Feldhofer in Tbilisi

“Kindergarten” is still green behind the ears

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11.07.2024 07:00

Ferdinand Feldhofer has been at the helm of Dinamo Tbilisi for almost a month now. The Styrian is tasked with getting the Georgian record champions back on track. After 18 rounds, the country's former flagship club is currently languishing in fifth place.  

Feldhofer has not yet seen much of the capital. The 44-year-old actually spends the whole day at the training center, which plays every single match. "I'm usually in the office by 7 a.m., there's a lot to do," says the former Rapid coach, who has also already found an apartment. "It's only ten minutes to the training ground, so it's ideal. I either have a driver or I take a cab, they cost next to nothing here." He hasn't yet had time to see the sights of the metropolis with its 1.1 million inhabitants, but he has explored the restaurant scene. "It's similar to Austrian cuisine, there's a lot of meat. But the standard of living here is great."

"Saving what can be saved"
Of course, Feldhofer didn't set up camp in the former Eastern Bloc for the culinary delights. The Styrian is set to lead Dinamo Tbilisi back to the title. "This season, the gap is already too big. We are trying to salvage what we can. But in the coming season - there is a full-season championship here - we want to attack." This requires reinforcements, especially in attack. And experience. The current squad has an average age of 21.5. "I have a 15-year-old with me, as well as some 17 and 18-year-olds."

Feldhofer starts his European Cup adventure with Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday. (Bild: Feldhofer)
Feldhofer starts his European Cup adventure with Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday.

The kindergarten is still green behind the ears. You could see that in the Super Cup final, when Feldhofer and Dinamo lost 2-1 to Torpedo Kutaisi. "The opponent only scored three times on our goal." The game is played in the Dinamo Arena, which seats 55,000 fans. "It reminds me of the Happel Stadium, it also has a running track." This is not the only reason why the atmosphere at home matches is not exactly exhilarating: only a few fans make their way to the large stadium. "The soccer here is also different, lots of possession, lots of dribbling. But the players are all very well trained," explains "Ferdl", who starts the European Cup with Dinamo on Thursday: The first qualifying round in the Conference League is coming up, Feldhofer's "kindergarten" has to go to Mornar Bar in Montenegro.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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