Created on 21-05-2008 at 00:00 AM
Just four days into the close season, the composition of the Bayern coaching staff has taken on ever more concrete shape. Alongside assistant coach Martin Vasquez, team manager Christian Nerlinger and scouting manager Nick Theslof, incoming head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has now assembled his full fitness training staff. Familiar face Oliver Schmidtlein rejoins the club to partner with Thomas Wilhelmi, who has worked at the Säbener Strasse for the last year and a half. The pair will operate alongside newcomers Darcy Norman and Marcel Martins.
Schmidtlein returns to Germany’s most successful club after a year away. The fitness expert, who worked under Klinsmann in the former striker’s spell at the Germany helm, recently opened his own therapy centre in Munich. He now resumes responsibility for the senior Bayern squad’s fitness, a position he previously filled between 2002 and 2007.
Schmidtlein will be in overall charge of the entire fitness operation, liaising closely with Klinsmann on tailored training programmes for the players, in order to attend to specific areas of need on an individual basis.
Schmidtlein will be supported by Thomas Wilhelmi, who has spent the last 18 months reporting to Ottmar Hitzfeld and knows the club and its playing staff intimately. Wilhelmi is a specialist in rehabilitation after injury, working with convalescent stars, those carrying knocks and players who have had surgery, preparing them for a return to the full squad training programme.
Two fully new faces
By contrast, Darcy Norman and Marcelo Martins are complete newcomers to the club. Canadian national Norman and Brazilian Martins have been recruited from Athletes’ Performance, a renowned American training centre for elite athletes established by Mark Verstegen, a globally acclaimed fitness specialist.
Norman attended Washington State University before joining Athletes’ Performance, opening the company’s second centre of excellence at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, in 2003. The Home Depot Centre hosted the 2003 Women’s World Cup final and is home to MLS outfit L.A. Galaxy.
Seasoned fitness coach
Whereas qualified sports scientist Wilhelmi focuses more on training, the 36-year-old Canadian specialises in therapy. Apart from attending to rehab for injured players, Norman will play a major role in helping players avoid injury in the first place. Norman has previous worked with elite athletes from a variety of disciplines, including Alpine skiing, triathlon and mountain biking.
The fitness staff line-up is completed by the 35-year-old Martins, also a qualified sports scientist. Martins represented Athletes’ Performance in Qatar, where he was attached to the national football team. He was previously on the staff at MLS club Chivas USA and has worked for the American women’s national team. Norman and Martins both boast considerable experience, and will surely bring many new and inspirational ideas and techniques to the club in the drive for an even fitter first-team squad.