Not much shocks Prince Boateng in the world of football anymore. Our midfielder is part of an often-quoted category of players, ones who have experienced pretty much everything in the sport. For the 35-year-old, this includes a training camp in Kienbaum. “I’ve been here before as a youngster, but I’ve never really been a fan of this place – it’s somewhere that always gets associated with blood, sweat and tears, and hard work,” explained a cheerful Boateng. “Those are exactly the things we need to do right now, though. We need to focus on doing the things we need to,” said the Berlin-born midfielder, speaking to the media from the terrace of the Olympic Training Centre.
For a long time, it was not clear if the veteran would be preparing for another season, but a discussion with head coach Sandro Schwarz laid the foundations for a one-year contract extension just before the start of pre-season. “Prince is always very open and honest, and he really reflects my impression of him from before joining Hertha. As well as that, though, he is exceptionally active and energetic, especially on the coaching side of things,” said Schwarz, summarising his impression of the Hertha academy graduate. Our number 27’s excitement for the 2022/23 season isn’t just visible on the training pitches: “I want to take some risks and gamble a bit. Last season was just too turbulent; I couldn’t finish my career like that. I can say now, though, that this will be my final season. Because of that, I want to enjoy every single day I have left here and give my all,” said Boateng. herthabsc.com has collected the thoughts of the two-time World Cup participant with Ghana.
Prince Boateng on...
... the training camp in Kienbaum:
Prince Boateng: I’ve been here before as a youngster, but I’ve never really been a fan of this place – it’s somewhere that always gets associated with blood, sweat and tears, and hard work Those are exactly the things we need to do right now, though. I feel fantastic in myself, much better than last season. I currently weigh just 84kg, the lightest I’ve been since I was at AC Milan! Stressing about a wedding is the best diet, coupled with the fact we moved house in the summer break.
... his contract extension and goals for next season:
Prince Boateng: I want to take some risks and gamble a bit – I think you can see that too. Last season was just too turbulent; I couldn’t finish my career like that. I can say now, though, that this will be my final season. Because of that, I want to enjoy every single day I have left here – even fitness training with Hendrik Kuchno (grins) – and give my all, for both the club and myself personally. I’d like to play a similar role to what I did last season: help out, be the daddy once again and perform on the pitch like in the relegation play-off second leg in Hamburg. I’ll always put the team in the foreground, because we don’t want to be in another situation like that – to that end, I’m hoping for a bit more calmness. We need to focus on the things we have to do, but I’m also still dreaming of a goal at the Olympiastadion!
... discussions with Sandro Schwarz and his impression of the new head coach:
Prince Boateng: The coach made an extra trip to Berlin to speak with me. My impression of him is a very good one: he’s very direct and open, just like myself. We chatted for around two and a half hours, but even after ten minutes it was clear that we wanted to work together. He’s a breath of fresh air, is very passionate and emotional – nobody can hide from it. Of course, my favourite position is still the number 10 role, but that isn’t really an issue: the coach decides where I play. If he wants, he can play me at right back, even if I would only be able to last 20 minutes there (laughs). In general though, I would say it’s still a bit too early to talk about everything.
... his plans after hanging up his boots:
Prince Boateng: My agent told me I’d be the perfect coach, but I don’t really see it – I don’t have the patience, and never have. I do need to improve myself in that respect. The main thing though is for me to try and concentrate on this season. At the end of the day, I’ll have all the time in the world to think about that after I’m done.