Feyenoord took to the training pitch in Weiler, southern Germany Sunday without the Tunisian Saidi, who has an ankle injury, but with Mariano Fernandez among the ranks. The Argentinean was originally scheduled to undergo a two-day trial in Rotterdam, but coach Gullit was eager to see more of the player. ‘Fernandez also played a half against Katwijk, but had so little to do that he couldn’t be appraised in that game. So I would like to see him against a better opponent, before we decide whether he could strengthen us or not.’

Fernadez has made an impact on Gullit in training. ‘The first impression was good, in spite of the fact that he hasn’t trained. He is keen and does not hold back, but now we have to see how he does defensively in games against professional clubs.’

Feyenoord’ first match in Germany will be against Arminia Bielefeld on Tuesday, a chance for the new coach to experiment. ‘We are now at a stage in which we can try out different formations. So that’s what will happen.’ The same goes for the up-and-coming friendlies with Newcastle and Seville. ‘The team must be in place in the season opener against Fulham. Before then, we can try things out.’ Ono, Song ands Saidi are all set to be out of the reckoning for a few weeks when the Olympics get underway, so the coach will be taking the opportunity to test out his options without the three Olympians. ‘I have to know how the team performs best without them.’

Danko Lazovic was also set to travel to Athens, but he will probably not now be called up by Serbia Montenegro. ‘I spoke with the highest official within the Serbia Montenegro organisation and pointed out to him that it would be much better for Lazovic’s development if he does not go to Athens. I feel that that point of view has been understood. The final decision still has to be taken, but I am hopeful that Lazovic will not be called up and that he will stay in Rotterdam.’

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Feyenoord Business CLub