Johannesburg - Half a season into his TSG 1899 Hoffenheim career and Swiss international midfielder Pirmin Schwegler has had no problem settling in with the top-six hopefuls, who currently find themselves sitting just adrift of third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the league table.
'Doing it with the best team spirit'
Now in South Africa for their mid-season training camp as part of the Bundesliga World Tour 2015, Schwegler took time out of the side’s busy schedule to discuss his fitness regime and the importance of the time spent in Johannesburg.
Question: Pirmin Schwegler, you arrived in Johannesburg a day earlier than the rest of the squad. How did that come about?
Pirmin Schwegler: I spent my vacation in Cape Town so the opportunity was there to combine my holiday and the training camp. My travel plans on Wednesday night went smoothly. The flight only lasted two hours. I’m relaxed and feeling good. I think I even have a small advantage over the others because I’m not having to cope with taking a long-haul flight from Germany (laughs).
Question: Have you kept yourself fit during your time off?
Schwegler: Of course, that’s part of being a professional footballer. At the beginning it was pure rest and relaxation, but then I started running again. I think in terms of fitness I haven’t lost any of it, just like the rest of the team.
Question: What are your first impressions of the facilities here?
Schwegler: That’s the most important thing about a training camp - the location, the hotel and the food all has to suit us, and up until now that has definitely been the case. The weather conditions are also very good.
Question: How important is the time you and the team are spending here in Johannesburg?
Schwegler: Extremely important. We want to use our time here to work well and intensively as a team. We’ll be out on the pitch the majority of the trip, practising some new things and refining others. It's a long season and in these ten days we’ll be laying down the foundations to make sure we can make a strong push in the second half of the campaign. We’ll be doing that with the best team spirit too, which I've experienced again following our first few hours together. We're here to train but we'll also be having a good time.