Nicolai Rapp has been training with the first team since January and gained some experience of life as a professional footballer during the winter-break training camp in South Africa. The Heidelberg-born centre back has been playing for TSG since 2006 (U12s) and has had a very successful spell with the achtzehn99 ACADEMY. Rapp was captain of the U19s, leading them to the German Championship in 2014. He was a part of the first-team squad for two games during the second half of the recent Bundesliga campaign.
Benedikt Gimber has been with Hoffenheim since 2009 and has also been a key player for Germany’s youth teams since U15 level. The centre back has recently been recovering from a broken ankle, which he picked up in an U19s league game against 1. FC Saarbrücken in early March.
Gimber’s youth career had been going smoothly until then, having already celebrated the German U19 Championship with TSG as an U17s player. The Buchen-born defender was also awarded a gold Fritz Walter Medal by the German Football Association in the U17 category last year.
Alongside Rapp and Gimber, attackers Joshua Mees (19) and Philipp Ochs (18), as well as midfielder Grischa Prömel (20), who is currently away at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand, will also join first-team training from 2nd July.