Created on 17-10-2007 at 00:00 AM
Jan Schlaudraff was Bayern’s first signing for the current season, but the last to make his debut: the striker finally appeared in a Munich shirt at home to Belenenses in mid-September, two and a half months after making the switch from Alemannia Aachen.
After finally recovering from surgery last June to repair a slipped disc, the 23-year-old has now racked up three substitute appearances and an outing with the reserves in the third division. Schlaudraff talked to fcbayern.de about his early months at the club, his prospects in the future, and a ‘collaboration’ with singer Reinhard Mey.
Interview: Jan Schlaudraff
fcbayern.de: Jan, you’ve been in Bavaria for almost four months now. Have you tried the local Weisswurst, boiled white sausage?
Schlaudraff: “No, beer and sausages aren’t really my thing.“
fcbayern.de: You seem to have settled in your new home now after a few teething troubles.
Schlaudraff: (laughs) “That’s the understatement of the year. The start was a catastrophe. It all happened at once: the operation, which put me completely out of action for three or four weeks. I couldn’t even jog. Then my furniture failed to arrive, I had problems with the landlord, I had to move and start all over again. It wasn’t a happy episode and I’m glad it’s over, but it’s all forgotten now. I’m fit and training, I’ve played a couple of times, and I’m gradually coming back up to speed.“
fcbayern.de: So Jan Schlaudraff’s time in Munich really starts now?
Schlaudraff: “I have to keep my feet on the ground. It’s getting better all the time, but when you consider my first few months and how successful we are as a team, I can’t start thinking I’ll suddenly accelerate from nothing to full speed.“
fcbayern.de: How would you assess your current situation?
Schlaudraff: “I’m satisfied with the period after the injury, I’m nearly back to full fitness. On the field I’ve not yet lived up to my own expectations, but it’ll come with match practice.“
fcbayern.de: Do you think you might continue to pick up match practice in the reserves?
Schlaudraff: “It’s obviously a thought. I played for them last week, although we didn’t have a game. Basically, I’m hoping for as much playing time as possible with the first team.“
fcbayern.de: You’re competing for a place in the team with Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni, the best strikers in the league. Is that frustrating?
Schlaudraff: “Let me be clear about this: they absolutely deserve to play, they’ve both been superb up to now. It should be every footballer’s ambition to play with this kind of star and learn from them. And I can also play behind the front two on either side. My appearances so far have been in midfield or in the hole behind the strikers.“
fcbayern.de: Do you think that could become your regular position?
Schlaudraff: “I can play up front or in midfield, on the flanks or possibly in the centre. But at the moment we’re playing really well with two holding midfielders, and there’s no reason to change that.“
fcbayern.de: Before your injury, you were a regular in the Germany squad. Have you maintained contact with the national set-up?
Schlaudraff: “We’ve never lost contact. I’m about to join the squad for dinner at their team hotel [in Munich ahead of a meeting with the Czech Republic] where I’ll speak to [coaching staff] Jogi Löw and Hansi Flick. And I attended a squad get-together in Berlin last week.“
fcbayern.de: Are you hoping to appear at next summer’s Euro 2008?
Schlaudraff: “I’ve set myself the target of regaining a place in the Germany squad. After all, I was a regular before the injury.“
fcbayern.de: Bayern visit Bochum on Saturday. Is there a risk the break for internationals may have knocked the team out of its stride?
Schlaudraff: “I don’t think so. The team is strong enough to start a new run at any time.“
fcbayern.de: So you’ll be going for all three points?
Schlaudraff: “When Aachen went to Bochum, we used to say we’d settle for a point and three would be great. It would sound odd if I said that as a Bayern player.“
fcbayern.de: Shortly before you came to Bayern, you featured on singer Reinhard Mey’s new album. How did that come about?
Schlaudraff: “How did you find out about that? (laughs) Last season, I was lucky enough to score a goal which was voted Goal of the Month on TV station ARD. They somehow found out that I’m always listening to Reinhard Mey in the car, so they invited him to make the award, and that’s how we got to know each other. He came and watched me a couple of times in Aachen, I went to the studio to hear him record, and he asked me if I’d like to be a backing singer on his new CD. It was just two lines, I thought it was great fun and we made the recording. But don’t panic, there’s so much else going on in the mix at that point, you can’t hear it’s me.“