Test matches are part of every preparation, no question. But Hertha BSC took a rather unusual approach on Saturday. The Bundesliga soccer club met three different opponents at the training camp. Hertha initially played at St. George’s Park, the English FA’s training center, in Burton-upon-Trent. The Bundesliga club’s training sessions are also currently taking place there.
Now it was first half against fifth division FC Halifax Town and then half against fourth division club Salford City. Salford has a number of former Manchester United shareholders, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brothers Phil and Gary Neville.
The Berliners completed the first part of the task victoriously. Maximilian Mittelstädt and Jordan Torunarigha turned a deficit to a 2-1 win. In the late afternoon, Hertha BSC then took on a completely different squad at third division side Derby County and lost 1-0.
Coach Sandro Schwarz relied on the supposedly best available formation – including Kevin-Prince Boateng in midfield and the top candidate for the captaincy, Marvin Plattenhardt, as left-back. The Berliners clearly lacked fitness and liveliness after intensive training days. The English were more energetic in the duels and also provided more goal threat.