Sunday, April 30, 2017

Low hails German youngsters

SoccerNews in World Cup 14 May 2014

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Germany coach Joachim Low was full of praise after his youthful team played out a goalless draw with Poland on Tuesday.

A record 12 players were handed debuts, with eight named in the starting line-up as Germany continued their preparations for next month’s FIFA World Cup, drawing against Poland in an international friendly at Imtech Arena in Hamburg.

The likes Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Marco Reus and Mats Hummels were all absent, while star striker Robert Lewandowski was also missing for Poland.

But Low could not contain his delight post-game, having introduced debutants Max Meyer, Leon Goretzka, Kevin Volland, Shkodran Mustafi and Christian Gunter to senior international football as they bid to make the final 23-man squad.

“We had an amazing number of newcomers to the team, who have done their job very well,” said Low, who oversaw Germany’s ninth game without defeat.

“We were well organised and played properly forward.

“Even without the goals (it) was an entertaining game.”

Schalke young gun Julian Draxler was named captain on Tuesday, becoming the nation’s youngest player to wear the armband at 20 years of age.

Draxler was honoured to have led Germany, though he admitted it was difficult to generate any real rhythm after such a short time in camp together.

“When you’re captain of the national team at 20 years, that says a lot,” Draxler said. “Today was really almost an U21 international.

“If you have only trained once with the team, it is difficult to implement the things. We have done well.”

As for Draxler’s Schalke team-mate Meyer, he is still hopeful of earning a spot on the plane to Brazil following his impressive debut.

“The coach must now decide if I stay,” the 18-year-old said. “I haven’t booked holiday for June or July yet.”

Germany have another two friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia before going head-to-head with Portugal, Ghana and the United States in Group G at the World Cup.

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