Football elite bound for Austria

Austrian tourism officials hope some of Europe’s biggest clubs will draw the masses after Arsenal decided not to hold their pre-season training camp in the country for the first time in 10 years.Arsene Wenger, the French coach of the Premiership giants, was reportedly not in favour of touring Asia before the 2011/2012 season kicks off in August. However, the London-based club’s board opted for a week-long tour through Malaysia and China. League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea will also heading east in the coming weeks to take advantage of Asia’s enormous economic potential.”Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is excited to be visiting both Malaysia and China. We enjoy huge support in Asia and this will help bring the Club closer to our fans in both countries,” Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis is quoted as saying on Arsenal’s homepage.Organisers of training camps across Austria are convinced that a string of other professional football clubs from all over Europe will give the domestic tourism sector an extra kick this summer.Ukrainian side FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk arrived in Irdning earlier this week. The senior national team of Israel and Saudi Arabia’s Under-20s squad held training camps in Styria already earlier this year. Between 20 and 25 national teams and top-flight sides from all over the world pick the province every summer. While Spanish vice champions Real Madrid stayed in Irdning in previous years, English clubs Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers will come to Styria later this summer.German fourth-league side RB Leipzig – who are managed by Austrian Peter Pacult and funded by energy drink producer Red Bull – plan to play against GAK and Kapfenberg when they come to Bad Radkersburg next month.It was also announced today (Weds) that SK Sigma Olomouc from the Czech Republic will prepare for upcoming challenges in Pöllauberg, Styria, in July.German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are set to play against Polonia Warsawa in Altach, Vorarlberg, on 16 July to get into shape for the next season which kicks off on 5 August. The team’s league rivals Bayer Leverkusen will clash with Austrian Bundesliga powerhouse Red Bull Salzburg (RBS) on 3 July.Hannover 96, who finished the past season in fourth place, will stay in Bad Radkersburg between 9 and 18 July. Austrian national team ace Emanuel Pogatetz joined the club in 2010.Mainz 05 – the club of ex-Rapid Vienna midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz – will prepare in Flachau, Salzburg, from 7 to 15 July.1. FC Nuremberg will even hold two camps in Tyrol this summer. The team of Dieter Hecking will work out in Längenfeld between 27 June and 3 July before spending a week in Zell am Ziller from 16 July.Hamburger SV – the ex-club of Austrians Markus Schopp, Richard Kitzbichler and Michael Baur – will come to Finkenberg, Tyrol, on 9 July. The team will stay until 16 July. A friendly against a local club is scheduled for 12 July.SC Freiburg – who have, according to reports, interest in signing Austria Vienna stars Julian Baumgartlinger and Zlatko Junuzovic – will prepare for the 2011/2012 season in Schruns, Vorarlberg, for a week until 15 July.1. FC Köln, where Austrian Toni Polster is praised as one of the best strikers the club ever had, will be in Walchsee, Tyrol, from 9 to 17 July.TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, VfB Stuttgart, Hertha BSC Berlin and VfL Wolfsburg also plan to come to Austria this summer to gear up for next season.DFB Cup winners Schalke 04 will hold their pre-season camp in Stegersbach, Burgenland, between 12 and 20 July. The team may play a friendly against FC Anzhi Makhachkala, the Russian club captained by ex-Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos.Especially towns hosting clubs from Great Britain have massively benefited over the years as a large number of fans accompany their favourite teams.