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Training camp and targets

Pesic: "A true champion defends the title"

This week FC Bayern Basketball began their training camp in Bruneck, Südtirol in scenic northern Itally in preparation for the new season and "Mission: Title Defense". "We're here to lay the foundations of what we want to achieve in the coming season," said coach Svetislav Pesic. Pesic, who celebrates his 65th birthday in training camp this Thursday spoke about the expectations ahead of the new season, his impression of the new players and more.

Asked what his goals are during the training camp, Pesic commented that it's not only an opportunity to improve fitness but also for the team to get to know each other, "First and foremost, training camp is naturally for training. But we're also here to get to know each other. We have some new players as well as young players from the second team and players from the youth team who came with us. And for us coaches it is important to test at what level our young talents are at the moment."

The team has also had to do without some of the team's internationals so far who will join up later due to national team commitments. "Obviously we're missing our three German internationals (Benzing, Staiger, Schaffartzik who are taking part in Germany's Euro qualifiers) as well as Vladimir Stimac (who is preparing for the World Cup). That makes things a bit harder but it's not something we can influence. I'm happy when our players play with their natioanl teams," Pesic said.

Training program and targets

It's been a busy training camp so far for the team. "The morning sessions we do athletic and strength training. In the afternoon or evening we take things inside the hall to play basketball. In between there is enough time for the players to mingle and get to know the coaching staff better," Pesic explained. It's a program and routine that the players will have to keep up with to prepare properly, "The first couple of days are always the easiest. Everyone wants to prove themselves but we ask for consistency."

Consistency will indeed be key as the start of the season is right around the corner (October 2). "A true champion is one who defends their title. This is the challenge for us and we know it will be difficult. But we proved last season that we're a good team that can win titles. We have a good mix of young and experienced, domestic and foreign players and of big and small players," he went on to say. "We can't say for sure that we'll win it again but it is definitely our goal."

Pesic ended the interview by waxing philosophical about him still learnign despite his experience, "Everyone is capable of learning more if they want to. After so many years as a player and coach, there isn't much that surprises me anymore. In basketball, just as in life, there are different characters that use different means to be successful. This must be taken into account as a coach and to learn from every day. There are many who don't see those little detaisl. I hope I am not one of them."

Overlooking the important details is certainly not a trait of Pesic. Over 20 domestic, international and individual titles and awards suggest otherwise. 

Read the extended interview here