Hamburg - The last side to end the 2013/14 Bundesliga season, Hamburger SV, became the first to start preparations for 2014/15 this week when they commenced pre-season training in northern Germany.
Plenty to work on
Mirko Slomka summoned his troops back for the first light workout just a month after the drama of their relegation play-off escape against Greuther Fürth.
"We've analysed last season well and we've now got a lot to do. We want to use this time to get all we possibly can out of the players," said Slomka, who welcomed all but six of his squad back for the first training session of the summer. Among those missing were World Cup participants Johan Djourou (Switzerland) and (Croatia). Rene Adler, Slobodan Rajkovic and Maximilian Beister were also missing through injury.
did take part in a 75-minute workout, on the other hand, although he was treading lightly in view of the calf injury which ruled him out of the World Cup. "I still have a few slight problems," admitted the Dutchman, who is hoping for better fortunes next season after failing to score a goal in 2014. "We all believe in a new beginning and we've got to do a lot better for that."
Around 500 fans followed their stars under Slomka's orders with his new assistant Zlatan Bajramovic also overseeing things for the first time. Hakan Calhanoglu was absent, however, after being told by doctor's to rest for four weeks. "We will see what he's got and will obviously give him all the help he needs," said Slomka.
Hamburg's plans involve a training camp in Glücksburg on the Baltic coast, before a week-long tour of China. They have also arranged a friendly against SS Lazio and will participate in the Telekom Cup at the end of July. The Red Shorts will discover their opponents for the new season's opening game next Tuesday (24 July) when the fixture list is released by the Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH (DFL).