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'A lot of work ahead'

Bayern take up pre-season training

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The FC Bayern pros took up preparations for the 2018/19 season on Monday afternoon, starting with a bike tour through Perlacher Forest. A few youngsters joined Sandro Wagner, Franck Ribéry, Javi Martínez, Arjen Robben, Rafinha, Juan Bernat, Sven Ulreich, Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches and Christian Früchtl.

An intense programme awaits the players in the next few days, new Bayern coach Niko Kovac announced in an interview. "There's a lot of work ahead of us. There'll be performance diagnostic tests and medical examinations on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. On Wednesday at 16.30 we'll be on the training ground wearing football boots for the first time," announced the 46-year-old.

Kovac will be without Bayern's national team players and Serge Gnabry and Arturo Vidal, who are still in rehab. David Alaba will resume training on 11 July. Bayern's Germany players and Robert Lewandowski will report back on 25 July, which means they will not join the others for the Audi Summer Tour to the US (23 to 30 July) but work at the Säbener Strasse. The sessions in Munich will be overseen by Peter Hermann.

Kovac has around five weeks to prepare his men for the first competitive fixture, the Supercup final against his ex-club Eintracht Frankfurt on 12 August. Before that, the Bavarians contest friendlies against Paris Saint-Germain in Klagenfurt on 21 July, against Juventus in Philadelphia on 25 July, Manchester City in Miami on 28 July and Manchester United at the Allianz Arena on 5 August. Besides the US tour they will complete a training camp near the Tegernsee lake from 2 to 9 August.

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