Conclusion of 1. FC Union training camp: relentless fitness program, a marathon of conversations and open tasks

Completion of the 1. FC Unión training camp

Relentless fitness program, a conversation marathon and open tasks


Thu 21.07.22 | 8:26 | Of Up Oppermann

Image: imago images/Nordphoto

Union is back in Berlin. After eventful days in Austria, a satisfied Urs Fischer can look back on difficult sessions and two specials. His colleague Oliver Ruhnert has an assignment: he urgently needs to loan players out. By Till Opperman

Urs Fischer is satisfied. Shortly before leaving the training camp in Austria, the successful 1. FC Union coach summed it up: “The team worked well and showed willingness.” That wasn’t always the case in the current summer preparations for the Irons. For example, after the 2-1 victory in the preparatory match against Bohemians Dublin, Fischer complained that his team showed a modest performance and complained about the lack of movement. The next outing to training camp seems to have come at just the right time for his players.

Hard training in the Großvenediger

1. FC Union spent ten days in Neukirchen am Großvenediger. That’s a long time even for a summer training camp. Especially when there is a day-to-day training session with Union’s relentless physical trainer Martin Krüger, which Fischer watched benevolently.

“Everything has an end, but not the training camp,” panted a professional on the eighth day. In doing so, he spoke from the soul of many colleagues. At least: Another participant benefited from the long stay. “We used the time to talk to all the players,” explained sporting director Oliver Ruhnert. With a squad of 34 players in total, that takes time.

Ruhnert introduces the newcomers

Last but not least, Ruhnert himself is responsible for this. Together with Portuguese defender Diogo Leite and Norwegian midfielder Morten Thorsby, he presented his ninth and tenth summer signings at the concentration camp. Both players have international experience and look forward to their time at Union.

Although another club offered Thorsby €6 million, he convinced his former club Sampdoria Genoa to sell him to Berlin for €3.5 million. “Everyone told me that the Bundesliga suits my style of play perfectly,” enthused Thorsby. He is known as an intensive defensive player who likes to push into the opponent’s penalty box when he has possession of the ball. Last season, Thorsby won more aerial duels than 99 percent of his position-mates in Europe’s top five leagues.

The training here is different. The work here is very tactical.

Union newcomer Jamie Leweling

Fischer is working on his tactics

These attributes fit not only in the Bundesliga, but especially in Fischer football. Jamie Leweling, another summer signing, understood after just a few weeks with the team what sets Union apart: “The training here is different. The work here is very tactical.” No Bundesliga team moves as compactly and disciplinedly as the Union, the U-21 national player added. In addition to hard fitness units, that puts him

team of coaches in the training camp also the tactical bases for a long season in three competitions. Union football was a reason for Leweling to sign Köpenick: “Everyone should do one thing here. If one dies, they all should die, if no one dies, everyone stays behind.”

too big squad

“Everyone” is the right keyword for Urs Fischer. Because if the coach had a problem during the days in Austria, then he had to think about how he could meaningfully integrate the whole team into training. “The squad is clearly too big,” the Swiss complained before leaving.

This was also evident in the two friendlies against Dynamo Budweis (1-0 win) and Udinese Calcio (3-3 draw). Although Fischer started with two completely different starting positions, only 26 of the 34 players were used. He tries to give each player meaning and importance, but: “In the end, guys are also defined by the minutes they play,” says Fischer.

Tasks for Fischer and Ruhnert

In the remaining weeks until September 1, when the transfer window closes, Oliver Ruhnert in particular will be asked to find a new club for some players. It started with Keita Endo, who was on loan at Eintracht Braunschweig.

Fischer’s job, however, will be to find out who should form the core of his team in the fourth season of the Bundesliga. In the last six months, some speakers have left the club with Marvin Friedrich, Andreas Luthe and Grischa Prömel. It will be interesting to see which players take the floor at the dress rehearsal against Nottingham Forest.

Outlook for the start of the season

Because on August 1, Union in Chemnitz is about to qualify for the second round of the DFB Cup. Five days later, the city derby is played against Hertha BSC at the start of the Bundesliga. But before that, the pros have a day off on Thursday after grueling sessions on the training ground. Urs Fischer thinks he deserves it: “We were able to implement 100 percent of what we had planned.”

Contributed by Till Oppermann


Leave your vote

Leave a Comment

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.