Rouven Schröder: Prepare as focused and professionally as we can

Schalke’s preparations for their first game of the season against Hamburger SV have been slightly disrupted. Sporting director Rouven Schröder spoke to the media on Tuesday (20/7) about Ralf Fährmann, who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as the measures taken ahead of the HSV match, plus the transfer market.

Rouven Schröder

Rouven Schröder on…

…the health of the player who tested positive for COVID-19:
The player in question is Ralf Fährmann. He gave us written permission to mention his name in the media. At the same time, he requested that no further questions regarding his infection would be asked and we will grant this wish. Giving the circumstances, he is doing okay. He’s not got any severe symptoms.

…the percentage of the squad vaccinated:
The majority of the squad has already been vaccinated twice, but not every player. As the club, we are giving everyone a chance to get vaccinated and we need to make sure we’re careful with this. However, we cannot force anyone. Everybody can decide for themselves. I’ve had two vaccinations myself already and I’m really happy with my decision to do so.

…preparations for the HSV game:
We have voluntarily decided to enter a quarantine training camp so that we can prepare as focused and professionally as we can for the season opener against Hamburger SV. We are obviously being careful regarding our health, which means following all the rules carefully. The whole team and the coaching staff are still having daily quick tests as well. As things stand, we’re certain Friday’s game will go ahead. We are in constant contact with the authorities and the DFL.

The first game is always something special. The players have been buzzing for the first matchday after a long pre-season.

Rouven Schröder

…excitement for the new season:
The first game is always something special. The players have been buzzing for the first matchday after a long pre-season. We want to make the best possible start and we’re all excited to see our fans at the VELTINS-Arena. I don’t want to try and predict where we’re at after so many changes to our squad. We’ve strengthened well and we’re prepared, although the same applies to Hamburger SV. Dimitrios Grammozis watched them closely in their friendly against FC Basel last weekend.

…signing another goalkeeper:
After Markus Schubert joined Vitesse, we were already thinking about our goalkeeping situation. With Ralf Fährmann now out, we may need to react quickly in this regard and get someone in before the Hamburger SV game. We have full confidence in Michael Langer. He’s had a great pre-season, is fully fit and leads the team well. Nevertheless, we don’t want to leave anything to chance and make sure we’ve got good depth in this position. Our idea was to bring in a young goalkeeper, but now it’s about quality. The age of a potential new signing shouldn’t be the focus anymore.

Our aim is always to look to improve the squad.

Rouven Schröder

…interest in 1. FC Köln’s Dominick Drexler:
The fact that we‘re interested in him is no longer a secret after the media’s reports, so I won’t try and deny that. However, the deal is not done yet. Dominick Drexler will complete a medical here on Tuesday afternoon. Once the contract has been signed, we’ll inform everyone as we usually do.

…more ins and outs:
I don’t want to rule anything out right now. It’s a fact that we’ve got a limited budget and we mainly have to look at free transfers. We also need to get some players off the books too. Our aim is always to look to improve the squad. Transfers are still possible until the end of August, so I expect things to start getting busy again on the transfer market in the coming weeks.

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