DAVID SMITH - Saturday, October 8, 2011
Currently enjoying a strong run of play with 1860 Munich's U23 team, Bobby Wood is continuing to refine his craft while steadily pushing for a place with the senior team.
Entering the current season, the American U20 international looked set to be a contributor to 1860's lineup, however a strong start by their front line which has been responsible for amassing the second-most goals in the division had kept him off the field for the first few games, prompting his current spell with their second team.
"The club wants me to get playing time and not just sit on the bench," Wood spoke of his recent run with the second team. "I think it's better to be playing since I can only develop when I play."
"I'm a little disappointed since I want to play with the first team," the Hawaiian-born attacker admits, "but I've just got to keep working hard and keep my head up, and hopefully I'll get a chance soon."
After a minor flare-up of an earlier injury, the team felt a run with the second team would give Wood a chance to quickly regain full match fitness. However with chances remaining limited with the primary squad, he has remained in their starting lineup in the time since.
"I stretched out my meniscus," he explained of his short time off the field in early-September. "It's been a problem since I was with the national team in March and it came back a little bit. I've had some shots in my knee and it feels a little better now, but we'll just have to see how it goes."
Wood's incorporation in their lineup has also coincided with a resurgence for the U23s, who had failed to register a win through their first nine games but has gone undefeated in their last three.
Through this span of time, Wood has netted two goals of his own and has been a consistent factor in setting up several more. Most notably, he scored the team's first and keyed the buildup to their ultimate winning goal in a derby match against longtime city rivals FC Bayern in the first meeting of the two organizations' U23 teams in close to four years.
"It's my job to score and I've been getting the chances," he modestly ascribes of his recent run.
Even though he has typically started out at the head of the team's front line alongside strike partner Gökhan Gümüssu, Wood has on several occasions been shifted out to the right wing later in games, a role which he also played in his few appearances with the first team in the previous season.
Having been originally brought through 1860's's system as a forward, he has become more accustomed to playing as a winger, and feels capable of taking the role whenever called upon.
"I'm getting more comfortable on the right side, but I"m still debating where I like playing the most," he assesses. "I like playing both, so it's all good."
Should he continue his run with 1860's U23 squad, Wood will next suit up on the Saturday following the international pause when the team visits Waldhof Mannheim in Regionalliga action. However, with the first team having suffered two straight tough losses, he could be back in the mix when they visit Rostock in their next outing.