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Feel-good factor looms large at training camp

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Feel-good factor looms large at training camp

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:45 pm

12.01.2007

Seasoned observers of Bayern's strenuous training camps have rarely rated the atmosphere as so light-hearted and relaxed as this year. "Fantastic Brazzo!" - "World-class, Görlitz!" - "Go for it, Roque!" and similar exhortations have been the norm, as the squad shows no signs of flagging even after eight days' hard work. The stars have developed an apparent deep camaraderie both on and off the field.

Junior keeper Thomas Kraft has been on the end of some good-natured humour from his more senior colleagues - "The staircase is just over there!" Claudio Pizarro joshed as the youngster made to get in the elevator, reporters have been (gently) struck with thoroughly sweaty training kit, and the daily news conference punctuated by applause and thumping on the glass of the express lift as it shoots skywards.

<b>Focused and determined mood</b>

"The atmosphere is very relaxed," Roque Santa Cruz observed, while Willy Sagnol described the ambience as "extremely interesting. Everyone's giving it 100 percent, and spirits are high." Bayern show signs of regrouping and pulling together following the trials of the first half of the season. "We all know this training camp will set the tone for the rest of the campaign," Sagnol continued.

The mood at training is correspondingly focused and determined. "The players are totally willing to work on themselves," a satisfied Oliver Kahn remarked. The club captain likes to give a loud and vocal commentary on every move in every training match, joining Mark van Bommel in calling the shots out on the field.

<b>Strongly motivated</b>

As a unit, the players have set themselves the target of a better grade of football compared to the six months before Christmas. "Individual players don't matter. It's important we win as a team," Bastian Schweinsteiger declared. "Obviously you'd rather not be sitting on the bench, but I'm totally prepared to come on and help the team in the last 10 minutes," Santa Cruz insisted, indicators for a burgeoning and deepening team spirit.

A new measure adopted by head coach Felix Magath appears to have worked wonders for the general mood. The players do not deny disliking the unavoidable fitness routines, but the workouts have been made far more tolerable by incorporating the ball wherever possible. "It's always better for a player if you do your stamina work with the ball," Santa Cruz confirmed. The Paraguay man himself provided a moment of humour on the training ground when he took a firm shot directly in what is politely termed the lower stomach area, before crumbling to the ground. Quickly recovered, Roque saw the funny side and joined in the general laughter.
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