It’s about dynamics, hierarchy and getting a feel for the ball
The Zerofivers are in good spirits as their preparations for the new season got underway on Tuesday evening. There young talents have the opportunity to prove themselves, but further activity in the transfer window cannot be ruled out.
“You could see in the first training session that everyone was up for it. It is great to be back,” said Bo Svensson after the first training session on Tuesday evening. “We want to start shaping the team now. We want to get to know everyone, build a new dynamic and a new hierarchy,” explained the boss.
There have been four ins and six outs so far in the transfer window: “We are minus two in this respect because we want to maintain the size of the squad that we had last season,” said Svensson. Christian Heidel was also on hand to answer questions and stated that although Mainz’s activities in the transfer window are far from over, all players deserve the opportunity to prove themselves. This includes the likes of 17 year olds Philipp Schulz and Nelson Weiper or Marlon Mustapha, who spent last season on loan in Austria. “We want to see how our youngsters get on and get an impression of what they can do against Bundesliga players. We don’t want to finish planning the squad too early. We aren’t under pressure. We have a team that is ready and could play in the Bundesliga tomorrow,” said Heidel, who also explained that Mainz are in a “comfortable financial position” heading into the new season.
“We want to see how our youngsters get on and get an impression of what they can do against Bundesliga players”
Investing time both on and off the pitch
Svensson is so far happy with the early signings of Danny da Costa, Maxim Leitsch, Anthony Caci and Aymen Barkok. The Dane also mentioned that the start of pre-season is always an “exciting thing” for him as a coach, but attention now turns to getting the players ready for the new campaign: “For now it’s all about getting a feel for the ball because after five weeks you can be a bit rusty,” said the gaffer. Svensson also stressed the importance of integrating the new faces into the team to try and build a team spirit that made the Zerofivers so strong last year: “In order to do that, you have to invest time both on and off the pitch,” he explained.
There are also indications that there will be further activity in the transfer market this summer. According to Heidel, Anderson Lucoqui is on the verge of a transfer and the likes of Merveille Papela and Finn Dhamen could be sent out on loan: “If Finn stays we would be happy but there is no ideal solution for him,” said Heidel. Edimilson Fernandes also has the chance to prove himself like every other player, but Svensson is unambiguous about what he expects from the Swiss: “He without question has the quality to play for Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga but he has to do it our way if he is to have a future with us. That means doing what is required every single day. That hasn’t always been the case in the past. We aren’t going to change and he has to adapt in a similar fashion to how Aarón did. That’s how it will be,” said Svensson.
Getting back into the matchday spirit
Despite the fact that some things are still up in the air, there is still a great sense of anticipation ahead of the new season. This was felt amongst the fans on Tuesday evening, who were treated to autographs and selfies on the pitch after the training session. “It reminded me of what it is like to arrive at the MEWA ARENA on a matchday. It just gives us that extra motivation to do things in the best possible way,” said Svensson.
“It just gives us that extra motivation to do things in the best possible way.”
The Zerofivers’ first friendly of the season is set to take place this Saturday against 1. FC Kiedrich in Geisenheim on Saturday. “We will use it as an opportunity to get some match practice- it will be less tactical. It will be physical, thought, because it is the last training session of the week and the peak of intensity,” said Svensson.