Created on 16-01-2009 at 00:00 AM
The Bayern second team, now known as FC Bayern II, enjoy a deserved reputation as one of the best ‘finishing schools’ in German professional football. Now, the reserve team is flying the flag for Germany’s most successful club in the crucial developing football market of India.
An FCB II party arrived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) after a fog-affected 26-hour journey on Thursday lunchtime, and will stay in the sub-continent until 23 January. “It’s a fantastic occasion,” commented junior team head Werner Kern.
Back in December 2005, the FCB second team took part in and won the IFA Shield in India. This time, the U-23s will spend most of their stay in Kolkata, before relocating on 20 January some 600 kilometres to the north to Siliguri, a city of half a million in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Training and friendlies
The Munich party hopes to achieve a number of goals. Coach Hermann Gerland will continue preparing his lads for the second half of the German third division programme, taking advantage of the warmer climate in India. “They can work hard and build up their fitness,” remarked Kern. In total contrast to the big freeze in Munich, FCB II will work out on well-tended pitches with an air temperature of 28 degrees.
The team will also contest three friendly matches. On 18 January, FCB meet a Kolkata Police Commissioner’s XI, a line-up likely to include a large contingent of current India internationals. The following day, the Munich youngsters take on East Bengal Club, one of Kolkata’s two major clubs. The programme concludes on 21 January with a match against a Siliguri representative team playing as the Lord Mayor's XI.