Sebastian Hoeneß ahead of return: 'A special moment'
FC Bayern will meet an old friend when they host Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena on Saturday (15:30 CET). Sebastian Hoeneß has been coaching die Kraichgauer since the start of the season. Together with his assistant coach David Krecidlo, the 38-year-old switched from FCB to TSG in the summer.
Previously, Hoeneß worked in the German record champions' youth set-up for three years. After two successful seasons with the U19s, he achieved a sensational title victory in the third division with Bayern's reserves last season. fcbayern.com spoke to Hoeneß before his return.
The interview with Sebastian Hoeneß
fcbayern.com: Mr. Hoeneß, you will be a visitor at your former club FC Bayern on Saturday. How big is the anticipation for the trip to your old home?
Hoeneß:"Of course David [Krecidlo, assistant coach] and I are very much looking forward to the return. It will certainly be a special moment to stand on the sidelines against our former club at the Allianz Arena on Saturday."
Once a spectator at the Olympic Stadium and the Allianz Arena, on Saturday you return as a Bundesliga head coach. What does that mean to you?
"There isn't much time to think about it. The focus is of course on concentrated preparation to play a good game despite the class of the opponent. But naturally you can feel the anticipation for this game."
Almost exactly a year ago you began an incredible second half of the third division season with the Bayern reserves. How do you look back at the time since then?
"It was an extremely intense, exciting and also successful year in which a lot happened for me, both professionally and personally. Overall, I can look back at a very positive time, so it's nice to be returning to Munich with my new club for this game on Saturday."
To what extent are you still in contact with your former colleagues from FC Bayern, especially now in the run-up to this clash?
"Of course, I still have contact with a lot of people, including Hermann Gerland. We write to each other every now and then. We won't have any explicit contact before the game on Saturday. We'll be happy to see each other and have the opportunity to chat after the game."
You managed a clear 4-1 victory in the reverse fixture. What went particularly well in your first home game as TSG coach and what can you take with you for the return match?
"First of all, you have to contextualise the match correctly. Bayern had a very tiring game during the week [UEFA Supercup] that must have left its mark. Nonetheless, we had an excellent day. We defended cunningly and had a good plan. We were able to score goals at the right time, we were very brave throughout the game, we made an offensive change in the second half and stayed on the ball. Of course there was also a bit of luck. Looking back, we were deserved winners. However, Saturday's meeting is a game under new conditions."
Most recently you've had two wins in a row, and kept clean sheets in the last three games. What do you expect from the game at the Allianz Arena on Saturday ?
"When you play in Munich, you have to show a lot of resilience to be able to get through difficult phases. Bayern are undisputed leaders once again, although many had predicted a challenging season for FCB. They're still getting their positive results, but the games have also shown there are phases when you can frustrate them. Hopefully these moments will also happen for us. We have to be efficient and take advantage of the opportunities. In addition, it means defending as a team."
With Jamal Musiala or Chris Richards, for example, there are regular players in the first-team squad who you coached last season. How do you rate the development of the young players at FCB?
"With Jamal, the development in the last few months has been simply outstanding. Chris, with whom I worked for a long time, has also got his rewards. I'm just very happy about stories like that."
To what extent do you still follow the action with the Bayern reserves?
"I continue to follow this closely. As always, there's a lot of fluctuation with the U23s. It was clear there would be changes. Holger Seitz with his coaching team and the leading players like Nico Feldhahn, Timo Kern and Maxi Welzmüller are doing really well. They're well on their way again, which makes me extremely happy. In addition, there are new young players growing into their roles and gaining experience in the third division. It's nice to see this is continuing."
Thanks to a splendid second half of the season, the Bayern reserves under now Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß secured a sensational third division title last season. You can find out about it here: