Marcus looks at bigger picture
July 12, 2007
MARCUS HAHNEMANN admits he is not bothered about missing Reading’s pre-season tour of South Korea – even though it could be his last.
The Royals goalkeeper broke the middle two bones in his right hand after a clash with Blackburn’s Shabani Nonda on the final day of last season and was prevented from travelling with his team-mates on Monday night for the Peace Cup.
But the American is adamant he will be fit and ready by the time Steve Coppell’s side open their Premiership campaign with a visit to Manchester United on August 12.
However Hahnemann, 33, is aware that it could be his last ever season with Reading unless he is offered a new deal when he becomes a free agent next summer.
Midfielder James Harper and defender Ivar Ingimarsson have both recently signed extensions to their contracts and Stephen Hunt put pen to-paper on bumper new three year deal on Monday, as revealed by The Wokingham Times last week.
Hahnemann, who underwent a final X-ray on his hand yesterday (Tuesday), told The Wokingham Times: “I could have gone to Korea but we decided it would probably be better if I stayed here instead of going all that way just to train.
“It would be more beneficial for me not to try and do a 13 hour flight and continue my progress here.
“But I missed pre-season a couple of years and it never had any effect on me and it’s good to have the time off to get myself back to full fitness for Old Trafford.
“I’ve been making progress every day but it’s not just about the bone healing. It’s about getting the strength back in my arm and being ready to face a shot at 65mph.
“I’ve been running, throwing and handling balls but I’m not taking them at full whack yet.
“It’s been a really frustrating summer because it was my first season off for three years and I’ve haven’t been able to go fishing, waterski or even go out and fly a kite with my kids.”
When questioned about whether he had opened negotiations with the club on a new contract at the Madejski Stadium, Hahnemann added: “I know a few of the guys have signed new deals recently and I’d like to sign a longer term deal too but nothing has been offered to me put it that way.”
Hahnemann, meanwhile, is confident that Royals can compete at the same level for a second successive season despite the club’s lack of success in the transfer market this summer and the departures of Steve Sidwell and Greg Halford.
Reading have only signed midfielder Kalifa Cisse from Portuguese side Boavista for £650,000 while reports suggesting they have sealed a £2million deal for Nantes midfielder Emerse Fae appear to be unfounded.
“We were criticised by everyone when we didn’t bring in loads of new players last season and we finished in eighth,” said Hahnemann.
“We’re going to miss Sidwell but Greg only played two games. I’m not worried that we’re not signing players.
“I think the management have proved that they know what they’re doing because it worked last year.”
Injuries have also ruled out Glen Little (Achilles), Bobby Convey (knee) and Ibrahima Sonko from travelling to Korea.
Leroy Lita and Ulises de la Cruz have yet to return from their delayed breaks following international duty over the summer.