Pros 01.08.2019 — 13:23 Uhr

Kunde completes runs

The latecomer is back in training – Pierre-Gabriel returns to the pitch

Kunde Malong is working his way back into team training after returning from holiday following the African Cup of Nations.

With just two weeks to go until the start of the new Bundesliga season, the level of intensity of the preparations at 1. FSV Mainz 05 have not let off. The team completed a brisk training session at the Bruchweg on Wednesday, even without their head coach. Sandro Schwarz has been taking part in an international coaching congress with the Bundes Deutscher Fußball-Lehrer since the start of the week, and will return to Mainz on Thursday morning.

Following the bad news regarding Jean-Philippe Mateta, who will be out for at least three months after undergoing a meniscus operation in Munich on Monday after being injured in training, there were some positives to take from training, especially with the return of Kunde Malong. After taking part in the African Cup of Nations, he participated in Wednesday’s coordination training and warm-up before jogging a few rounds around the pitch. The Cameroonian appeared fit and didn’t seem to have lost much of his fitness level during his holiday.

Intense training match

New 05ers signing Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel is also closing in on a return after suffering a muscle injury during the pre-season training camp in Grassau. The Frenchman has been working individually with rehabilitation coach Axel Busenkell and will likely return to team training in the forthcoming days. Jonathan Meier also returned to complete some runs as the 05ers played an intensive training match on a small pitch. The rest of the squad were split into three teams as they battled for victory. The recipe for success was defence, winning the ball, making the ball do the work and being clinical in front of goal.

Mainz are preparing for their final friendly of the summer and their final test ahead of their first competitive match of the new season away at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal first round next week. Sandro Schwarz wants to put his side through their paces as they take on newly promoted French Ligue 1 side FC Metz in Molsheim near Strasbourg on Saturday. The two teams have agreed to play two matches consisting of 90 minutes each on Saturday. The first friendly will kick off at 11:00 CEST before the second match at 13:30 CEST. Metz have been training in the Alsace town since the start of the week as Frédéric Antonetti’s side prepare for their opening match of the Ligue 1 season away in Strasbourg next weekend. In their first home match of the new season, Moussa Niakhaté’s former club host Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel’s former club, AS Monaco.