Football – Hamburg – St. Pauli: Reboot with a lot of joy and open questions – Sports

HAMBURG (dpa/lno) – Joy, fans and many unanswered questions: At the start of FC St. Pauli’s preparations for the new season in the second Bundesliga on Saturday, the fans are finally back there again after more than two years. About 200 Kiezclub fans came to the training ground in Kollaustrasse to watch coach Timo Schultz’s players during the first training session. “The boys are happy,” he said of his players. “I give some autographs after that, and communicate a little – we’ve missed that for two and a half years now.”

When the 21 players and coaching staff entered the field just before 4 p.m., the fans applauded. “I started again,” said the 44-year-old. “I think everything – with the spectators in the training sessions, the great weather and the venue – has been fantastic.” “Now we have five weeks to prepare for the first match. And we need that too.”

Naturally, the new season lineup is not complete at this point. Many employee questions are open. Four additions have been confirmed so far. Manolis Saliacas (25/PAS Giannina), David Nemeth (21/FSV Mainz 05) and Carlo Bokhalifa (23/SC Freiburg II) were there for the first time. Conor Metcalf (22/Melbourne City) is still on vacation as his season in Australia later ended.

The most pressing questions about those who still managed to go. Above all, the personal details of Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Guido Burgstaller are somewhat open. Both players missed the start.

At Kerry, Schultz has no illusions about keeping the midfielder despite the contract that runs until 2023. “If he’s here on the training ground in two weeks, I’ll be happy.” As long as sporting director Andreas Bornmann doesn’t give him any further information, he’s planning that way. “However, I know the business and I know the workforce in the background.”

The 26-year-old Kerry, who was last with the Ghana national team, is being courted by several Bundesliga clubs after a solid season with 12 goals in the second division and 10 assists. According to media reports, Werder Bremen should have good chances. But Europa League participants SC Freiburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach are also competing. Keri’s departure will at least bring in a transfer fee. There is talk of three million euros.

Schultz has more hope in top scorer Burgstaller. The 33-year-old Austrian has returned home for family reasons. Rapid Vienna is under discussion. “I think he felt very comfortable here,” Schultz said. “We have to see what solutions and methods exist. We know his situation.”

Keri and Burgstaller were responsible for 30 goals last season in the Bundesliga. The two made a huge contribution to Kiezclub’s ability to play for the long-term promotion. It will be difficult to find a replacement. “The transfer window is open until August 31,” Schultz said. “We haven’t let that drive us crazy in recent years.”

He is sure that Leart Paqarada will stay. “I suppose so,” Schultz said. The 27-year-old defender has risen to become a captain.

The construction site is closed. Shortly before the start of training, the club announced the commitment of goalkeeper coach Marco Knopp to succeed Matthias Hen. The 43-year-old worked for Danish first division club FC Nordsjaelland and before that he worked with Fenerbahce Istanbul, among others.

Schultz tackled last season with a missed promotion. “I’m the kind of person who happily looks to the future. I was able to do it relatively quickly.” He also does not want to overstate potential tensions regarding sporting director Bornman: “We work together professionally. We have always found solutions to individual issues.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220611-99-629831 / 4

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