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First day in new job for van Bommel

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First day in new job for van Bommel

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:30 pm

29.08.2006 <div class="abstand_unten_20"> </div> "A very warm welcome Mark," was the slogan on a couple of cardboard signs held up by adoring kids at the entrance to Bayern's Säbener Strasse training ground on Tuesday afternoon. Other youthful supporters were wearing appropriately orange T-shirts as some 1,500 fans gathered to watch Bayern's new Dutch ace train for the first time.

They were rewarded for their attendance earlier than they might have expected, as Mark van Bommel emerged from the dressing room some 10 minutes before the official workout was due to start. The former Barcelona midfielder was wearing flip-flops, as his shoes are made no difference to a quick photo-shoot for club partner Paulaner. Van Bommel disappeared back into the changing area, where he has been assigned Michael Ballack's old locker between those of Lukas Podolski and Daniel van Buyten, to put on and lace up his boots.

<b>Commands and gestures</b>

The 29-year-old was the last of the squad to exit the professionals' quarters. A wave to the fans, a couple of quick snaps out on the training ground with a ball and his coach, and the club's new hero formally began his first day in a new job, breaking sweat for Bayern.

"I didn't need what I saw today to tell me he's a player who can help us a lot," coach Felix Magath declared following the 90-minute workout. During the practice match at the end of the session, van Bommel offered a few glimpses of the reason why the club has been trying to obtain his signature for more than a year. Gesticulating and issuing commands, he looked a born organiser, before demonstrating impressive physical prowess in crunching challenges with Hasan Salihamidzic and Lucio.

<b>House hunting</b>

"He can marshal the play both in defence and attack," Magath observed, although the coach declined to reveal where he intended to field the Netherlands international. The boss also sought to dampen expectations of the newcomer's first few weeks, as the 29-year-old shares the problem of many stars at the club in terms of shaking off the energy-sapping consequences of the World Cup. "But the older players cope better," Magath observed.

Van Bommel is currently quartered at a hotel: he and his wife have viewed a number of potential homes in Munich but none has caught the newcomers' eye so far. His wife Andra and the couple's three children Thomas, Ruben and Renee have returned to Barcelona, where the player will join them at the weekend to wrap up the last formalities surrounding his move.

<b>Focus on FCB</b>

In sporting terms, the midfield inspiration is already 100 percent committed to the German double winners. "He's passionate about this football club," Magath smiled.
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