English game can follow the Bundesliga says ex-Preston North End keeper Thorsten Stuckmann

Former Preston North End keeper Thorsten Stuckmann was pleased to see football resume in Germany and hopes it won’t be long before the English game returns.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 8:00 am

Stuckmann, who spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Lilywhites, is now living in Cologne.

Although a bicep injury forced him to hang up his gloves, the 39-year-old is still involved in football.

He works for the German players’ union and also does some television pundit work on Bundesliga matches.

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German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann during his time at Preston North End

With his co-commentary used in English-speaking countries, there is a chance of him being heard on these shores over the coming weeks as German football takes top billing on BT Sport.

The Bundesliga was the first major European league to resume action amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan is for the Premier League and Championship to restart in June.

Stuckmann told the Lancashire Post: “There were different views in Germany about the Bundesliga starting.

“Part of the population were saying why was football being played when the schools aren’t back still?

“Personally, I thought it was the right sign to get the boys back out playing again.

“It shows that we can get back to some kind of normality after this virus.

“The players here were quarantined before the games and they are being tested three times a week now.

“I thought the weekend matches went really well and hopefully that can continue.

“There was a match in Bundesliga II which couldn’t be played because three players has positive tests.

“If that kept happening it would be difficult to finish the season but hopefully we won’t have too many cases.”

Games in Germany were held in empty stadiums, as they would be in England if the season restarts.

Stuckmann, who finished his career at Fortuna Dusseldorf, said: “Behind closed doors is the only way it can be done at the moment.

“It is hard for the players to play in that environment, they are happy to be playing again but do miss the atmosphere.

“They were off for eight weeks because of the virus and haven’t had a pre-season.

“The players only had two weeks’ training, so they are going to be missing match fitness.

“It will give the fans something to look forward to at the weekend.

“My two boys were so happy to be back watching football on television.

“It is a signal that things are going in the right direction.

“Big football clubs are companies, it is not just the players they have to pay it is the staff and workers. So they need to be playing.”