Despite the rain in Berlin on Wednesday afternoon, spirits were high as Hertha started into their first pre-season training session. Fans were able to attend and watch their team get to work at the Hanns-Braun-Stadion, and get a glimpse of the new 2021/22 shirts in action. "I'm fully recharged and I enjoyed my three-week holiday. We started planning for the upcoming season as of this week, and we do have some new players with us," said head coach Pál Dárdai, who was excited to get back to work.
Twenty-three players took to the pitch to begin training promptly at 15:00 CEST, and were greeted loudly by stadium announcer Udo Knierim and with applause from the 100 fans in attendance. After a short talk from Dárdai followed by a quick warm-up, the players settled in to work. While goalkeepers Alexander Schwolow, Nils Körber and Marcel Lotka were off training with new goalkeeping coach Andreas Menger, the remaining outfield players were kept busy with various passing and on-the-ball drills. The 85-minute session finished with a game, as Marvin Plattenhardt, Dodi Lukébakio & Co. ran hard and contested plenty of challenges. Hertha academy product Ruwen Werthmüller was the one to score the first goal in the first training session of the new season. "It was fun to be back on the pitch with the team. The lads are giving it their all. It was also nice to have the fans back, even if the weather could have been better," Niklas Stark said after training.
Two new signings, two players return and two ‘new’ youngsters
As well as the two summer signings Suat Serdar and Kevin-Prince Boateng, Davie Selke and Dennis Jastrzembski returned to the club after their loan spells last season. “We’ll definitely get on, we always have. I spoke to him a bit already and apologised for the weather and the first day – normally we begin pre-season in the Amateurstadion with more fans,” said coach Dárdai on Boateng. Youngsters Linus Gechter and Anton Kade from the U19s were also involved in training. Kade is the younger brother of ex-Herthaner Julius. Gechter was out on the pitch with the side, while Kade stayed indoors for some performance tests. All six of these players will make the trip on Thursday with the rest of the squad to Neuruppin for the first training camp of pre-season. Arne Maier, who won the U21 EUROs earlier this month, will join up with the squad for then. Peter Pekarík (holiday after EURO 2020), Vladimír Darida, Dedryck Boyata (still at EURO 2020), Omar Alderete (Copa América), Matheus Cunha (Olympics), Rune Jarstein (not allowed to train after his coronavirus infection), Krzysztof Piątek (rehabilitation training after fracturing his ankle), Javairô Dilrosun (private reasons) and Daishawn Redan (quarantine after Covid infection) were all missing on Wednesday and will also not travel to Neuruppin. Lucas Tousart will be involved for the first few days before meeting up with France’s Olympics squad on Sunday. “Rune’s heart is going to be looked at soon. Once he gets the green light, he can slowly start to train again,” reported Dárdai.
The Hungarian’s side will travel around 80km to Neuruppin on Thursday, staying there until 7th July. Aside from two sessions a day, the ‘Old Lady’ will also play friendlies against Schwarz-Rot Neustadt tomorrow (18:30 CEST) and MSV Neuruppin (7th July, 15:00 CST). “A lot of the squad have already been there for a training camp so they know what to expect. For some though, it will be their first trip there,” added Niklas Stark.