U21 | 22/07/2020

Two new faces

U21 start pre-season preparations

The 1. FC Köln under-21s currently find themselves in pre-season ahead of the Regionalliga season that is set to begin on 4th September. Two new faces were part of the restart.

On Monday and Tuesday, the performance testing for the under-21s took on place. On Wednesday, it was finally a chance to get onto the pitch properly with a football. “We have to keep an eye on the hygiene rules, but it’s nice to see the boys back with the ball,” said head coach, Mark Zimmermann.

Seven players will make the move from the under-19s to the under-21s: Daniel Adamczyk, Elias Oubella, Mathias Olesen, Sava Cestic, Erkan Akalp, Georg Strauch and Jaehwan Hwang. There were also two new arrivals. Matthias Köbbing has joined from FC 08 Homburg. Matthias Heidrich, head of the FC youth academy, said: “Matthias increases our options in goal. He’s developed well at his previous clubs and will lead the under-16 goalkeeper training as well.” Nico Gabler is the other new face; he joins as the new fitness coach.

A familiar face

Marvin Rittmüller made use of his day off on Wednesday to pay a visit to his former team-mates. The right-back, along with Kaan Caliskaner, made the jump to 2. Bundesliga this summer. Rittmüller has joined Heidenheim, while Caliskaner will head to Jan Regensburg. “Our main aim is to develop the boys as best possible. It is most preferable when they make the jump to our own first-team. But we’re still pleased when they get the chance at other clubs,” said Zimmermann.

Rittmüller was at FC for four years. “I had a great time at FC and learned a lot, for that I want to thank the club. I’ll miss my former team-mates, but I’m really looking forward to being able to prove myself in 2. Bundesliga,” said Rittmüller.

Marius Laux will continue as under-21 captain in the new season. The plan for the new Regionalliga West season has been published and the campaign is set to get underway on 4th September. 21 teams will contest the new season, should the relevant authorities give permission to proceed.
“It will be a big challenge with lots of games and mid-week matches,” said Zimmermann. “The boys, who have come from the under-19s, will have to get used to the physicality of senior football. But if the team develops as well as they did last season, then we’ll be very satisfied.”

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Total table
14Sport-Club Freiburg7
151. FC Köln6
161. FSV Mainz 055