Head coach Thorsten Fink (l.) is "very confident" Hamburg can hit the ground running next season - skipper Rafael van der Vaart is expecting another "feisty" encounter at Schalke
Head coach Thorsten Fink (l.) is "very confident" Hamburg can hit the ground running next season - skipper Rafael van der Vaart is expecting another "feisty" encounter at Schalke

Van der Vaart: "In at the deep end" - 2013/14 Matchday 1

Munich - On Friday 21 June, the DFL unveiled the much-anticipated 2013/14 Bundesliga fixture schedule.

Defending champions FC Bayern Munich will get the season under way on Friday, 9 August, with a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach - just one of the great tussles in store in the opening round of the 51st Bundesliga campaign. Here's a selection of reactions from players, coaches and management to the Matchday 1 face-offs.

Max Eberl (Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director): "It goes without saying that to be kicking off the campaign at Bayern Munich is an absolute highlight. It's an honour for us to be opening the 51st Bundesliga season with a live-broadcast game against the German champions."

Christian Heidel (1. FSV Mainz 05 sporting director): "We're happy to be starting - and finishing - the season with a home game. And VfB Stuttgart are very attractive opponents to kick off against at the Coface Arena."

Fredi Bobic (VfB Stuttgart sporting director): "There's always a great atmosphere at Mainz. It's a good game to be starting off with and I'm looking forward to it. We've got something to make good on there."

Mirko Slomka (Hannover 96 head coach): "The schedule's worked out great for our fans. I'm sure were going to have sell-out crowds right from the off against Wolfsburg and Schalke. In sporting terms it's going to be tough, but we have the chance to demonstrate right away how strong we are at home."

Klaus Allofs (VfL Wolfsburg sporting director): "It's a pity we're starting with an away game, it would have been nice to begin at home. That apart, it's a good one to kick-off with - an interesting match, and our fans don't have far to travel."

Rudi Völler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen sporting director): Freiburg, Stuttgart, Mönchengladbach, Schalke and Wolfsburg - that's quite a handful for starters. We're going right up against direct rivals there in the battle for European places. They're going to be great games and it's a very interesting campaign opening."

Stefan Reuter (FC Augsburg sporting director): "We're happy to be kicking off the season with home advantage, and ending it the same way. We'll obviously be going into the game against Dortmund as underdogs, but we'll be looking to make a positive start nonetheless."

Thorsten Fink (Hamburger SV head coach): "I'm very satisfied with our opening schedule and very confident we're going to make a good start to the campaign. Our fans will certainly be looking forward to those thrilling early northern derbies as well."

Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburger SV captain): "Travelling to Gelsenkirchen, we're going right in at the deep end. Games at Schalke are always feisty affairs, but most of my memories of them are positive - apart from last season."

Marc Arnold (Eintracht Braunschweig sporting director): "Our team have a very interesting opening programme in prospect, with a great northern derby right at the start. Werder Bremen are ringing the changes, with Robin Dutt at the helm now. It's going to be a fascinating home game for us."

Thomas Eichner (Werder Bremen sporting director): "It's a hot number for starters. We'll be going up against a highly-motivated Bundesliga newcomer at Braunschweig. It's a real highlight for our fans to open up with."

Jos Luhukay (Hertha BSC head coach): "We wanted a home game and we got one, against Eintracht Frankfurt. That's fantastic, and everyone here is raring to go - back in the Bundesliga."

Michael Wiesinger (1. FC Nuremberg head coach): "Obviously we'd have preferred to kick off on home turf. Hoffenheim are on an up after making the play-offs and staving off relegation. They're tough opponents to start against."