International Newsletter April

NEWSLETTER INTERNATIONAL, 1st Edition 11.04.2016
Dear Friends,

It gives us great pleasure to present the first edition of our international newsletter 2016. The newsletter keeps you fully informed about our international activities. As we can’t be everywhere at once, it’s a good opportunity for us to share our thoughts with you.

The first three months of 2016 were very eventful for Eintracht Frankfurt. A good training camp in Abu Dhabi was followed by a turbulent time on the pitch with lots of emotions. Our youth teams and our football academy were once again good ambassadors for the club abroad and we had many interesting encounters here at the Commerzbank Arena.

We hope you enjoy reading about our varied activities around the world, which help to bring the international community a little closer to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Yours sincerely,

Heribert Bruchhagen (CEO)
– Board of Management –
Axel Hellmann
– Board of Management –
Oliver Frankenbach
– Board of Management –

 

 

First team
Fourth visit to Abu Dhabi
New faces abound at the Eagles
Yang Chen visit
India goes to Frankfurt
Bernd Hölzenbein’s 70th birthday
FOX campaign a hit with players and fans
Youth Academy
Under-19s
Under-15s
Under-12s
Visits from Thailand and Denmark
Football Academy
Abu Dhabi twice
New at Eintracht

 


First team
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For the fourth time Eintracht Frankfurt took advantage of the outstanding conditions in Abu Dhabi
Fourth visit to Abu Dhabi

For the fourth time Eintracht Frankfurt took advantage of the outstanding conditions in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the Bundesliga restart. Head coach Armin Veh and 26 players flew to the United Arab Emirates for a nine-day training camp on 4 January to enjoy the best-possible preparation for the opening game after the winter break against Champions League participants VfL Wolfsburg on 24 January.

Eintracht set up camp at the Emirates Palace Hotel, training three times a day on the facility’s own football pitch in the shadow of the breathtaking skyline of Abu Dhabi. The visiting party included the three players signed during the winter break with the aim of improving the quality in the squad.

Mexico midfielder Marco Fabian was recruited from Guadalajara to strengthen the club’s attacking ranks along with Szabolcs Huszti, who returned to the Bundesliga from China. Kaan Ayhan, 19, was also taken on loan from Schalke 04 to provide another option in defence.

The long working day began for the players at 7.30am, shortly after sunrise, with a half-hour run on the extensive hotel grounds. After breakfast Veh gathered his players at 10am for the next session, which featured intensive phases of play drills designed to lay the foundations for a cultured passing game. Then, after lunch and treatment, the players returned to the training ground at 4pm for a 75-minute session. Finally, after the third session, they were allowed to explore the hotel’s spacious pool facility for a short while.

A busy week of training was broken up by a beach volleyball tournament, in which the losers had to take a dip in the cool sea, and a reception at the BHF Bank, where the players and the coaching team were able to enjoy the extra-special ambience.

Chairman of the board Heribert Bruchhagen was full of praise for the conditions encountered: “The combination of hotel and nearby training ground is ideal for concentrating on the job of football,” he said. “The training camp here in Abu Dhabi has brought us luck so far, as we’ve had a good second half of the season in each of the last three years.”

The camp was rounded off by two warm-up matches. A 5-0 win over Saudi champions Al Ahli on the hotel complex was followed by a painful 4-0 reverse against Borussia Dortmund in Dubai. The Eintracht delegation flew back to a cold Germany immediately after the game.

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Head coach Niko Kovac (right) and his brother Robert Kovac (left)
New faces abound at the Eagles

In Marco Fabian, 26, Szabolcs Huszti, 32, and Kaan Ayhan, 21, Eintracht Frankfurt welcomed three new faces in the first week of 2016 in a bid to strengthen the squad after a mediocre first half of the season. Fabian, a Mexico international, arrived from CD Guadalajara, where he made his debut in the top-flight Primera División on 10 November 2007. Since then the 1.70 m midfielder has had just one spell away from the Goats, as Guadalajara are also known, a 12-month interlude on loan at Cruz Azul from 2013 to 2014. In Mexico Fabian was especially feared by opposition defenders for his long-range shooting and high-speed dribbling.

Ayhan made the switch from hometown club FC Schalke 04 in search of more playing time. Born in Gelsenkirchen, he can be used in any defensive position but prefers to operate in central defence or midfield. The technically gifted German-Turk is definitely one for the future.

Huszti has already established his Bundesliga credentials. The Hungary international is best known as a free-kick specialist in Germany following two spells at Hannover 96 (2006-2009 and 2012-2014). Yet the two-time Hungarian footballer of the year also has a more than respectable return from open play for a midfielder. After a lucrative move to Chinese first division club Changchun Yatai, the 32-year-old is burning to play in the Bundesliga again for the Eagles.

Just as no one was expecting it, probably not even Bruno Hübner himself, the SGE general manager sprang a surprise with two whirlwind deals on deadline day of the winter transfer window. Yanni Regäsel, 20, had been scheduled to join the Eagles in summer, but made the switch early when a deal suddenly became financially attractive. The right-back joined from Hertha BSC Berlin along with versatile attacking midfielder Änis Ben-Hatira, 27. Regäsel has already made six appearances for the club, but Ben-Hatira found things tough under Armin Veh. The German-Tunisian has been in the ascendency since the change of coach, however, and recently proved the match-winner in the crucial victory over Hannover 96. The 1-0 defeat of the bottom side also had a liberating effect for Niko Kovac, who succeeded Veh at the helm along with his brother Robert in early March.

Once Veh had failed to achieve the stated aim of quickly moving away from the relegation zone, in spite of the winter signings, the club wanted to send out a signal by making the managerial switch. Kovac, 44, was born in Berlin and is a former Croatia international. He played in the Bundesliga for Hertha BSC, Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg SV and Bayern Munich. The World Club Cup winner of 2001 began his managerial career as a youth coach at Red Bull Salzburg before advancing to the position of assistant senior coach. Eintracht are his first appointment as head coach of a club side after two years in charge of the Croatian national team. One thing we can be sure of is that with his footballing expertise and motivational skills he will do his utmost to ensure that Eintracht avoid the drop.

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Board member Axel Hellmann (right) met the club’s erstwhile Chinese favourite Chen Yang (left)
Yang Chen visit

The Commerzbank Arena welcomed a high-profile guest on 26 February when former Eintracht player Yang Chen paid Frankfurt a visit. The 1.85 metre striker wore the club colours from 1998 to 2002, scoring 21 times in 94 appearances.

Board member Axel Hellmann met the club’s erstwhile Chinese favourite at the Eintracht Frankfurt Museum along with curator Matthias Thoma, who immediately produced a selection of “old” Chen shirts to the delight of their former wearer. After a tour of the museum and stadium Chen then sprang a surprise on his old team-mate Alex Meier, who was totally flabbergasted!

Chen, now director of sport at a second division club in China, still has fond memories of his time in Frankfurt.

“I spent four years here,” he said. “Frankfurt is still my favourite city by far and I’m obviously very happy to be back again. I’ve just seen a video of the 5-1 win over Kaiserslautern in the museum – it’s still amazing how we avoided relegation in the last second. They were great times back then and I’m still a big Eintracht fan.”

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Eintracht Frankfurt invited some 40 representatives of the Indian business community
India goes to Frankfurt

Next year they will host the men’s U-17 World Cup. And this is not the only marker that the football association and the new Indian government intend to lay down to the football family. In the face of growing interest, the state is promoting sport, and in particular football, and hoping to exploit the game’s appeal. The long-term goal is to bring the World Cup to India.

In early March, therefore, Eintracht Frankfurt invited some 40 representatives of the Indian business community in Germany and India to the Bundesliga fixture against Ingolstadt.

The focus of the event was a discussion on the need for a sustained involvement in youth football in India in order to raise the profile of the game there.

We stressed that Eintracht Frankfurt can assist in this process by providing expertise in professional training for coaches, youth football coaching and club structures in partnership with local businesses and clubs. Not the only reason why India is an interesting target market for the future.

To complete their visit, our guests were able to savour the special atmosphere of a Bundesliga match at the Commerzbank Arena.

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Bernd Hölzenbein went on to score 160 goals in 420 Bundesliga appearances
Bernd Hölzenbein’s 70th birthday

When his 70th birthday came round, Bernd “Holz” Hölzenbein made tracks. But that’s typical of him. The 1974 World Cup winner, who enjoyed so much success at Eintracht, prefers to maintain a modest profile away from all the fuss. Accordingly, he celebrated his special day with a few invited guests in Miami, Florida.

Hölzenbein joined Eintracht in 1966, initially running out for the second team. He scored his first goal for the club in a friendly in Hong Kong at Christmas of that year and made his Bundesliga debut in a 1-1 draw against HSV on 4 November 1967. The winger went on to score 160 goals in 420 Bundesliga appearances to 1981. In those 15 years he played 40 times for Germany, including the victorious 1974 World Cup final in Munich, and won the DFB Cup three times (1974, 1975 and 1981) and the UEFA Cup once (1980) with Eintracht. His memorable headed goal against Dinamo Bucharest, scored while sitting on the ground, gained legendary status in Germany and beyond. It proved to be a crucial strike, as it paved the way for Eintracht’s sole European trophy to date. A year later, following the 1981 cup triumph, he left the love of his life to play for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Memphis Americans and Baltimore Blast in America, where he stayed until 1985.In the land of opportunity he was a great ambassador for the club in every respect.

Hölzenbein resumed his ties with Eintracht on his return, serving as vice-chairman, director of sport, advisor to the board and now chief scout. Congratulations on your 70th birthday Bernd and all the very best from the entire Eintracht family!

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Marco Fabian (left) went up against goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky (right)
FOX campaign a hit with players and fans

Did the penalty taker score or did he miss? That was the question put to Bundesliga fans by FOX, the German Football League’s media partner in American and Asia, in a recent social media campaign to mark the start of the second half of the season. During the promotion supporters were asked to predict who came out on top in a penalty shootout between two players. At Eintracht Frankfurt, winter-break signing Marco Fabian went up against goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Fans then had four weeks to debate and guess who had won the penalty-kick challenge. The response was huge, with an incredible 650 million people in 103 countries taking part.

Twitter and Facebook were the main channels used, and no paid advertising was utilised to push the campaign even more. Instead, FOX Sports incorporated the social media channels of the Bundesliga clubs to drive the campaign.There can be no doubt that the FOX Sports campaign has won more fans for the Bundesliga. Marco Fabian scored his penalty by the way, and thus will have enjoyed the promotion perhaps a little more than Hradecky, who nevertheless had a lot of fun himself.

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Youth Academy
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Under-19s played a friendly at the Riederwaldstadion against a team from the Tokyo Gakuen High School
Under-19s

winter training camp in Turkey and friendly against a Japanese school XI

Under the watchful gaze of coaching team Alexander Schur and Uwe Bindewald the Under-19s prepared for the second half of the Bundesliga South/Southwest season at their traditional winter training camp in the Turkish resort of Side from 15 to 24 January. A total of ten training sessions were organised plus friendlies against the first team of Turkish fourth-division side Iscehisarspor (7-1), the Under-23s of Azeri club FK Gabala (1-0) and the Under-23s of RB Leipzig (0-5).

On 20 March the Under-19s played a friendly at the Riederwaldstadion against a team from the Tokyo Gakuen High School in Japan. The school is part of the Jikei Group of Colleges, with whom the Eagles maintain a cooperation partnership. With over 60 schools and colleges in Japan the Group attaches great importance not only to education but also to sport and exercise. Pupils and students have been visiting Frankfurt for a number of years. Before the game, which the Under-19s lost 3-2, our guests were given a tour of the football academy.

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Under-15s win Dallas Cup for third time
Under-15s

Under-15s win Dallas Cup for third time

Taking part in the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup has become something of a tradition for the Eintracht Under-15 team. This year was their eighth appearance in the tournament – and on 29 March they returned to Frankfurt having lifted the trophy for the third time!

From 20 to 27 March the Under-15s battled for the coveted trophy against teams from all over the world with the express aim of defending their title from the previous year, having first won the tournament in 2010. Still feeling the effects of a long journey, however, they were held to a 1-1 draw in their opening Group A fixture on 20 March by local side FC Dallas 01B Premier. Things went much better a day later when Samad El Messaoudi’s boys secured a comfortable 5-1 victory over Californian outfit Los Angeles Premier FC. A 3-1 win against STA Morris United NPL 00 (New Jersey) in the final pool game on 23 March guaranteed the Under-15s first place in the group and a place in the quarter-finals. Here the Eagles really turned on the style, racking up the goals in a 9-0 drubbing of West Side Alliance WSA 01 White from Oklahoma, who had not conceded until then. The Sereno 01 Boys White from Arizona were swept aside 8-2 in the semi-final. This set up a clash between the previous two tournament winners, with Eintracht beating 2014 victors Tigres from Mexico 4-0 to lift the trophy for the second year in succession.

As is the tradition, the Under-15s stayed with American host families in Dallas. The aim of the HomeStay Program is to give the boys a chance to experience everyday life and culture in America at first hand and gain new experiences.


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Under-12s make first trip abroad to “Bella Italia”
Under-12s

Under-12s make first trip abroad to “Bella Italia”

Exciting times for the Under-12s. In early February the boys boarded a plane to take part in an international tournament abroad for the first time. Their destination was Gallipoli in the Italian region of Apulia. Against teams who were always a year older, and playing on full-size pitches for the first time as a result, things could have gone better for our boys but the trip can still be considered a success. They were able to gain a host of new impressions and experiences with foreign teams and were exposed to a new culture and language. As such, the trip is sure to live long in the memory.

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Visits from Thailand and Denmark
Visits from Thailand and Denmark

In the first week of March the club’s sport academy played host to guests from Denmark. Twelve Danish youth coaches spent a week in Frankfurt as part of a coaching course run by the Danish Football Association (DBU). The packed agenda included an introduction to the specifities of German youth football and how it is organised, from the DFB selection system to the association structures in Germany, our cooperation with the elite football school Carl-von-Weinberg-Schule and the facilities for academy players in Frankfurt as well as stimulating discussions with the club’s sports psychologist, Dr Michael Gutmann, on the subjects of motivation, emotions and concentration in football. The Danish visitors also observed training sessions for the individual youth teams and matches played by the Under-19s, the Under-15s and the first team (against FC Ingolstadt).

A delegation of the Thai TV channel SIAM Sport TV, a licensee of league premium partner FOX, comprising eight people and a camera team, visited the football academy as part of a trip to Germany. The request came via the German Football League (DFL), who along with the Thais attended matches and organised workshops, etc. from 30 March to 11 April. This led to the subsequent request for a tour of the academy with the camera team.

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Football Academy
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“Abu Dhabi reloaded” was the motto for Ervin Skela, Uwe Müller and Manuel Hiemenz
Abu Dhabi twice

Under the palm trees

As in the previous year, the Football Academy team accompanied the senior squad to the winter training camp in Abu Dhabi, where they staged five camps for local kids.

The trip began on 3 January. With more than a tonne of baggage, the Eintracht advance party made their way to the Emirate on the Persian Gulf. The Football Academy was represented in this group by organiser Manuel Hiemenz. The following day the delegation was completed by director Charly Körbel and former Eintracht players Uwe Müller and Ervin Skela. On arrival at the impressive Emirates Palace the immediate task was to begin preparing for the forthcoming camps, finalise the arrangements with the local organisers and inspect the pitches.

The first ball was kicked on 6 January. In bright sunshine the activities began with 25 kids from the German International School in Dubai, who were given the day off school especially for the occasion. The very diverse group from all manner of countries worked very hard and cut a fine figure in their original Eintracht shirts as they rotated through shooting, coordination and technique drills designed in accordance with the tried-and-tested training principles of the Football Academy.

After the obligatory tournament there was a get-together with fruit and sandwiches before the kids were presented with medals, stickers and badges. Charly Körbel was delighted with the opening event: The first camp went very much to our satisfaction. “The kids joined in with great enthusiasm. The setting here at the Palace is unrivalled, of course. We had a lot of fun, let’s hope it stays that way.”

And stay that way it did. On Friday and Saturday it was the turn of the Under-14s and Under-15s of the National School League. The 50 youngsters displayed remarkable footballing ability for their age, which allowed the degree of difficulty of the drills and exercises to be set correspondingly higher. The coaches were particularly pleased with the determination and desire to learn of the boys, who were more than willing to progress to the next skill level.

The next two-day camp was influenced by the Active Life campaign of the UAE health insurance company Daman. In the fight against obesity, one of the biggest problems facing local children, Daman has developed a sustainable sports programme that culminates with the eleven best footballers being named in a “Super 11” in recognition of their performances. Aged between eight and ten, the finalists were also rewarded with a place in the Eintracht Football Academy camp.

Board member Axel Hellmann said: “We’ve maintained friendly relations in the region for many years and wish to bring these to life in various cooperation arrangements. This includes our activities with the Group, of course.”

In view of the perfect training conditions for Armin Veh’s squad and the rest of the Eintracht delegation, the Football Academy would no doubt have been happy to stay a little longer. But the time flew by and on 12 January it was time to say farewell again.

For Charly Körbel there were positives all round: “We had an outstanding week here last year but it was even better this time. That applies particularly to the ability displayed by the kids, who were very disciplined, enthusiastic and quick to learn. It’s always very special for the Football Academy to accompany the first team to their training camp and I hope we will continue to do so in the future. I’m sure we now have a lot of new Eintracht fans.”

Abu Dhabi reloaded

“Abu Dhabi reloaded” was the motto for Ervin Skela, Uwe Müller and Manuel Hiemenz three months later. After working for the Football Academy at the club’s winter training camp on the Persian Gulf, they returned from 1 to 7 March to continue the collaboration with the UAE health insurance company Daman.

As on the first visit in early January, our team encountered perfect conditions and enthusiastic participants at the Emirates Palace. The camp featured five training sessions for a total of 110 children and young people. “It’s great to see how routine the cooperation with the local organisers has become,” said Hiemenz in praise of the third edition of the Abu Dhabi camp. “A really sustainable collaboration is developing here.” By the way, the programme included a training session aimed especially at girls this time.


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New at Eintracht

Eintracht Frankfurt in Japanese: Our new website is now available in Japanese. The expanded offering brings Eintracht closer to a large number of fans and friends of the club. Along with English, Japanese is the second foreign language on the website.

International SGE video content: EintrachtTV is also taking the next step, offering Spanish, Japanese and English-speaking fans the opportunity to keep in touch with Eintracht in their own language.

Provider changes on the Chinese market:  We have changed tack in the Far East and restructured our offerings on Sinaweibo and Tencent in order to deliver Eintracht news to consumers in an even more attractive way. In the first few weeks we were already reaching around 3,000 users.

Eintracht launch YouTube offering: Eintracht Frankfurt’s exclusive, premium-quality television channel, EintrachtTV, established a professional presence on YouTube on 7 January with a selection of additional programming on the global video-sharing service. The revamp of the club’s YouTube channel was targeted specifically at international users, registering 2.3 million clicks and almost 11,000 subscribers. Signing up for the club’s YouTube channel is a must for any Eintracht fan.

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