Working up a sweat nearer to home

VfL Women begin short training camp in Harsewinkel.

The She-Wolves’ traditional summer training camp in Walchsee in Austria has fallen victim to the unprecedented circumstances, but an alternative has been found. This Tuesday, the double winners headed off to Harsewinkel in North Rhein-Westphalia to prepare for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Finals tournament in Spain that gets under way on 21 August. The players will be staying at the Sporthotel Klosterpforte, where they were previously based ahead of the DFB Cup semi-final away to Arminia Bielefeld, and they have a friendly lined up at 17:00 CEST on Friday, the final day of the camp. Fellow Women’s Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt will be the opponents, with the match taking place in the Grünberg Sports Academy.

“Each session is crucial”

North Rhein-Westphalia has not been spared the extreme heat that has been prevalent in Germany in recent days, with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees when the 23-strong VfL squad had their first session this afternoon on the hotel’s own training ground. Head coach Stephan Lerch has included U-20 players Lotta Cordes and Lisanne Gräwe on the trip, while Almuth Schult is still working separately at home. The She-Wolves could very well have trained back in Wolfsburg, but there was a good reason for the change of scenery. “You can quite simply work a lot harder when the players are all together for a number of days,” said Lerch, adding that “a training camp like this one is particularly useful when it comes to integrating the new signings.” Five sessions have been planned, with two a day on Wednesday and Thursday. “Each session during such a short preparation phase is crucial,” said the coach, who celebrated his 36th birthday yesterday.