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Toni fires hat-trick in warm-up match

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Toni fires hat-trick in warm-up match

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:30 pm

Could it be a promising sign for the crunch fixtures against Wolfsburg and Barcelona? At the very minimum, Luca Toni shook off his injury-enforced cobwebs on Wednesday, netting a hat-trick as the senior players defeated the FCB U-19 youths in a 50-minute warm-up match. "Luca is hungry, he's desperate to get back to the fray," Jürgen Klinsmann smiled after the striker's first halfway serious game of football in more than four weeks.

"Luca's really up for it now. The last few weeks have totally gotten on his nerves," Klinsmann revealed to fcbayern.de. Toni has been sidelined since late February with an inflamed Achilles tendon, but finally resumed the squad training programme on Monday. "He's back up to speed," reported Klinsmann, "he's confident the Achilles is 100 percent OK again, and that's important mentally."

Regaining rhythm

The striker will now focus on regaining his rhythm. "The goals will follow automatically once that happens," Klinsmann said, another reason why the semi-competitive match against the U-19s had been important for the Italian. As an added bonus, Massimo Oddo benefited from match exposure for the first time since missing the Karlsruhe fixture with a calf problem.

José Ernesto Sosa, Zé Roberto and Oddo himself scored the remaining goals, with Vincent Bönig netting for the youths. "We've done nothing but train for ten days. A little competitive action is good for the lads, and a nice change from yet another training workout," Klinsmann explained. The coach has been working with a rump squad since last week due to the current round of international matches.

Praise for the juniors

The head coach professed delight at the chance to watch the club's senior youngsters at first hand. "The young players need the chance to test their progress against the pros once in a while." After the final whistle, Klinsmann gathered coach Kurt Niedermayer's lads around him to offer praise and encouragement: "You've given a really good account of yourselves."

Niedermayer was happy too: "The lads have done extremely well." However, the U-19 coach continued, his players had been visibly nervous during the match. "You could see a couple of them were jumpy. Obviously, this kind of thing isn't normal for the boys. They find out what it means to be a pro. Taking on Zé Roberto or Breno in a challenge is a totally new world for them."

Consolation goal

Notching a consolation goal just before the end made the run-out a truly memorable experience for the youngsters. "I was hoping that might happen," Niedermayer smiled. There may even be another pros versus juniors clash in the future. "We might offer them the chance to take revenge," Klinsmann grinned.
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