You don't want to miss these highlights of the FC Bayern Campus Stories
Playing for the first time in front of 75,000 spectators in Munich's Allianz Arena - a dream FC Bayern's youth players have pursued with irrepressible determination since their earliest years. This will is absolutely vital, as the path to professional football is characterised by numerous hurdles and problems that have to be overcome. Joy, anger, disappointment and hope often go hand in hand. This was also evident in the course of the first four of a total of six episodes of the FC Bayern Campus Stories. fcbayern.com takes a look back and showcases the most wonderful, emotional but also tragic moments of the first four episodes.
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1. On the court with Musiala, Zirkzee and Co.
In their Campus days, the crew featuring Jamal Musiala, Joshua Zirkzee, Chris Richards and Co. not only got on well together on the football pitch, but the youngsters of the German record champions also had a lot of fun together when not on the turf. Nowadays, however, the former teammates rarely have the chance to shoot baskets together (like here on 5 July 2021) and have largely gone their separate ways. While Musiala has already made his 100th competitive appearance for the FCB senior team, Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Joshua Zirkzee (Bologna) and Taylor Booth (Utrecht) are now playing in Europe's top leagues.
2. High-profile visit from "King Franck"
At the FC Bayern Campus, the youth players looked on in astonishment as Bayern legend Franck Ribéry, who just recently ended his career, paid his former companions a visit at the beginning of July 2021 at the German record champions' youth development centre in the north of Munich. In addition to the youngsters, goalkeeping coordinator Tom Starke, former reserves coach Martín Demichelis and the U19s and their head coach Danny Galm were also delighted by the visit of the 2013 Champions League winner.
3. With the utmost discipline and tactical rationale
Already at the training camp, U19s head coach Danny Galm attached special emphasis to his team receiving a broad range of preparatory training. The 36-year-old emphasised that this did not only include a high degree of fitness and technical skills during a joint team meeting, which focused in particular on the defensive behaviour of his back line. The focus of the team meeting: the inside line, which describes in concrete terms how a defender has to position himself when directly facing an opponent. Extremely interesting insights that illustrate the great tactical finesse with which the Munich teams are coached and analysed.
4. Plunging into chilly water
Jumping, climbing, sliding, swimming - that's what awaited the U19s during the canyoning tour at the training camp in Oberstaufen, Bavaria. The pre-season preparations were not just filled with gruelling training sessions, but were also aimed at fostering team bonding and team spirit. The coaching staff led by head coach Galm succeeded in doing this, among other things, by getting everyone to plunge into the chilly water. The youth players visibly enjoyed the tour through the canyons and valleys of Oberallgäu in August 2021.
5. Always there for each other
There are moments that need very few words - and the U19s experienced just such a moment after kicking off the new Bundesliga season in August 2021 against SC Freiburg. On the one hand, there was boundless joy in the dressing room after the emphatic 4-1 win, but on the other hand, the team led by Luca Denk, Lucas Copado and Co. also showed their emotional side. Rares Canea, who had suffered a setback due to a second cruciate ligament rupture, congratulated his teammates in the dressing room. It then became clear why football is more than just the best pastime in the world.
6. Start of a new journey
Following a tough pre-season, the FC Bayern reserves started their mission of "promotion back to the third tier at the first attempt" in July 2021 with a Bavarian derby against the FC Augsburg reserves. Including Gabriel Vidović, Eyüp Aydin and Co., a total of nine players celebrated their debut in the jersey of the Reds - and this with a brilliant 3-0 opening win against the club from the Fuggerstadt. The foundation for a successful season had been laid, and the atmosphere in the dressing room after the convincing away win was correspondingly good.
7. A World Cup runner-up at the tactics board
How did Martín Demichelis prepare his team mentally for their next opponents? What tactical subtleties did the 2014 World Cup runner-up employ with the FC Bayern youngsters? And how did the Argentine succeed in continuously improving his team? The FC Bayern Campus Stories answered all of these questions in a very special way, as they illustrated the high level of meticulous care and affection with which the 41-year-old aimed to improve Bayern's young talents day by day until November 2022, when the former central defender left to take over the helm at South American top club River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
8. High-profile visit to the FC Bayern Campus
The intensity of the interaction and cooperation between the German record champions' senior and youth teams once again became evident during the course of the FC Bayern Campus Stories. Julian Nagelsmann kept a close eye on the youngsters not only during crucial matches, but also occasional training sessions. Alongside the then youth development director Holger Seitz, who is now back at the helm of the reserves, the 35-year-old assessed the talents of tomorrow.
9. Getting the team fired up for the big fight
If you look at Stephan Kerth's professional profile, at first glance his role as athletics coach is quite clearly defined. And yet the Brandenburg-born coach, who now works with the German record champions' senior team, goes much further than just that. This became particularly clear during his team talk before the U19s' cup clash against Hertha BSC's hitherto unbeaten youngsters in December 2021. The 32-year-old let loose with a veritable "motivational barrage" in the Reds' dressing room before the game and really got the boys fired up. With success, as would become apparent a little later!
10. On cloud nine together
In the cup match itself, the Bavarians fully flourished and delivered what was probably their best performance of the season. Head coach Galm's team played magnificently against a strong Hertha side and deservedly progressed to the semi-finals thanks to the 4-3 victory in a competitive and turbulent match. Arijon Ibrahimović & Co. thus ensured that an FC Bayern youth team reached the semi-finals of the cup for the first time. The dream of a big coup was still alive!
11. Old acquaintances reunited
The clash between the Bayern reserves and their close neighbours and former Bundesliga side Unterhaching at the end of August 2021 was not only a match-up between two teams relegated from the third tier the previous season, but also a high-profile encounter in the dugout, with former Bayern players Martín Demichelis and Sandro Wagner facing each other. Ahead of kick-off, the mood between the two former teammates was relaxed, as they fondly remembered their times playing together in the red jersey.
12. In the thick of the battle for promotion
You could literally read the tension and adrenaline on the faces of reserves captain Nicolas Feldhahn and the youngsters including Angelo Brückner and Eyüp Aydin. During the half-time speech in the top match against Spielvereinigung Bayreuth on 19 October 2021, it became clear how much commitment, heart and soul, but also will, the entire team and Demichelis were putting into their work. Scenes like these demonstrated determination, meticulousness and the hunger for victory that already characterised the former Bayern defensive specialist during his playing days.
You can now watch this and much more in the FC Bayern Campus Stories! Check out the four previous episodes HERE.
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