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Ulreich: We can't wait for the start

Six weeks after joining FC Bayern Sven Ulreich has already played in a competitive fixture for his new club. Last Sunday he made his debut appearance in the cup tie against Nöttingen – but he is not fully happy with his performance, as he told

The 27-year-old keeper offered a very positive summary of his early weeks at Bayern though. He talked about the changes he has to face between the sticks in a Bayern shirt and the first Bundesliga match against Hamburger SV on Friday. HSV coach Bruno Labbadia knows Ulreich from their days together in Stuttgart.

Interview: Sven Ulreich Sven, did you expect that your first fixture for FC Bayern would come so soon?

Ulreich: “No. It's nice that I could play in a fixture for my new club early on. I was glad when the coach said so in the team meeting. It was a nice experience on the whole even though my performance was patchy.” What do you mean by that?

Ulreich: “There were two or three shots I punched forward. That's not what I usually do; I was surprised myself. But I think it's okay to be a little nervous in your first match for a new club, even if it was against a fifth-tier team and I have already played some Bundesliga matches.” Shortly before the final whistle you made an important save.

Ulreich: “It was crucial that we didn't concede a goal in that situation. Otherwise it would have become dicey again. Of course you take away positive things like this too.” How different is goalkeeping at Bayern from your previous experiences?

Ulreich: “It's a big difference. You don't have to make many saves and as a keeper you're involved in the actual build-up play. In Stuttgart I usually played a long ball; here the build-up is done quietly from the back, there are very few long balls. If you get the ball you have to stay calm and patient and see where you can pass it next. Almost always there's someone available. I'm getting more and more used to it every week.” In the pre-season period you were between the sticks against Milan, and you went to China – do you wonder sometimes what has happened to you at Bayern?

Ulreich: “There've been many beautiful moments in the last few weeks, especially on the China trip. You could see how popular FC Bayern is there. This club is in another dimension. I'm really looking forward to the tasks and the experiences in the coming weeks.” Did you have time to make yourself at home in Munich?

Ulreich: “Last week I moved into my new home. Now I'll take a look around the city and its surroundings. I'm arriving in Munich slowly but surely.” Besides you and Manuel Neuer two more goalkeepers are in the squad, Tom Starke and Ivan Lucic. How do you get along?

Ulreich: “They've given me a warm welcome. We all have a good, cooperative relationship, we talk a lot to each other, we have fun. There’s healthy competition on the pitch though. Everyone steps it up during training. It's very positive overall.” When you came here you said that you wanted to learn from Manuel Neuer. What exactly?

Ulreich: “I'm interested in his working methods and in the work with Tapa (goalkeeping coach Toni Topalovic, The goalkeeper training is different from Stuttgart. I've learnt a lot already. Being involved in all that helps my development.” The Bundesliga opener against Hamburger SV is on Friday. Are you looking forward to it?

Ulreich: “Pre-season is always hard. Now we can't wait for the league games to begin. There’s some excited tension. We're all looking forward to the kick-off at the Allianz Arena, in front of our fans.” Surprisingly, HSV were knocked out of the DFB Cup. What impact does this have on Friday's match?

Ulreich: “I know Bruno Labbadia from Stuttgart and I know that he will fire up his boys. They’ll be defiant, now more than ever, and they'll be tough opponents. Nevertheless we have to and want to clinch the three points.”