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Youth quintet train with the seniors

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Youth quintet train with the seniors

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:40 pm

"Lads!" called Jupp Heynckes, "you're joining us for lunch, right?" The five players, who were on their way from the practice ground to the junior team dressing rooms, nodded assent. "Midday?" someone asked. "More like quarter-past," Heynckes replied. The five went to shower and change, before rejoining the head coach, Jörg Butt, Rafinha & Co at the lunch table. For a few days, the youth quintet are on a par with the first team.

Fabian Hürzeler (18 years old), Maximilian Rothenbücher (18), Christian Derflinger (17), Nikola Jelisic (16) and Christian Ali Emerun (16) play their football for Bayern's U-19 youth team. As of Wednesday this week, and also on Monday and Tuesday next week, they are effectively part of the senior squad for training. "It's a highlight," Hürzeler told fcbayern.de, "naturally, the goal for all of us is to play for the professionals at some point." They have now picked up a first taste of what life at the senior level involves.

Nervousness soon evaporates

The reason, of course, is the absence of eleven players with their national teams, and injuries to five other stars. The youngsters have been called in to enable something resembling a normal and productive training programme, Heynckes explained to fcbayern.de. On Friday, for example, the presence of the junior team members allowed for a five-a-side practice match.

The five juniors are included in all the usual passing and shooting exercises, short-sided games and fitness work. They loose off shots against Jörg Butt, attempt to dribble past Rafinha, exchange passes with Danijel Pranjic and try to stop Nils Petersen scoring goals. "You're obviously a bit nervous to start with, but it soon goes away," reported Hürzeler.

Praise from the boss

Nervousness is soon no longer a problem, but the youths must still cope with the vastly higher pace and added complexity of the pros' training routines. "They train in a different way. We don't do this sort of exercise," revealed Hürzeler. Despite that, the quintet are giving it their best shot. "They've done really well. They've got involved, they're motivated and they're passionate," enthused Heynckes, "they've done their level best to accomplish the tasks we've set them."

As they departed on Friday for a weekend off, the youngsters were tired but elated. "It's been great," Jelisic declared. "Everyone's been very nice to us," Hürzeler remarked, impressed by the senior players' openness. The five are enjoying a glimpse of what life as a professional at Bayern might be like. "We know what to expect now," Rothenbücher confirmed.
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