Pros 03.07.2022 — 20:21 Uhr

The team get a break, but the coach can never rest

After the friendly victory over Wormatia Worms, Bo Svensson gave an interview on how preparations have gone so far, his plans for the squad as well as how he’ll deal with the return of the international players.

The Zerofivers first-team players may be having a more relaxed week next week, but Bo Svensson expects himself to have plenty of work to be getting on with, even on his family holiday.

It was a familiar story. Just like last week after 1. FSV Mainz 05’s 21-0 victory in their first pre-season friendly against 1. FC Kiedrich in Geisenheim, the players who featured in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over newly-promoted fourth-tier side Wormatia Worms took to the SV Guntersblum pitch to thank the 1,6000 spectators and fans who came to attend the match, signing plenty of autographs and taking plenty of selfies, as well as holding short discussions and answering the questions of the public. 

The queue of people to get a chance to speak to and interact with Bo Svensson was as long as that of the concessions stands. Svensson was quick to mention this in his post-match interview, doing so ahead of discussing any technical aspects to the game. “I’ve always said that it’s important for us to present ourselves well. Mainz 05 is the team of the region; taking time for everyone who has given up their Saturday afternoon to come and support us is part and parcel of matches like these. Hopefully, they’ll also come and support us in the coming season,” commented the Dane. “I’m pleased with how the last two friendlies have gone, they’ve given us the opportunity to get closer to our fans. After two years of Corona, it makes things like this even more important, and it will always be important to represent yourselves well and to be there for the fans. 

... taking time for everyone who has given up their Saturday afternoon to come and support us is part and parcel of matches like these. 

Taking time out for the fans: Dominik Kohr signed lots of autogrpahs for fans after the final whistle.

Eight sessions in the bag 

The Zerofivers head coach also seemed pleased from a footballing perspective, even if his side didn’t put together the perfect first-half performance against Wormatia. The improved display and goals scored in the second half certainly put a wider smile on Svensson’s face. “As a coach, you naturally always want more. However, I also know that only so much is possible after 13 days’ training. I know everything that we’ve done in seven sessions this week, and today’s match was the eighth, so of course at some point, you’re going to feel it a little in your legs which will affect the precision of our play,” he admitted. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the squad haven’t done much tactical work at all in pre-season, instead focusing on physical and athletic aspects of the game. The players have put the hard yards in on the training pitch. “It’s worked well, nobody’s injured and everyone’s taken part in the entirety of the sessions. I’ve seen that as a real positive.” Svensson thinks his team are in a really good physical condition for this stage of pre-season. The attention will turn towards more technical aspects of the game from next week, the same time that our international players will return to training. “We’ve gone into pre-season with the motto: When is it most worthwhile to do something?’ explained the head coach in Guntersblum. “Seven players will return after our short break who all possess great quality and who we need. Then, we can make the next step and begin to work on more tactical aspects which are necessary for our playing style at our training camp. We need to improve on many and various parts of our game.” 

A few notes made for the future 

Several youth players from the academy will make the journey to Grassau with the first-team squad between 13th and 20th July. “Some have absolutely deserved their place in the squad which will go to the training camp,” commented the Dane. “Actually, all the young lads have, but we’ve seen enough this week and have made some notes for the future.” The first two weeks of pre-season are important for the younger players. “They see the difference between U19s or U23s and the Bundesliga, that there’s a difference when you’re playing against the likes of Stefan Bell or Dominik Kohr and that we also play at a much higher tempo. They’ve shown some good stuff, though, and we can also see what they need to work on. But all the young lads have done really well.” 

They see the difference between U19s or U23s and the Bundesliga. 

Svensson went on to add that this slightly quieter week isn’t simply a holiday. “It worked well last year to have a break after the first part of pre-season. When all the players are back, we can go a step further. You can’t go through six weeks of pre-season and expect players to stay mentally fresh, especially until September or October. I think this week will do us good, they’ll need to do some fitness work, but they’ll be away from Bruchweg, from each other, and have an opportunity to spend time with their families.” 

Burgzorg to keep working 

Only Delano Burgzorg, who finally returned to the pitch for 45 minutes in Guntersblum after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, isn’t being given a break. The Dutchman, who was signed in the January transfer window, suffered a from myocarditis after a Corona infection, will be continuing to train next week. 

“I feel really happy,” said Burgzorg after his 45 minutes against Wormatia. “I was back on the pitch after four and a half months out. It was a difficult time for me, now I’m taking things step by step. I’m excited to play in the Bundesliga again and to show what I can do to the fans and the club. When you’re told you can't play for a long time, it knocks you for six, and you can fall into a deep hole. On 26th May I was told I was allowed to train again, and I felt like a little boy again. I want to be fit by our DFB-Pokal match and the end of July and I’m looking forward to the next season of the Bundesliga,” explained the Zerofiver. 

I felt like a little boy again. 

The head coach will also spend next week with his family, but assumes that he’ll still be very busy and hard at work. “I’d of course liked that our squad would be sorted by now and that all issues had been addressed, but that’s not the case at the moment,” said Svensson. “The players have a break now, but the coach is constantly on the phone, because there’s a chance that things might happen personnel-wise. Something will happen, and it’ll need to for us to compete in as competitive a league as the Bundesliga.”