Wolf tracks

Josuha Guilavogui in Guinea / VfL training camp

‘Wolf tracks’ will once again be a regular feature in 2020, offering news, anecdotes, quotes and all the latest updates from our Wolves. In this first edition of the new year, we focus on VfL captain Josuha Guilavogui’s orphanage project and the upcoming training camp in Portugal.

Father of 15: Guilavogui is known for always giving everything out on the pitch, and he shows the same commitment to his charitable initiative in Africa too. After spending Christmas with his family in his hometown of Toulon in France, the 29-year-old travelled to the Guinean capital of Conakry.

There, the Green-and-Whites skipper – who has Guinean ancestry – made a first visit to the orphanage he founded over the last few months with his relatives, who live in the country. “The first time I was here the house was still empty, but now everything’s been done and the children live here,” said father-of-two Guilavogui with his trademark smile.

In total, 13 orphans (eight boys and five girls) live at the house and consider Guilavogui a surrogate father figure. “They call me ‘papa’,” said the visibly moved midfielder after his visit, during which he took along plenty of VfL-themed gifts for the children. Guilavogui also shared photos of the trip with his new extended family on his personal Twitter account. “I’m delighted to be able to give back some of what God has given me,” he said.

Warm-weather training: The Wolves played an energy-sapping 25 competitive games across the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Europa League in the first half of the season. Head coach Oliver Glasner duly gave his charges two weeks off to rest and recover over Christmas, before the team reunites on Saturday 4 January to begin preparations for the second half of the campaign.

The Green-and-Whites will then head to Braunschweig airport, from where they will fly to the Portuguese town of Almancil once again for a warm-weather training camp. The aim of the week-long stay – the Wolves return home on 11 January – is to lay the foundations in terms of form and fitness for a successful second season-half in all competitions. A friendly game is planned during the camp, with the date, time and opponent still to be confirmed.