Mark Hughes addresses his first team squad
Image by: Phil Greig
14:00 26th July 2014
STOKE CITY youngster Daniel Bachmann is in-line to make his maiden appearance for the first-team in this afternoon’s pre-season friendly against 1860 Munich.
The talented young ‘keeper, who has progressed through the Academy set-up through to Mark Hughes’ first-team squad, is set to feature in today’s game having impressed during his first pre-season as a professional.
In the build-up to kick-off, stokecityfc.com sat down with the Austrian-born stopper to gauge his thoughts on what will be a momentous day in his career, and find out how he is enjoying life training with the likes of Asmir Begovic, Thomas Sorensen and Jack Butland.
First of all Daniel, what an experience this trip must have been for you – being out here with the first team.
“I have been with the first team since September last year, but I was switching to the under 21s at times too, but it now looks as though I am in the first team permanently, which is good for me.
“It’s the next stage of my development, and being out here with the team on my first pre-season as a professional has really whet my appetite for more in years to come.”
What an incredible step for you to make though – coming through from the Academy. Was this always an ambition of yours to one day feature in the first-team squad?
“When you first sign for a Club as a youngster you always have ambitions and dreams of progressing into the first team at some stage, so to be here now is incredible.
“I originally came here into the under 18 side, then moved up to the under 21s and now I am in and around the first team which is unbelievable.
“The last three years have been incredible, and I have enjoyed every minute of being involved with the academy. I learned a lot from the guys there.
“Today I get the chance to play in the first team for the first time, and I am incredibly excited about that.”
Will it be a surreal moment for you today – stepping out on to the field for the first time as a first-team player?
“It will be different but I’m not nervous at all to be honest, I am just incredibly excited to play for the first team for the first time in my career.
“I am just trying to relax now and make sure that I am prepared for the game – that’s all I can do. I’m not getting carried away by it at all.
“Every game is important in your development, and playing in the first team will hopefully benefit me moving forward, regardless of what happens today.
“It’s just going to be fantastic for me to be on the same pitch as our experienced first team players. It will be a proud moment for me.”
Training with and learning from the likes of Asmir, Thomas and Jack must be fantastic for you. There couldn’t be a better mixture of talent and experience for you to learn from could there?
“All three of them have been absolutely fantastic and there is so much I can learn from them all, especially Thomas and Asmir, who have so much experience in the game.
“They are two great ‘keepers for me to work with and to look up to. Thomas has achieved so much, and Asmir is regarded as one of the best in the game at the moment, so it is fantastic to be able to work with them daily and of course Jack, who is another top ‘keeper too.”
Obviously, long-term your ambitions will be to break into the team regularly, but how big a challenge is that going to be, given the quality of the players you are battling with?
“It is going to be very difficult because as you say, the three of them are top quality goalkeepers. In football though you never know what is around the corner, because all it takes is an injury or two and all of a sudden you are in the equation.
“Asmir broke his figure and the Thomas did his Achilles so that meant I was on the bench for the game against Leicester City in the FA Cup.
“Even in that game Jack very nearly got injured in that game too, so for me it is all about making sure I keep learning, keep listening to the coach and to the three ‘keepers and then if my chance comes along I have to be ready.
“I have no pressure on me though – I just come in each day work hard, do everything I can to improve and just take it from there.”
Finally Daniel, it’s quite ironic that you are making your debut just a few miles outside of your country of birth, Austria. Does that make today even more special for you?
“It’s fantastic to be out here and to be playing my game just down the road from Austria – it is really special for me.
“My family will be here too, my parents and my girlfriend – so having them here for my first game for the first team will be brilliant.”