials sitting in the video operation room?

Fortunately, match analyst Ole Marschall, aka Mr VAR, had captured everything on his camera. Referee Schultz took the opportunity to review his decision. "Burgi was offside, wasn't he? If he wasn't, we're going to have to destroy the footage," he joked.

Lukas Daschner of Team Blue Bibs

Lukas Daschner of Team Blue Bibs

And on we went. The lads got stuck in, fighting for every ball. It took until the tenth minute for the ball to nestle in the back of the net again, and this time the goal counted. Much to the annoyance of the blue bibs, Simon Makienok from team green was the first to get his name on the scoresheet, finishing off a fine move involving Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Maximilian Dittgen, who laid the ball off for the Danish striker to open the scoring from close range. Five minutes into the second half, Makienok was in the right place at the right time again to double his team's advantage. It would prove the end of the scoring.

It was then time to load all the bags and cases onto the bus, or rather the various vehicles on hand, where kit manager Thorge Blöcker demonstrated his logistical talent. I always marvel at stuff like this. I'll bet he was a really good Tetris player on the Game Boy. As well stashing the players' luggage on the team coach, we filled an entire truck with all the training and physio equipment. From dumbbells to loungers, from football boots of different types to training cones – that's quite a lot of stuff.

After lunch, the brown-and-white delegation set off for home. Summing up the nine-day training camp, Timo Schultz said: "The conditions here were top-class, as was the hotel. There was little time to relax, however, as we worked extremely hard and are now looking forward to going home." One player would definitely have something to celebrate at the next training camp. "It would be my 20th with the club," says Christopher Buchtmann with a grin.

That would warrant a huge celebration, of course, as well making a nice story. Maybe I'll be involved as well or even get to write it – who knows? I'm also looking forward to going home again, happy for all the wonderful insights the Boys in Brown and the team behind the team gave me. I hope this training camp blog kept you informed and maybe brought a smile to your face here and there. Till the next time!

Over and out!

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli

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