Back on the saddle with faces both old and new

The HSV first team take to the pitch for the first time this season on Wednesday after completing performance tests and health checks at the start of the week.

In less than 24 hours the preparations for a new season will be underway, as after five weeks’ rest and recuperation, the squad will take to the training pitch for the first time at the Volkspark. The session will also be led by a new set of coaching staff, namely Daniel Thioune and his assistant Merlin Polzin who have arrived during the break from VfL Osnabrück, and his second assistant Hannes Drews, who moves up from managing the club’s under-21 side. And the coaching staff will be pleased to see a relatively full contingent out on the training pitch on their first day at work, with central midfielders Klaus Gjasula and Amadou Onana (formerly SC Paderborn and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim under-19s respectively), training on the Volkspark pitch for the first time. The new signings are joined by a quartet of old faces, namely Jonas David (Würzburger Kickers), Manuel Wintzheimer (VfL Bochum), Aaron Opoku (Hansa Rostock) and David Bates (Sheffield Wednesday) who have all returned from their loan spells over the summer holidays. The start of training is also a chance for a number of youngsters to make an impression, with Jonah Fabisch (18), Lukas Pinckert (20), Bryan Hein (18) and Herdi Bukusu (20) the chosen ones from the under-21 side. 

Whilst new signings bring positivity to the start of a new season, a number of first-team members will be missing from action tomorrow as they continue to recover from injury. Rick van Drongelen and Anssi Suhonen both ruptured the ACL in their left knees, the Dutchman in the last game of the season against Sandhausen and the Finn last week in under-21 training, with both starting their rehab and the road to recovery. There’s more positive news with Ewerton, who underwent surgery for a tumour in his thigh at the end of the season and is making big strides on his way back to full fitness. Gideon Jung and Jan Gyamerah both injured their thighs in the Sandhausen game but have recovered during the five-week rest period, as Gyamerah hopes to be training with his teammates by the end of the week and Jung by the start of next week. 

The preparation began in earnest at the beginning of the week, as the squad was split into two groups, completing various performance and health tests at the university hospital in Eppendorf over the course of the two days. Tests of mobility and agility were on the programme on one day, before various eye and cardio tests on the other to check the squad’s fitness levels heading into the start of training. Over the course of the five weeks of pre-season, with the first competitive game coming in the second weekend in September, manager Thioune and his staff will get to know his players and try to transmit his style of play before the first round of the DFB Pokal in the middle of September. Whilst no spectators are allowed at the training session, HSV fans will be able to watch along on HSVtv, with live footage from training as well as interviews with various members of the sporting hierarchy.