Bremen sharpen their skills in Mzansi
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.