Kovac's first session on the pitch
As Sandro Wagner took his first steps onto the training pitch, he bent down, stroked the grass with his hands and then put them to his face. The smell and the feel of the grass is finally back again. After two days in the performance centre, the Bayern squad put on their boots on Wednesday afternoon and headed outside.
Joining Wagner were Franck Ribéry, Javi Martínez, Arjen Robben, Rafinha, Juan Bernat, Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches, Christian Früchtl and Sven Ulreich as well as a number of youth talents. But the eyes of the 50-plus media personnel were mostly focused on one man, as it was the first proper training session for new Bayern coach Niko Kovac.
Gnabry sprints with the ball
In black boots and a white cap, the 46 year-old posed for the cameras with his brother and assistant coach Robert, before addressing his squad and sending them to warm up. After a few laps of the field as well as stretching and strength exercises, the balls finally came out. It soon became clear that the Munich men haven’t lost their touch over the summer break.
Kovac watched the various drills closely and spoke a lot to the players. He seemed pleased with the high tempo and application shown, ending the 90-minute session with a smile.
Serge Gnabry must continue to wait until he can join in with the group, but there was also good news from him. The 22 year-old trained individually and mostly worked with the ball. As the new arrival sprinted through the slaloms, it was clear to see how much he’d missed the playing equipment and how well he can move around it.