The hard work begins: Rapid players back in training
Following the successful completion of the standard medicals on Monday last week, the Rapid players and coaches gathered on Tuesday for the first time this pre-season on the training pitches. Beautiful summer weather welcomed Steffen Hofmann and his teammates as they clocked in for their shift and got down to work under the auspices of Martin Bernhard. In the absence of Goran Djuricin (absent until Wednesday as he continued to work towards his UEFA Pro-License) there were plenty of new faces to be introduced: New Sports Scientist and Athletics Trainer Anton "Toni" Beretzki was on hand; with his assistant Alexander Steinbichler, Physio Gerald Kemmer and Rehab Trainer David Lechner also there to introduce themselves to the playing squad.
Those Rapid stars who had been away on international duty with their respective nations throughout the summer tournaments had been given extended leave; players such as Louis Schaub and Arnor Traustason were thusly absent. Happily, convalescent duo Ivan Mocinic and Philipp Schobesberger were involved in the session, participating in strength work and cardiovascular exercises as they continue to build towards full fitness. "For the most part when I'm doing low-impact exercises I don’t feel anything, but here and there I still experience stiches", explained Schobesberger, who - like Mocinic - is still a few weeks away from being able to return to full training.
All other squad members returned fighting fit from their holidays: "I did me good to switch off for a while after the season", explained Stefan Schwab: "It was nice though to see everyone again today. Now it's about getting physically fit in the next few weeks; in this respect, the training camp (as of Wednesday in Windischgarsten) is going to help us. We’ll sit down with the trainer team and establish our goals for next season, but at the moment we are just happy that everything is getting underway again!"