With Rune Jarstein currently still away, Marvin Plattenhardt is Hertha’s longest-serving player on the training ground right now. The left-back has been under contract in the capital since 2014 and is now in the middle of his eighth pre-season with the club. Even if the legs are sore now and again, the 29-year-old is happy with how things have gone so far: “Overall, it’s been a decent pre-season up to now,” said our number 21. “We have understood that we can only be successful as a team. This realisation and the results towards the end of last season have given us a good feeling ahead of the new campaign.” Ahead of training on Friday, ‘Platte’ took time to speak to herthabsc.com about his loyalty to Hertha, Prince Boateng and the next training camp in Austria.
herthabsc.com: Platte, you’ve almost completed three weeks of pre-season now. How are you feeling?
Plattenhardt: I can feel my legs a bit more on some mornings! I’m sure that’s the same for the other lads too though. Ultimately, I can only say the same things as you do every summer. No footballer really enjoys pre-season, but at the same time, we know how important it is. At least the training camp in Neuruppin is behind us...
herthabsc.com: That’s the training camp that Pál Dárdai reportedly works on players’ fitness levels, right?
Plattenhardt: Henrik Kuchno also showed what he’s capable of this year too! It wasn’t enjoyable, but overcoming workloads like that together help you grow together as a team.
[>]Henrik Kuchno also showed what he’s capable of this year too! It wasn’t enjoyable, but overcoming workloads like that together help you grow together as a team.[<]
herthabsc.com: The togetherness of the team was a huge factor for us at the end of the last season. Despite a number of setbacks, including having to go into quarantine, the team secured safety with a game to spare. Can you still sense that team spirit?
Plattenhardt: Definitely! Last season was anything but easy for us. We didn’t play to our best often enough and we also had to play in front of empty stadiums. But once the coach was changed at the start of the year, things started to become more positive. We became closer together even before the quarantine and started to play better too, although those 14 days without training and playing definitely had a special kind of impact on us. We have understood that we can only be successful as a team. This realisation and the results towards the end of last season have given us a good feeling ahead of the new campaign. The mood in the dressing room is good!
herthabsc.com: You moved to the capital in 2014 as a 22-year-old. You’re now 29 and are one of the most experienced players here at the club. Do you sometimes ask yourself where all those years have gone or do you ever look back on them?
Plattenhardt: Where has the time gone?! Obviously I sometimes think about the past, but never in a sad way. Being able to play for the same club for such a long time is something really special! When I joined Hertha from Nürnberg, I couldn’t have imagined it, especially considering I didn’t get off to the best of starts. That time, though, helped shaped me as a person. I’m coming up to my 200th competitive appearance for Hertha, which is a figure that will make me proud. We’ve experienced all sorts, from the Europa League to a relegation battle. I also managed to make the Germany team during my time here. I hope there will be many more nice moments too.
herthabsc.com: What are your most memorable moments?
Plattenhardt: There have been several highlights during my time here. Off the top of my head, I can think of three in particular. Reaching the Europa League after a season full of great performances is one. The second would be my free-kick against Dortmund in 2017. It was a sold-out Olympiastadion and I scored the winner, what a feeling! Another emotional moment was the DFB-Pokal game against Dresden in 2019. It was a real cup classic and thankfully we won it on penalties.
[>]Being able to play for the same club for such a long time is something really special![<]
herthabsc.com: Sami Khedira, who had even more experience than you, Has left the club. His role should now be filled by Prince Boateng. What’s your first impression been of him?
Plattenhardt: Prince is a really great guy, who has seen a lot in his career. You only need to look at the amazing players he’s played alongside. Not many can say that they were teammates of Messi or Zlatan. He will help us both on and off the pitch!
herthabsc.com: Finally, coach Dárdai has been really happy with the team’s commitment and performances so far. Where is the team at with half of pre-season done?
Plattenhardt: Everyone’s working hard and pushing each other on. All the players are trying to impress and the youngsters are integrating well too. We’re obviously missing a few guys from international duty (EURO 2020 & Olympics), but we’ve still got that togetherness. It’s normal that not everything will go well in friendlies. Having that said, we can’t concede as many goals as we did against Hannover. Overall, it’s been a decent pre-season so far. We will work on our chemistry and the tactical side of our game in Austria and then see how we’re doing against three good opponents in the friendlies.