Martin Fraisl: I was impressed by their togetherness

Martin Fraisl has been part of the FC Schalke 04 goalkeeping trio for exactly one week now. The 28-year-old Austrian made his debut between the sticks for Royal Blue during Tuesday’s 7-0 friendly win against SSVg Velbert. The keeper now wants to work hard to play an important role in a successful season for the club.

FC Schalke 04 - SSVg Velbert

“I am a player who goes full throttle and shows the kind of mentality that fans want to see,” said Fraisl, who got himself to peak fitness for the 2021/22 Bundesliga 2 season with a private goalkeeping coach before signing his contract at S04.

I was waiting for an offer from a club that really appeals to me.

Martin Fraisl

At his most recent club, ADO Den Haag of the Dutch Eredivisie, Fraisl led his team out onto the pitch as captain. After his contract expired, he received several bids from various clubs, but turned them all down. “I was waiting for an offer from a club that really appeals to me,” said Fraisl, who now wants to get to know his new club from the inside. Two people that could help him in doing so are compatriots Reinhold Ranftl and Michael Langer. “I played with Reini a few years ago, we had a car pool arrangement between Vienna and Wiener Neustadt and spent 45 minutes together travelling to training on a daily basis. So we know each other well,” said Fraisl. “I didn’t know Michi beforehand, but I am massively impressed by his positivity.”

Fraisl has played professional football in four different countries: Austria, Romania, Germany and the Netherlands. The second division in Germany is no new territory for the goalkeeper either, who spent one and a half years at SV Sandhausen. “Knowing the league is an advantage,” said Fraisl: “I can give the team indicators of what makes the other clubs tick, and how they will be preparing to face Schalke.”

Looking ahead, regardless of results

Things did not start as planned with his new employer. “I arrived here and we all had to go into quarantine on the first day. We were only able to interact carefully and with social distancing, so there was no major ‘getting-to-know’ phase,” Fraisl recalled, but that didn’t prevent his new teammates from leaving their mark on him. “I was incredibly impressed by the lads and their attitude, their mentality and their togetherness ahead of the HSV game,” he revealed, adding that the players all pushed each other to an extend that earned the team a 1-0 lead in the opening stages. Sadly, the Knappen were not able to hold onto their lead and lost 3-1 to HSV. The Austrian was understandably gutted after the defeat, not least because of the exceptional support from the 20 something thousand fans present at the VELTINS-Arena. “At the end of the day, football is about moving on from the last game and looking ahead to the next one, regardless of the result,” he concluded.

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