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'Win-win situation'

Austrian talent strengthens FCB - and vice versa

Bayern reserves announced their seventh new signing last Friday. Deniz Mujic joins FCB from Austrian third division outfit FC Dornbirn. The 19-year-old forward, who has been training with Bayern for the last three weeks, has signed a two-year-deal that runs to 30 June 2012.

At first sight, there is nothing unusual about the transfer but a closer look reveals that Mujic is the eleventh Austrian to join the Munich giants. David Alaba (first team squad), Christoph Knasmüllner and Marcel Holzmann (FC Bayern reserves), Kevin Friesenbichler, Dominik Traunmüller and Dominik Burusic (U19s), Christian Derflinger and Alessandro Schöpf (U17s) plus Stefan Faistenauer (U15s) and Marco Friedl (U13s) also have their roots in Austria.

FCB scouts on Alpine trail

Coincidence? Not at all, as junior team boss Werner Kern reported. “The Austrians have done a lot of excellent work in developing young players. We’d be crazy not to take a look at them,” explained Kern in an interview with The FCB youth scouts have been across the border a lot recently, as competition from other German clubs is limited at the moment.

The proximity to Austria is an obvious benefit from a Bayern perspective. “These players can come to Munich without having to worry about too great an upheaval,” explained Kern. And, of course, there aren’t any problems in terms of integration. “We speak the same language, share the same culture and have the same values.” People from the north of Germany can find it hard to distinguish between Bavarians and Austrians.

Cerny speaks from experience

On the other side of the coin, Austrian football can benefit from this close relationship with Bayern. “I see it as a classic win-win situation,” declared Bayern U16 coach Harald Cerny, a former Austria international. For young Austrian players, it represents an “ideal route to joining a top club like Bayern.” Cerny knows what he is talking about.