Pre-season begins with promotion heroes, new faces and an autograph session
25 degrees, sun and Royal Blue skies marked the start of pre-season for FC Schalke 04 on Wednesday (22/6). Around 1,000 fans were at the Parkstadion to watch the team train, with thousands tuning in on YouTube too (for a stream presented by new training kit partner HRS). Fans in attendance were able to get some autographs from the players afterwards.
The S04 fans got to watch their promotion heroes train, but also saw a number of the eight new signings and new head coach Frank Kramer for the first time. Gerald Asamoah described Kramer as “an absolute team player,” with the two having previously worked together at SpVgg Greuther Fürth back in 2013, when Asamoah was still active as a player and Kramer was head coach there.
Kramer and all the players were applauded onto the training pitch at 11:00 by the fans, who also got to see the new training kit. Danny Latza, Simon Terodde and their teammates were clearly happy to be back as they began preparations for the new season. That was also the case for Peter Knäbel: “I’m really looking forward to the new season – in the Bundesliga!” said the board member.
I’m really looking forward to the new season – in the Bundesliga!
The team had arrived back at the training ground a few days ago to complete the obligatory tests in small groups. “The team left a positive impression,” revealed Asamoah, who added with a smile on his face that these tests weren’t his favourite part of the season back as a player. “They’re just something you have to do. The lads worked hard, especially when completing the intensive runs.” The players, however, are happy to have the ball back at their feet.
Polter scores the first goal in training
New signings Alexander Schwolow, Justin Heekeren (goalkeepers), Leo Greiml, Ibrahima Cissé (defenders; Greiml trained individually), Tobias Mohr (midfielder) and Sebastian Polter (striker) trained with their new teammates for the first time. Polter got the first goal in training of the 2022/23 season.
Florent Mollet was not in Gelsenkirchen for the start of pre-season. The French midfielder will join on Thursday (23/6) due to private reasons. Tom Krauß, another central midfielder, was also missing. He remains on holiday like Florian Flick and Malick Thiaw (also Germany U21s), Marcin Kaminski (Poland), Blendi Idrizi (Kosovo) and Marius Lode (Norway). Those players were given more time off after spending a few weeks away with their nations recently.
Time for the fans
Marius Bülter also didn’t train due to tendonitis in his foot. Marvin Pieringer was another absentee. He has tested positive for Covid-19. The players that spent last season on loan at other clubs were also not involved. Their contracts at their respective clubs will only expire on 30th June. Niklas Castelle and Tjark Scheller from the U23s trained with the 20 first teamers, as well as Sidi Sané from the U19s. The plan is to have Sané with the first team for the whole of pre-season.
Once training finished after around 75 minutes, fans had the chance to get autographs from the S04 players. The new signings were in high demand and were in good spirits at their new club.