Hamburg - There must have been a point last season when Hamburger SV thought today would never come, but thanks to victory in the relegation play-offs HSV are once again opening their doors for business on Media Day.
The event, which takes place in and around Hamburg's Volksparkstadion, is used to present the northerners' new signings, take official photographs and produce exclusive media content for use throughout the upcoming campaign.
bundesliga.com rounds up the highlights…
Hamburg media day: best bits
1. Seeing double at HSV?
At Hannover 96’s Media Day on Monday the name ‘Sakai’ stood on the squad list. It was the same with Hamburg on Wednesday. Confusion? No. There is no relation between Hannover’s Hiroki Sakai and HSV’s new signing Gotoku Sakai. “The name Sakai is a common one in Japan,” said Gotoku, who is hoping to play a big part in helping his new side avoid another season like the 2014/15 campaign. “The team has quality,” explained the German-born Japanese international.
2. No more relegation battles
The HSV players were in good spirits on Wednesday. The players were unified in expressing their desire to avoid another season as tense as the previous campaign. “We want to look to the future and allow out fans to breathe easy,” said Lewis Holtby, who was quick to praise the squad’s unity. “We saw towards the end of last season the power upon which HSV can call upon. Maybe we’ll even cause an upset on the opening day in Munich.”
3. Olic and the yellow felt ball
In a quick-fire question round, Ivica Olic admitted that he would have loved to have become a professional tennis player had it not worked out in the football world. However, his favourite player isn’t World No1 Novak Djokovic, but Swiss superstar Roger Federer. “He still plays with such a stylish one-handed backhand,” clarified the Croatian international, who used to play tennis as a child.
4. Star of the show…
…was undoubtedly the Hamburg mascot. Dino Hermann was the centre of attention at the team’s photo shoot. Every player embraced the mascot, but when it came to the team’s official squad photo, Dino didn’t make things easy for goalkeeping coach Stefan Wächter, who was struggling for space alongside Hamburg’s iconic dinosaur. The statement “hey Dino move over”, soon had the squad in a fit of giggles.
5. On the road to recovery
First-team regular Jaroslav Drobny will soon be able to make his return to full training. “One more week,” claimed the 35-year-old. Memories of the relegation play-off against Karlsruher SC are still fresh for the goalkeeper. “When Diaz scored that goal I just wanted to cry with happiness,” continued Drobny, who also had words of warning. “Last year we also wanted to have a more stable season and what happened…? We have to do better this year.”
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New recruits on parade
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All present and correct
First things first: team photo time!