Earlier in the summer, Liverpool poached Bayern Munich head fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer, bringing in the man who oversaw conditioning for the German giants as Jürgen Klopp looked to improve his squad’s fitness and endurance ahead of his first full season in charge.
Shortly after Kornmayer’s arrival, word of Liverpool’s intense pre-season plans emerged, with a clear focus on endurance in order to get the players ready to spend a season gegenpressing. Nine games in a month and three-a-day training sessions were the order of the day. With pre-season under way, Kornmayer gave an early update.
"In the first sessions it’s important that they get a feeling for the ball again," said Kornmayer of his approach to pre-season fitness training and getting players back into the flow of football. "They’re not only designed by me. We—the coaching staff—design them. We have some topics to put in; some strong topics in my opinion.
"Some endurance topics, of course. And we will mix it with football and then we are on a good way. First of all I have to get to know the players. Check everybody and see where we are. Then we can work with them, do the programmes and progress for everybody, the whole squad. The first days were really great."
After arriving back for pre-season on Saturday, Liverpool face their first warm-up friendly at the end of the week as they hit the road to take on Tranmere on Friday. Then it’s Fleetwood Town next Wednesday, Wigan Athletic on Sunday the 17th, and Huddersfield Town on the 20th before the Reds head to America.
Three games in the United States, against Chelsea, AC Milan, and Roma, follow before the club return to Europe for a prestige friendly against Barcelona on the 6th of August and one against Klopp’s old club FSV Mainz just a day later on the 7th. Then, on the 13th of August, the season begins against Arsenal.
"[Klopp] called me and asked me," added Kornmayer of how he ended up leaving Bayern for Liverpool. "We talked about everything. To be honest, I didn’t have to think about it for too long. I was really impressed with what he said to me and impressed that the club wants to have me. I’m happy."