Johannesburg - The temperatures and altitude have taken some getting used to, but no one is complaining at the halfway point in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's mid-winter tour of Johannesburg - least of all goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
The 24-year-old has been making the most of his time in the Rainbow Nation after a bout of the sniffles, but still believes the Sinsheim club have plenty to be getting on with before even beginning to think about the start of the Rückrunde later this month...
Question: Oliver, after training in the morning, you watched the first friendly of the trip from the stands. What did you make of the game?
Oliver Baumann: It was difficult for us because every one was feeling tired after the last few training sessions. On top of that there's the heat and yesterday it was really humid - the opposition are pretty used to that. Everyone got stuck in, though, and fought. That's something we can take from the game, I think. No one held back.
Question: It's already the halfway stage of the Johannesburg training camp. What are your impressions of it all?
Baumann: It's already pretty hot, even when we get together in the morning and especially towards midday. Then there's the altitude, which we've had to get used to before anything else. But I think the conditions are ideal for our preparations. It's so much fun. I've been glad to get back on the pitch after the winter break. The sun, the atmosphere - there's something about it.
Question: Did you get through the break ok?
Baumann: I had my usual cold, which comes on almost every break, but it's gone now. I was still able to follow my individual training routine.
Question: Are you already thinking about the first game of the Rückrunde in Augsburg?
Baumann: No, that's still a way off. We've still got plenty of intensive sessions and a friendly to get on with here, as well as quite a bit back in Germany. Lots of training, two more friendlies. So you can't waste any energy looking too far ahead.
Question: In terms of workload, what's the difference between training in preparation for the season and training during the course of the season itself?
Baumann: We'd never train three times in one day between two games during a week like we have here. The scope and intensity of the exercises are also higher, but that gives us an insane amount of strength for the second half of the season.