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FCB starlets return with indelible memories

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FCB starlets return with indelible memories

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:30 pm

"Unbelievable! All I saw was a sea of flowers!" With a gesture of his hand, Gerd Müller indicated how he would have been literally in it up to his chin, had the "Bomber" bathed in all the flowers he received on the Bayern reserves' recent trip to India. The FCB II assistant coach and the second team squad spent nine days in Kolkata and Siliguri in the north-east of the vast country, returning to Munich last Friday with a plethora of tales to tell.

"Bayern's standing there is incredible. We were received like diplomatic visitors wherever we went," junior team chief Werner Kern told The youth section head was stunned by the welcome extended to the club's most promising youngsters some 7,000 km from home.

Müller idolised

Müller was undoubtedly the star of the show. The 63-year-old's schedule consisted almost entirely of autographs, photos, interviews, accolades, and gifts. "He's recognised everywhere, he's respected and honoured. The hype surrounding him was amazing," Kern revealed, "some 30 years after hanging up his boots, he's still a living legend in India."

The rest of the travelling party returned with indelible memories of their own. "It was moving and sad, to be frank, but you couldn't miss the people's friendliness and open-mindedness," reported head coach Hermann Gerland after observing scenes of dire poverty. "It makes you reflect on how lucky each and every one of us is to have been born in the West."

Desperate poverty

Visits to Mother Theresa House, a home for street kids, a tea plantation, a cruise on the Ganges and even simple trips like bus transfers left a deep impression on the youngsters in the reserve squad. "We've seen abject poverty, people washing their clothes and cleaning their teeth in filthy water," said Kern, "some people live in unacceptable slum conditions."

There is little way out for practically all the most impoverished folk. "There are hundreds of millions in India with no prospect of education and training," reflected Kern, "we've learned to appreciate how lucky we are to live and work in Germany. We all have a chance to better ourselves."

Training and friendlies

Against that background, sport became less of a priority. "Confronted with all of that, it was natural to ease back on training," related Gerland, who nevertheless ordered two workouts a day in the pleasant air temperatures. FCB II resume their third division programme in early February.

The team played and won three friendly matches in India. "We were very generous with our chances in front of goal. All three games could have ended in double-figure victories," commented Gerland. "Our reserves are fundamentally better than the top Indian teams," Kern observed.

Praise for FCB's young players

The coaching staff and officials are very satisfied with the way the club's young hopefuls conducted themselves. "I want to pay the team a major compliment. The way they represented the club was fantastic," Kern summarised. Gerland echoed the junior team chief's comments: "I think every one of my lads has grown up a little bit."
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