Bre­men sharpen their skills in Mzansi

The Sunday Independent - - SPORT - FOOT­BALL RE­PORTER

GER­MAN club Werder Bre­men will field a full-strength team this af­ter­noon against Kaizer Chiefs in a train­ing match to pre­pare for the sec­ond half of the Bundesliga sea­son.

Bre­men ar­rived in South Africa on Fri­day for their two train­ing matches against Amakhosi this af­ter­noon in Rand­burg, and Bid­vest Wits on Fri­day.

“We came here be­cause the con­di­tions are very good,” Bre­men de­fender Nik­las Moisander said.

“The weather is good, the ho­tel and the train­ing fields are great.

“We want to get the best pos­si­ble train­ing so that we are ready for the sec­ond round of the Bundesliga. We want to achieve a lot this sea­son. We have a dream of fin­ish­ing in one of the Euro­pean places (that are re­served for the top six teams). This is a good place to start.”

Bre­men sit in 10th place at the half­way mark. They’re five points be­hind sixth-placed Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt, who oc­cupy the last spot that guar­an­tees Euro­pean foot­ball next sea­son.

Moisander, who has re­tired from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, dreams of re­turn­ing to play­ing against the best in Europe like he did in his days at Ajax Am­s­ter­dam and with the Fin­nish na­tional team.

“I think that we can fin­ish higher than 10th place, I re­ally be­lieve so,” Moisander said.

“We played good foot­ball just be­fore Christ­mas but we didn’t al­ways get the re­sults we wanted. We have to be bet­ter in that re­gard, to turn tight games in our favour. I be­lieve that if we do that, we have a chance to get a Europa League place, which is what we dream about.

“We be­lieve that this group of play­ers can make an im­pact and do well with the club. But we un­der­stand that it won’t hap­pen in half-a-sea­son or just one year. It needs more time.

“The most im­por­tant thing is that the club has made a con­scious de­ci­sion that it wants to re­turn to the glory days back. The coach (Flo­rian Ko­hfeldt) also wants that and we as play­ers are work­ing hard to achieve that ob­jec­tive.”

Chiefs are also look­ing to bring back the glory days after three bar­ren sea­sons. Coach Ernst Mid­den­dorp will use this match to pre­pare for what will be a gru­elling month that will see Chiefs com­pete in REAL Madrid are set to sign Spain Un­der-19 in­ter­na­tional for­ward Brahim Diaz from Manch­ester City for an ini­tial fee of around £15 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to re­ports in Bri­tish and Span­ish me­dia yes­ter­day.

Diaz, 19, played only 50 min­utes for City in the Premier League last sea­son. three com­pe­ti­tions – the PSL, CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup and Ned­bank Cup.

This match comes on the back of Chiefs’ ti­tanic clash with Mamelodi Sun­downs at FNB Sta­dium yes­ter­day. It will help them pre­pare for an­other tough match against Wits on Wed­nes­day at Bid­vest Sta­dium.

“We will use this match with a clear struc­ture by us­ing the play­ers who weren’t in­volved in the match against Sun­downs,” Mid­den­dorp said.

“We have a very clear idea of what we want to give to the play­ers. The play­ers who didn’t play against Sun­downs will all be used.”

Bre­men will do more than just play these two matches and pre­pare for the Bundesliga in their time in the coun­try.

On Tues­day they will visit the Amandla Safe Hub in Diep­sloot, Soweto. Two days later they will at­tend a re­cep­tion in Pre­to­ria with the Ger­man Am­bas­sador.

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