Created on 25-06-2008 at 00:00 AM
Nick Theslof’s playing career was ended prematurely by injury, but his coaching career is progressing at a rapid pace. In his new role as assistant to incoming Bayern boss Jürgen Klinsmann, he will mainly be tasked with developing the Munich stars’ individual abilities. Boasting a long track record as a coach in the USA, he was even Klinsmann’s boss for a short time. “For me and the rest of the lads, it was obviously fantastic to work with a former world star of Jürgen’s calibre,“ recalls Theslof, who is relishing the new challenge with Germany’s leading club.
Interview: Nick Theslof
fcbayern.de: Nick, we’ve seen a lot of you recently at the Säbener Strasse. You’re obviously very keen to familiarise yourself with your new employer.
Nick Theslof: “Yes, that’s right. I’ve been in Munich since late April. On the one hand, I’m taking an intensive German course, and on the other, I’m obviously learning all I can about the club. I’ve spent most of my time with the junior team and Wolfgang Dremmler’s scouting section. It’s been extremely interesting. I’ve not had any contact with the senior team yet, as I’ve deliberately stayed in the background.“
fcbayern.de: What are your first impressions of Bayern?
Theslof: “It’s just tremendous here. Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in the world, a familiar name to every football fan, even in the USA. Everything’s very professional here. And I like Munich as a city. I’m still in a hotel for now, but I’m actively looking for an apartment.“
fcbayern.de: You’ve known Jürgen Klinsmann for a while, and you were even his coach once.
Theslof: “That’s right. It was at a third division club in the USA. Jürgen had ended his pro career but played a few games for us under the pseudonym Jay Goppingen. I was the coach and manager at the time. For me and the rest of the lads, it was obviously fantastic to work with a former world star of Jürgen’s calibre. What was truly impressive was that he never harked back to his career, he just slotted in as part of the team.“
fcbayern.de: You obviously kept in touch afterwards.
Theslof: “Yes. At the time, we often talked in-depth about world football. Then, before the World Cup, Jürgen asked me if I’d like to work as a scout under Urs Siegenthaler. I observed 19 matches for him in 2006. It looks as though Jürgen approved of my work.“
fcbayern.de: Your role at Bayern will be a little different, won’t it?
Theslof: “In the first instance, I’ll act as assistant coach at training sessions and only help out in the scouting section when it’s needed. That’s the plan at least. I’m thrilled to be coming to Bayern at this moment in time. I think the coming weeks and months will be really exciting for everyone, the players, the coaches, the officials and of course the fans.“
fcbayern.de: What can the players expect in terms of innovation?
Theslof: “Jürgen’s philosophy is based on improving every individual player’s skills and abilities, thus helping the team as a unit. That’s why the professionals’ quarters have been reconstructed as a performance centre. We’ll do everything possible for the players to develop their abilities in a positive environment.“
fcbayern.de: What positive influences will you be importing from the USA?
Theslof: “I’ve worked with some of the most talented players in the USA, especially in the area of individual development. I know how to improve players as individuals, both technically and tactically.“
fcbayern.de: How well are you acquainted with the Bundesliga and European football?
Theslof: “I joined the PSV Eindhoven youth academy as a 15-year-old. I spent two years there and watched a lot of matches live, and naturally spoke a lot with my team-mates and coaches about football. I’m well informed about European leagues and how football works here."