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Taste of the big time

Reserves impressed by Van Gaal’s methods

Wednesday saw a first practice match of pre-season at the Säbener Strasse, where Louis van Gaal supervised an eleven-a-side clash between the reserves and the first team. It ended 1-1 with goals from Olic and Yilmaz. Van Gaal celebrated most when his team equalised – the reserves, on this occasion, as the head coach is taking a very close look at the second string right now.

With 13 men away at the World Cup, the reserves are training with the first team for two weeks. Van Gaal is using the time to run the rule over the radically reshaped second team. Twenty-two year-olds Thomas Kurz and Julian Leist, for example, are two of eight new faces in the FC Bayern II squad. They took up their duties at the Säbener Strasse a week ago, and have been working out with Hamit Altintop, Daniel van Buyten & Co since Monday.

Working away at all times

“It's great fun. Training with the crème de la crème is the best you can achieve as a player. These are the stars at FC Bayern, who you normally only know from TV,” Leist told “You do approach training in a different way. You have to give it everything you’ve got the whole time,” observed Kurz.

The striker, who has switched from Wacker Burghausen to FCB, described the two weeks with the seniors as “a fantastic experience. There’s a noticeable difference. The pace and physical presence is a lot greater.” There was a big contrast between training at Burghausen and the Bayern reserves, he continued, “it’s a totally different level.” Working out with the stars is yet another level up again.