February 26, 2013
ONE HOT PLAYER'S JOURNEY
Ex-Red Bulls defender 'weighs in' after joining his German club Hessen Kassel
Jersey boy and former Red Bulls defender Sacir Hot plays for Hessen Kassel in Germany and will be blogging about his experiences for BigAppleSoccer.com.
|Ex-Red Bulls defender Sacir Hot joined his German club three pounds overweight and he paid for the extra pounds.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Sacir Hot
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
In January, I arrived for a week of preseason with my new club, Hessen Kassel, and everyone was happy to see me back. After warm welcomes from my teammates and staff in the locker room, our head coach immediately put me on the scale in front of the team to see my weight – was three kilos over my average. I was surprised a bit because I trained everyday with my hometown “ballers” in Nutley and Montville but I guess it wasn't enough.
Needless to say, coach wasn’t happy I was overweight. So, I had to pay for it the hard way. Never in my whole life have a run so much in a span of three weeks! We had double sessions six out of seven days in a week and I had to run 30 minutes extra after the second session every day. Some days our morning sessions was just a light lift but not for me! I had to go running in the forest for 50 minutes in the snow. I didn’t mind the running because it was worth all the home cooking and brewskis I had with the fellas when I was home for a month. Plus after those three weeks I came closest to ever having a six pack. Watch out this summer ladies!
I got acclimated on the field rather quickly as we played a bunch of friendlies during our winter pre-season and there are two games that are worthy of telling.
First friendly was versus FC Magdeburg. Our bus pulled up to the field and it was completely covered in about a foot of snow. I thought it was a joke and that we wouldn’t play. Not in Germany - all weather is fair play. The game was fun because it was just like when you’d play soccer when you’re younger with your friends in the streets' except for the fact you can’t feel your toes and your only wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt and when you slide tackle your leg goes numb. It’s all fun and games until frostbite or hypothermia sets in.
Our second game was versus VfL Wolfsburg. On the weekend before, they had lost and their coach was really angry with them so they had to play us in a mid-week friendly. Before the game, I figured they would just be playing their bench players who didn’t play on the weekend but when I looked at the lineups before the game it was full of their first team superstars. It was cool to go up against big-time Bundesliga players and I got to play against a fellow Balkan baller Ivan Perisic. We talked our native language all throughout the game and at the end we swapped jerseys. We caught a beating that game but it was an awesome experience. Plus, I got a nice jersey for my collection.
Coach gave us two days off one weekend and it happened to be on Super Bowl Sunday. I figured I’d make the most of the two free days so I talked to my friend and rising soccer star Joe Gyau, who lives in Hamburg. That Sunday he had a game so I made plans to take a trip to Hamburg to see him play. Then I remembered that my buddy Frank Rost also lives in Hamburg and loves watching American football so I gave him a call too. He told me to come over so we can watch the Super Bowl at his house so I was excited to meet up with my old friends in Hamburg!
Unfortunately, after that pre-season game in the snow at Magdeburg I caught a bad fever and couldn’t make it out to Hamburg and I couldn’t even stay up to watch the Super Bowl. At least it wasn’t a good game, right? I told both I’ll just take a rain check on that one.
Just another day in the life of me.
And feel free to follow me on Twitter for updates on my journey @SacirHot