The preparations for the 2020/21 season are gathering momentum: following the completion of the performance diagnostics, the first team training session of the new season took place on Monday morning. It was the first time the Borussia Dortmund players had been out on the pitch in over five weeks.

Among the players at the training ground were new signings Thomas Meunier and Jude Bellingham. They were joined by BVB academy products Ansgar Knauff, Immanuel Pherai, Nnamdi Collins and Youssoufa Moukoko, the latter of whom will be a permanent fixture in the senior squad going forward. However, Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Marcel Schmelzer and Mahmoud Dahoud missed the session.

The session started with a comprehensive warm-up and fitness programme, before Lucien Favre introduced some passing/heading exercises and then some game scenarios. The group played without goals to begin with, before six mini-goals were introduced. The goalkeepers completed some exercises by themselves.

The first session at the training ground in Brackel lasted a little over an hour. "It's good to be back on the pitch and to get back on the ball. It was a long break," said Manuel Akanji, who has recovered from the calf problems he was experiencing at the end of the season.

The Black & Yellows have two more sessions on the agenda on Tuesday. A week today, they will then depart to Bad Ragaz in Switzerland for their training camp (10-17 August), where their first pre-season friendly fixtures will take place. Click here to view the full summer schedule.
Christina Reinke