Frank Kramer: It will be a crazy start!

FC Schalke 04 began pre-season training on Wednesday (22/6) in front of around 1,000 fans at the Parkstadion. New head coach Frank Kramer met the fans for the first time and spoke to the media after the session.

Frank Kramer

Frank Kramer on…

…the first day of training:
It was fun to be back out there. You obviously have to complete the performance tests and medical examinations beforehand so you know where everyone is at, but you only really feel like you’re back when you’re on the training ground. Being out here today with this weather and the fans was a great feeling.

…the coaching team’s first instructions:
We wanted to tell the lads some things to help them from the start. I wanted to do it in our own way, which is why I waited to be on the training ground to do this. I explained how we will operate and how we want to work together, which will be important for us. The players are therefore aware of how things will be from the first training session.

…the plan before the training camp:
I always look to include everything in pre-season. Ultimately, footballers want to have a ball at their feet. Only doing running and endurance drills for the first few weeks won’t motivate them, so we will split things up accordingly. We obviously have to focus on our fitness levels initially – we’ll need them to be competitive. In doing so though, you can’t forget about other things, so will we work on our basic play with the ball and tactics too.

I always look to include everything in pre-season. Ultimately, footballers want to have a ball at their feet.

Frank Kramer

…the training camp in Mittersill:
We’ve got less time to prepare for this season overall, however we’ve got enough time with our training camp and two games there, plus we have the perfect setup here at Schalke to get ready for the start of the season.

…the first two league games against Köln and Gladbach:
You will hardly get games with a better atmosphere than these. They are something to really look forward to during the hard work in pre-season. It’s going to be a crazy start!

…expectations for the new season:
It’s important to be realistic about things, but also to remain positive. I could sense that the lads were ready to play good football again during the first training session. You will always get different phases in a season, and we’ll need to remain realistic without ever losing our ambition.

You will hardly get games with a better atmosphere.

Frank Kramer

…the hierarchy:
For me it’s important to settle in first, to get to know all the players and then it’ll just happen naturally. There’s no point in deciding things beforehand because things will change within the team. I want to work out the current hierarchy and then choose the right path together with the team.

…integrating the new signings:
Every individual is partly responsible for this. They need to be open to getting to know the new group and the team need to welcome the new guys as best they can. If both sides do that, footballers can integrate very quickly.

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