The Royal Blues have appointed a new sporting director in André Hechelmann, who previously was FC Schalke 04’s chief scout.
“We have gone through an extensive process over the past few months to find the best possible person for the challenges that lie ahead of us. After creating different profiles, we went into talks with potential candidates – both internally and externally,” explained Peter Knäbel, member of the executive board. At the end of this process, in which the Sports Committee as well as the chairman of the Supervisory Board Axel Hefer were involved, there was a clear result. “We are 100 percent convinced by André. Together with René Grotus, he had already taken over the tasks on an interim basis over the past eight months. The signing of Moritz Jenz is an excellent example of André’s work: not many have seen the player’s potential.”
Knäbel explained the decision, saying that Hechelmann fulfils the main criteria of the desired profile: “André brings a wealth of experience from many areas of a football club: team management, finance, scouting, squad planning. He has an excellent network and a very good eye for the potential of players and how they fit into the existing team structure. In his almost two years as chief scout at S04, he has significantly developed the four areas – data, video, live and network scouting – and noticeably improved the interfaces for strategic squad planning. He fully identifies with our aims of establishing Schalke in the Bundesliga and at the same time continuing to increase the squad value.”
Hechelmann, who joined FC Schalke 04 in 2021, starts his new role with great anticipation, “First of all, I would like to thank the board of directors and the supervisory board for the trust they have placed in me. I am taking on my new role with a clear plan and a two-pronged approach: in the short term, we want to tackle promotion to the Bundesliga; we have already been working on the necessary decisions for several months and are now implementing them.”
At the same time, Hechelmann continued, the aim is to make the team look ahead in the long-term. “From our point of view, strategic squad planning is essential to sustainably shape the sporting development of the club. Together with my team and everyone at Schalke, I’m convinced that we’ll rise to this challenge.”
As before, Hechelmann will be supported in the squad planning team by René Grotus, head of sport. The talks to fill the position of chief scout are at an advanced stage.