Created on 13-06-2008 at 00:00 AM
Six months have passed since Bayern sensationally unveiled Jürgen Klinsmann as Ottmar Hitzfeld’s successor for the 2008-9 campaign. In that time, Germany’s most successful club sealed a 21st domestic league title and 14th DFB Cup triumph, while also experiencing the “Miracle of Getafe“ and a bitter UEFA Cup exit to Zenit St. Petersburg.
But all that is already history as the new season looms ever larger on the horizon. After a five-week summer break, the players are due to report back for training in fourteen days’ time, although Klinsmann began preparing for the new campaign immediately after his appointment. “We’ve been working towards it with a lot of dynamism since January. I’m unbelievably excited about the challenge,” Klinsmann exclusively told fcbayern.de.
Nothing left to chance
The former world-class striker is gearing up for his first club coaching job with the same meticulousness which marked his time as Germany boss in the two years up to and including the 2006 World Cup. “Bayern is the gold standard in German club football,“ the 43-year-old said, describing his new position as “a major but hugely attractive challenge with enormous responsibility.“
However, Klinsmann admitted, “you can’t approach the job at a club the way you do with a national team.“ That explains the feverish activity of recent months, including assembling a new coaching staff, and producing a detailed training plan for the two-month pre-season period. “We’re not leaving anything to chance. We want everyone working very hard and with great focus,“ the new boss explained.
By “we”, Klinsmann means his new backroom team, dedicated to helping the players extract the maximum from their potential, including confirmed new faces Tim Borowski and Hans-Jörg Butt. Klinsmann will be supported by assistant coach Martin Vasquez and scout Nick Theslof, as well as Hitzfeld’s long-serving number two Michael Henke in the new position of chief analyst and head of match observation.
Ex-FCB man Christian Nerlinger takes over as team manager with a brief covering the administrative and organisational areas. Former Bundesliga keeper Philipp Laux (SSV Ulm, Borussia Dortmund) arrives at the Säbener Strasse as a qualified sports psychologist. Finally, Klinsmann has hired an expert fitness and rehab coaching team comprising Oliver Schmidtlein, Marcelo Martins and Darcy Norman.
New performance centre
The coaching and support staff will find optimal working conditions when they arrive for duty at the Säbener Strasse, where work began on 18 May to gut, renovate and convert the old professionals’ quarters into a new performance centre. Construction crews are working practically round the clock to ensure everything is ready for 30 June. Seventeen days to go, and the countdown has started!