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A Day in the Life (of the Eternal Micha)

Notes From the Spanish Training Camp: Day 9

Tue, 10. January 2023
A Day in the Life (of the Eternal Micha)

The saying "Once an Unioner, always an Unioner" sits upon the shoulders of few people as easily as it does of Michael Parensen's. After his career ended in 2020, with 249 games for the club under his belt, the now 36-year-old remained in Köpenick, taking on the role of technical director. His responsibilities run far and wide, but pressingly, he's the one who has had to organise the training camp.

A day without fixed points

Mornings in Campoamor are hardly any different for Parensen from those of his everyday life in Köpenick: Emails over breakfast, mostly. But it is after that things become a little more diffuse. There's a lot of watching, a lot of planning and a lot of talking to be done.

"Here it's also about planning other things, looking ahead," explains the Technical Director. This includes, for example, the upcoming friendly against MSK Zilina on Saturday.

The job of the technical director revolves around his communication with various parties, be it with players and their agents or other staff members. And when Parensen is not talking to people on the ground, face to face, the Bad Driburg born former full-back can be seen with his mobile phone to his ear. Parensen hardly has any fixed points, apart joining the squad and everyone else for the communal mealtimes.

"For me, there is no classic daily routine, so much has to be decided or dealt with spontaneously."

From the pitch to the touchline

When it came to choosing where to have Union's winter training camp, the choice of Campoamor was not exactly coincidental. "We already knew the resort from 2020, when I was still a player." It was Parensen's last training camp as an active professional. Yet, the everyday life here of a player and of a technical director could not be more different.

"As a player, I was never the training camp type. My legs got heavy after three days at the most, and at some point my head would, too." Now the physical strain is mostly gone. But there are always advantages and disadvantages to every new situation. certainly the hours he works has changed since his career move.

"The days are longer now, of course. I get up earlier and will be talking to club or hotel staff until late in the evening. As a player, you can go to bed early or have a lie down after midday."

It is a different burden that has fallen on the man they call "the eternal Micha" this season. But he's happy to accept it. After all, once an Unioner, always an Unioner.

Quote of the day: "You really look like you've had nine days of training camp right now. - "That's exactly how I feel." - A player after the last session in Campoamor