VfL Wolfsburg have been putting in the hard yards at their training camp in the Austrian town of Schladming since last Friday as they prepare for the forthcoming season. Before they depart their camp in Styria and head back to Wolfsburg following the friendly against 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 CEST), defender Robin Knoche answered a few questions.
Summer pre-season is no walk in the park. How tired are the legs at the moment?
Robin Knoche: “Every session is intense, as it should be at a training camp. We’re working on the basics for the coming season, on our fitness and of course also on finer details, which in all is very exhausting.”
It’s been noticeable so far that head coach Oliver Glasner and his staff often use small, fun competitions during training. How do you find that?
Robin: “Nurturing a competitive and winning mentality in training is a very good approach. For players, the trick is to then carry that into a game.”
The training camp is gradually coming to an end. With two days until your departure, what’s your assessment of it?
Robin: “It’s certainly been one of the most intensive training camps I’ve experienced in my career so far. The coach has a completely different approach to his predecessor, who also got us working well. For us, it’s now about giving everything in the time we have left in Schladming and working on the things we need for the season.”
The start of the season is not too far away. How much are you looking forward to it finally getting under way?
Robin: “There’s certainly big sense of anticipation. Everyone’s happy when pre-season is over, even though we know it comes with the territory. You have to go about it professionally and get yourself into top shape. But of course, when the season starts with the DFB Cup and then properly with the league, you're obviously very happy.”