Früchtl: Red against Blue - crunch time!
The FC Bayern reserves are fired up for the Munich derby against the first team of TSV 1860 at the Grünwalder Stadion on Sunday at 14.00 CET. Keeper Christian Früchtl will be part of it. On Wednesday the 19-year-old, who has made 14 third-league appearances for the FCB reserves, extended his contract with the German record champions through 2022. The Germany U-20 international is experienced in derbies despite his young age. Früchtl featured between the sticks in the last two encounters with TSV 1860, FCB beating the Lions 1-0 on the road and 3-1 at home in the 2017/18 season. fcbayern.com talked to the native Bavarian ahead of the derby.
Christian Früchtl interviewed
fcbayern.com: Christian, congratulations on the contract extension! What does it mean to you to continue to play at FC Bayern?
Früchtl: It's a superb feeling! Bayern are my favourite club. In my childhood my room was packed with posters, I've always dreamed of playing for Bayern. So it's outstanding to continue to be part of this club.
On Monday you celebrated a 2-0 victory away to Portugal with the Germany U-20s. How important are the Germany youth matches for your development?
It's always special to represent your country. We turned in a good display and kept a clean sheet, which was important for me and for Lasse [Lukas Mai]. We'll use the momentum from the national team for the next few matches with the club. It's very good, especially with the derby coming up.
You've been training with Manuel Neuer since you were 15. What are you learning from him in training?
I learn from him every day. Manuel is always helpful, as is Sven Ulreich. They give me advice, I can always approach them. I've learned a whole lot from both of them, and I'm very grateful for it.
One of the highlights of the season is awaiting the reserves on Sunday: the derby. Are you looking forward to the duel with TSV 1860?
We're fired up! We all know how important the match is, for the fans too. We absolutely want to win.
You featured in the Regionalliga derbies in the second-to-last season. What do you remember about the matches?
The atmosphere at the stadium was outstanding in both matches. It's just awesome to feature in such matches. And to win both matches: it was incredible. Ultimately the Lions achieved promotion, we followed suit a year later. But the two victories still give me goosebumps.
TSV will play at home on Sunday. How significant is that during the match?
The atmosphere is exceptional of course. But during the match you don't notice it so much. When you take to the pitch it's just: Red against Blue - crunch time.
How do you assess your opponents?
It's hard to say because TSV have a new coach, Michael Köllner. They're sturdy. Beforehand they often played long balls to forward Sascha Mölders and crosses into the box.
What will it come down to in the derby?
We must display the basics, as in any third-league match. It's different from the Regionalliga, where 90 percent were enough to win some of the matches. In addition, we must impose our play. We've achieved that a number of times this season. If we do it once again we'll win.
Let's have a little look ahead: what are your goals for the rest of the season?
We don't want to get involved in the relegation fight. And personally, I've only kept one clean sheet so far this season, I'd like to add a few more. I want to support my team, instruct them more from the back and take the next step in this regard in particular.