For Felix Magath, there is no way around Hamburger SV's promotion to the Bundesliga this year. "I'm totally convinced that it will work out this season with the return to the upper house," said the 69-year-old ex-national player and long-time HSV professional of the "Bild" newspaper. After four failed attempts since HSV were relegated for the first time in 2018, the former midfielder believes his ex-club is ready to make the leap into the first division.
"HSV has the best squad in terms of personnel and is therefore the best team in the 2nd division," said the coach, who is currently without a club, explaining his opinion. Another plus is that “they finally stuck with the coach in Hamburg. Tim Walter has been working with the players since summer 2021. The team just got better as a result. So there's a lot to be said for it being successful this time," added Magath.
Magath believes that a long-term absence of center forward and league top scorer Robert Glatzel (11 goals this season) could jeopardize the promotion project. With his club Hertha BSC at the time, he narrowly prevented Hamburg from returning to the top division in the relegation last summer.
Glatzel understands it “masterfully to move in good time to where it becomes dangerous for the opponent. He doesn't blindly storm into the penalty area, but patiently waits for the right moment. He also works backwards a lot and is always playable. In addition, he has a flawless header,” the experienced coach praised the advantages of the 28-year-old HSV goalscorer.
After a winter break of almost six weeks, HSV was the last club from the north to start preparing for the second half of the season in the 2nd Bundesliga. Coach Tim Walter asked the second-placed pros to the training ground in Volkspark for the first session on Monday. After five days at home, Hamburg, who only went on winter break at the end of November due to a US tour, will have their first test at Bundesliga club 1. FC Köln on January 7 (3:30 p.m.).
From January 11th to 19th the team travels to the Spanish training camp in Sotogrande. Two test games are planned as part of this camp. The second half of the season begins for HSV on January 29 (1.30 p.m.) with the game in the Volksparkstadion against Eintracht Braunschweig.
FC St. Pauli traveled to its winter training camp on Monday. The Hamburg second division soccer team sent several posts from Bremen Airport, from where the Kiezkicker flew to Alicante. For cost reasons, they share a plane with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen. The St. Pauli entourage initially includes four goalkeepers and 25 field players, the club announced on Monday.
Defenders Jakov Medic and Christopher Avevor were not on board. “Jakov had a flu infection. We didn't want to take any risks, so he still has a doctor's appointment to check when he can travel later," reported the new head coach Fabian Hürzeler. Avevor has adductor problems and will not be traveling afterwards. "He works individually in Hamburg," said the 29-year-old coach.
Under the Spanish sun, the St. Pauli team wants to spend a week in Benidorm preparing for the second half of the season. Hürzeler has worked out an intensive work program. In order to be able to get his team fit first, he canceled the friendly against Werder Bremen scheduled for January 4th. Instead, the brown-whites will now play FC Lugano in Benidorm on January 7 (2:00 p.m.).
Further preparatory games are scheduled for January 14th at Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach and on January 21st at the Millerntor Stadium against Danish first division side FC Midtjylland. St. Pauli's second half of the season starts on January 29 (1.30 p.m. / Sky) at 1. FC Nürnberg.