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Restart on Monday

Players due back for pre-season, phase one

Four weeks after the Champions League final in Madrid, the dramatic conclusion to the 2009-10 campaign, Bayern's Säbener Strasse facility will waken from its summer break when training for the new season resumes on Monday. Coach Louis van Gaal has ordered his men to report for duty at 11.30 am for an initial workout on perfectly prepared pitches, with new training kit laid out in freshly-decorated dressing rooms.

Some ten weeks prior to the opening Bundesliga fixture on 20 August, Van Gaal's training options are limited by the reduced size of his squad. A total of 13 Bayern men, including previously out-on-loan pair Toni Kroos and Edson Braafheid, are currently in South Africa at the World Cup. "Obviously, it's not an easy situation for a coach," commented Van Gaal, "but my staff and I will make the best of it."

Two training phases

The head coach has decided on a two-phase pre-season schedule. The first begins on Monday and lasts two weeks. To supplement the decimated senior squad, Hermann Gerland's reserves will train with the first team during this period. The schedule also features a first warm-up match. On 26 June, Bayern travel for this season's annual "Dream Game" against the Lower Saxony-based Lohner Bayern Union fan club.

The first phase ends on 4 July. Van Gaal has built in a ten-day break for his players, before the second phase opens on 15 July, after which the World Cup stars will begin returning to the club in drips and drabs.

New kit, remarked pitch

And on the subject of drips, the kitman will likely have to provide the players and coaching staff with rain jackets for Monday's restart, with a forecast of clouds, intermittent rain and temperatures no higher than 16 degrees centigrade. Many of the stars will probably opt for jogging pants rather than shorts, but whatever the length and size, all the kit will be brand new.

The two grass pitches used by the senior squad are also in as-new condition. The turf has been aerated, verticulated, sanded and mown. The groundsmen applied the finishing touches on Friday by re-marking the lines, working their way through 60 litres of marking paint in the course of a four-hour job. As of Monday, this is the place where the players will once again break sweat.