'A top job and a club that's very close to my heart'
He's back! 29 years after his departure as an FC Bayern player, Hansi Flick is returning to the German record champions. The 54-year-old will be Niko Kovac's assistant coach this coming season. Flick, who was assistant to Germany head coach Joachim Löw between 2006 and 2014 (winning the World Cup in Rio in the summer of 2014), will take over from Peter Hermann, who left the Munich team after winning the double last season. Flick played 139 games for the Reds between 1985 and 1990, becoming a four-time German champion and winning the DFB Cup once. fcbayern.com talked to the new assistant coach ahead of the start of pre-season training on Monday.
Hansi Flick: The Interview
Servus Herr Flick, welcome back to FC Bayern. What were your thoughts on arriving back at Säbener Straße?
Hansi Flick:"I already knew all about Säbener Straße. During my time at the DFB [Deutscher Fußball Bund = German FA] I was often there, visiting the club and the coaches, so I already knew what to expect. But of course, I was happy to be back. I'm looking forward to the job, to working with players again and working with Niko [Kovac]. When they asked me, I didn't have to think too long about it. Bayern Munich is a club that is close to my heart, a top destination."
How was the communication with Niko Kovac during the last few days?
Flick:"We talked a lot with each other - along with his brother Robert - and I believe there's a good level of harmony. And that's important to me, that there's mutual trust and a high level of competence and, above all, that we can have fun and be successful together."
In recent years you worked among other things as sporting director at the DFB and swapped the training ground for a desk. Why are you going back onto the pitch now?
Flick:"For me, working as sporting director at the DFB was a new challenge at the time. I'm always curious and open to new challenges. We had some things we had to restructure, including the new academy. Of course, I was also involved, that was an exciting project. But I simply noticed that working with players, with young people, is what I enjoy most. That's why I realized relatively quickly that I wanted to get back onto the pitch."
What does the distribution of tasks in the coaching team look like?
Flick:"We're already closely exchanging ideas and planning pre-season and the subsequent steps. It's obvious Niko's the head coach. Our job is to work with the players and prepare the team as well as we can for the goals we've set ourselves. As an assistant coach you have to absolutely have the head coach's back, be loyal and help him progress. I think he'll have a good team around him."
What can the players expect from you, what can they look forward to?
Flick: (laughs)"I don't know what they can look forward to. We'll wait and see. First of all I'd like to get to know the whole set-up and the inner workings of FC Bayern. And then I'll try to do everything I can to ensure that the players get the best possible support to perform at their best. That's our job as the coaching team and I want to play my part in that."
What memories do you have of your active time at FC Bayern?
Flick:"It was the most successful time for me as a player back then - and also the best time. I played with Klaus Augenthaler, Raimond Aumann and Hansi Pflügler, among others, who are all still working for FC Bayern today. Later I also worked with Lothar Matthäus in Salzburg. We were a small, conspiratorial bunch back then. A real team, it always was a lot of fun. And I also met employees who were with FC Bayern back then and who are still here today. You're just happy to see them again."