Professionals | 21/06/2019

Build up to the new season

Katterbach: "It was always my dream to play for FC"

Noah Katterbach has been with FC for 10 years, making his way through the youth academy to the first-team squad. He speaks about his dreams at FC, the summer break, what he's take from last season and what he's looking forward to.

Noah, how has the summer break gone for you?

I made a few short trips away. I was with my family in Amsterdam, and before that I was with my girlfriend and her family in Switzerland for three days. I was my girlfriend over the weekend in Ramont and took a little time there but I haven’t anything big planned. I wasn’t sure how things would go with the German Championship and everything around it. When you live in Köln you don’t really need to do anything big.

Fitness is also an important part of the time off.

At the start I, naturally, had a break for one or two weeks. That was also set out by our fitness coach, and I follow my running plan to schedule – Max Weuthen gave us that. I run daily but we have two off days during the week, otherwise we’ve got to keep ticking over.

Or at least should, to be at our best (laughs). Apart from that, I do something myself now and again. I was at the weights room in Geißbockheim and did a session there, or I would also do something individual training with a good friend of mine. It’s going well, it’s all been discussed with Max to make sure that the loading and control is perfect or not too high.

I also listen to my own body. So when I think “Okay, today, no individual training” because maybe I’m not feeling 100% - but the summer break is also there for that. To get fit again and recharge the batteries. But you’ve got to stay on the ball because it’s been a long break and I miss football a little, so it’s good to do something with the ball.

You’ve been here since 2008 – since you were 7 – what does it mean to have come through the ranks at a club that means so much to you?

It was always my dream to be a player at FC. Obviously, when you’re small, you just wanted to play football. At the time, I was just happy to be here where the quality is good, to play with my friends and play football.

But as you get older and the more you develop, then you have that dream to be a professional footballer at some point. Everything around football and the fans is just incredible. So, in that sense, it was a dream of mine that I was able to be in the squad and to experience the things first hand. It was great.

Looking back on your time in the academy, what is your favourite memory of your time there?

It was always nice to score goals (laughs) and I had a few nice shots from distance, I posted them all on Instagram because I was proud of them (laughs). It’s not that often that you score a great goal, especially as a left-back. I used to be a left-winger but still, football is there to score goals and that’s the best thing about it.

Here in Köln, simply going through the season has been great – even if it hasn’t gone well, to be with the team and the boys has been fantastic. Otherwise, it was great to score my first goal for the national team because that was also a great strike. That was the best goal I’ve scored.

How much did it mean to end with a trophy?

It was also great, despite our defeat (to Bayer Leverkusen, ed.) before and missing the championship round, to win the Pokal and it was quite important for ourselves. It was a shame that we didn’t win the game before, because otherwise we could have been a part of the finals as well, just like the under-17 at the moment.

They even managed to win it, so a huge congratulations to them. It was still a very good season from us and I’ll miss my team-mates, but it’s about looking forward now and continuing to work hard.

What have you learned from the last 12 months?

From the previous season, I’ll definitely take the fact that you’ve got to work consistently the whole season long. That’s in every game, and it doesn’t matter if it’s against apparently poor teams or against Dortmund or other quality teams.

With us, in the past season, it wasn’t down to the fact that we didn’t win the last game against Leverkusen. Instead, it was the other games where we unnecessarily dropped points – you’ve got to be 100% concentrated in every match and go into every game like that, even if it’s not the biggest fixture every week. That’s the biggest point that I’ve taken from the previous season.

If, for example, we’d beaten Aachen – where we lost 2:1 – then we wouldn’t have had this knock-out game against Leverkusen and definitely would have been into the finals. I also take the experience from being in the squad. Even if I ended up not playing, it was an amazing experience to be in the team. To be in front of the fans who give so much for the team, it was incredible. The training with the first-team helped me a lot and I’m really looking forward to next season.

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