Timo Becker: Felt great to play in front of the fans again
After an 8-0 win against PSV Wesel-Lackhausen last Wednesday (23/6), the Royal Blues recorded another blowout victory against Sportfreunde Hamborn 07 on Sunday (27/6). Schalke stormed to a 14-0 win in front of 1,000 fans at the Parkstadion.
“It’s a great feeling to play and see how many fans are here,” said Timo Becker, who was the only player to feature for the full 90 minutes against Hamborn. According to the 24-year-old, last season was tough without the fans being able to attend the games. “Even during tough times, the fans still support us. Their support is great, which is why I’m very positive when looking to the future,” said Becker, who scored to make it 6-0 in the 48th minute. To say ‘thank you’ for their loyal support, the team took the time after the game to sign autographs for the fans, with volunteers and club employees ensuring that all hygiene and contact regulations were adhered to.
The team are not letting the huge margins of victory against Hamborn and Wesel-Lackhausen get to their heads, however. “The opponent wasn’t at the same level as what we’ll be up against in the 2. Bundesliga. But, you also have to manage to score against opponents like that, which is what we set out to do,” said head coach Dimitrios Grammozis, who added that he was pleased with his side’s performance despite the relentless summer heat. It was great that “Our fans were able to be there to watch us score,” said Grammozis. Becker added that friendlies against lower-tier opponents are still a great opportunity to improve. The team prepared well for the matches and were clearly enjoying themselves on the pitch.
We are all on the same wavelength and got along well right from the start. We haven’t had any issues getting to know one another,
The team had today off, and will now travel to training camp in Mittersill on Tuesday (29/6), where they will begin preparations for the upcoming season in the Hohe Tauern National Park region. “So far, it’s been a lot of hard work. I’m not sure if training camp can be even harder,” said Becker. The team’s 12-day stay in Austria will also be an opportunity for the team to bond with its many new members. “We are all on the same wavelength and got along well right from the start. We haven’t had any issues getting to know one another,” Becker said about the relationship between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ players.
Three more friendlies left to play
Before the 2. Bundesliga season gets underway at the end of July, Schalke will play three more friendlies against Zenit St. Petersburg (3/7), Shakhtar Donetsk (9/7) (both during training camp) and Vitesse Arnheim (16/7). The league season will then get underway at home against Hamburger SV on 23rd July, in a reunion between Simon Terodde and his former club. “Of course we’ve told him that he can welcome them back with a hat-trick for us,” Becker said with a grin. Terodde’s scoring boots have certainly been given a workout during pre-season already, with a hat-trick against both Wesel and Hamborn.