Hertha BSC has suffered a lot of ridicule in the previous season; the discrepancy between everyday life and ambition was simply too great for that. When Berlin’s Bundesliga club from Charlottenburg came dangerously close to relegation spots, Lars Windhorst emphasized in an interview: In the future, it shouldn’t be less than the Champions League.

Punctually at the beginning of the year, a close confidant of the investor, trainer Jürgen Klinsmann, has now aggressively followed up. In addition to remaining in the class, the victory in the DFB Cup is “of course a goal”. Or as the Americans say: Start small, think big. Even at Hertha BSC, nobody wants to accept the accusation of not thinking in larger dimensions and communicating this fact openly.

Getting fit in the “Championsgate”

The name of the accommodation where the team camped for a week on Thursday evening may be a strange coincidence, but in any case it fits the club’s needs. “Championsgate” is the name of the housing development in the southwest of Orlando, a suburb of a classic American style with many homes, large cars in the driveway, in-house pools as standard equipment and a first-class golf course. President Werner Gegenbauer, a passionate golfer and regular in summer and winter training camps, should also get his money’s worth.

For the professionals, on the other hand, the mixed situation is a little more serious, they will hardly be able to play golf. In the center of the sunny state of Florida, the Berliners want to get fit and prepare for the uncertainties of the second half of the season. Until next Thursday, two units are on the program every day, at the end Hertha tests on January 8 in Saint Petersburg against a competitor from the Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt.

Klinsmann would have preferred to do without the ten-hour flight and would rather move into accommodation in Spain, but as he put it these days with his own optimism: “Now we are going to make the best of it.”

No Bundesliga team started their preparation earlier than Hertha BSC

For some of the club’s employees, this is not particularly good news. It is an open secret that Klinsmann intends to thin out the squad that is too big for his terms. “We started a few days beforehand to get a complete picture of the squad again,” he said of the early start of training on December 29.

No Bundesliga team started preparations for the second half of the season as early as Hertha. In the United States, 27 professionals will now be able to show off their skills, as announced on Thursday. At first it was said that Klinsmann only wanted to travel to Florida with 25 players, including three goalkeepers.

[Alles rund ums Trainingslager in Florida lesen Sie auch hier in unserem Hertha-Blog.]

As is well known, Salomon Kalou is no longer included. Hertha released the Ivorian last week in hopes of finding a new employer. For safety’s sake, Thomas Kraft also stayed in Berlin right away; the substitute goalkeeper is ill at short notice, for him the 19-year-old young goalkeeper Luis Klatte is moving up. In addition, a player from the club’s own academy was sorted out: Sidney Friede has signed a contract with the second division club Wehen Wiesbaden.

One last time on the ball? The willing midfielder Ondrej Duda flew to the training camp in Orlando.Photo: dpa

Another midfielder was allowed to pack his suitcase shortly after his arrival in Berlin: Santiago Ascacibar was already on the plane to Orlando on Thursday. Hertha had only signed the Argentine from VfB Stuttgart on New Year’s Day and transferred a transfer fee of eleven million euros to Swabia.

It will also be exciting to see how things continue with Ondrej Duda. In an interview with the “kicker”, Hertha’s best pre-season preparer once again expressed his desire to leave the club as quickly as possible. “I want to go. I do not change my mind, “said the Slovak,” if someone does not want you, it is not possible to stay. “A clear blow to Klinsmann. Despite the criticism, Duda was also on board the plane heading for the USA on Thursday.

From Friday on, the main focus will be on fine-tuning the individual team parts. Klinsmann says that the players should develop more feeling for one another and get away from thinking primarily defensively: “We would like to move our game a little further forward.”


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