Michael Gregoritsch: It feels as if I’ve been here for three years

Michael Gregoritsch is the new boy on the block for the Rückrunde. The Austrian spoke with us about his first few days with his new team, familiar faces, his aims, and the friendly against his former club.

Michael, you’ve had your first week at your new club now. How’s it been?

Outstanding. I couldn’t have wished for a better start here. It’s always good to join the team in a training camp. Then you get to know each other better, because you don’t go home after the sessions. I immediately felt that the team understood each other very well. I had heard that before, now I’ve experienced it for myself. After a week, it almost feels like I’ve been here for three years.

There were a few familiar faces for you.

That’s true. You know almost all players, of course, because you’ve played against each other quite often. Alessandro Schöpf and Guido Burgstaller are old acquaintances from the Austrian national team. We get along very well, Burgi is actually a really good friend of mine. I knew the two assistant coaches Frank Fröhling and Matthias Kreutzer from my time at Hamburger SV, and I also knew athletic trainer Klaus Luisser from my father.

How did Jochen Schneider convince you to switch from FC Augsburg to FC Schalke 04?

He showed me what my role would look like and that the team is missing a type of player like me. The conversations with those responsible were very pleasant overall. I was assured that the club really wanted to sign me. When the call came from Schalke, I actually didn’t have to think for a second.

Did you speak to Burgi about what it’s like at Schalke before you came here?

We always had contact, and even before I came here he always told me good things about Schalke.

When the call came from Schalke, I actually didn't have to think for a second.

Michael Gregoritsch

You have been borrowed for the second half of the year, there is no subsequent purchase option. What does that mean for you?

That’s something I’ll have to think about in the future. The fact is, however, that as a footballer, a pre-agreed purchase option from the club does not help you if you don’t play well. I will do everything in the next six months to help the team achieve their goals, then we’ll see after that. After the first few days at Schalke, I can say that I feel very comfortable here already.

You played your first 45 minutes against VV St. Truiden in the S04 jersey. How satisfied were you with your performance?

I think it was fine. I did a few good things going forward but there is much more to come. I would have preferred it if we turned it around in the second half and got the win but unfortunately we didn’t manage it.

 

You almost equalised with a free kick. Will you take free kicks in the league if the positioning favours a left footer?

I can’t say for sure yet, I don’t want to rule it out. If the opportunity arises, then gladly.

You still have a friendly left to play before the return of the Bundesliga. Will it be a special game for you to play against SV Hamburg?

I had a great time there and I still know some players, so I’m looking forward to seeing them again. I still follow how they’re getting on and keep my fingers crossed that they get promoted.

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