The DFB has extended the contracts of five of its youth coaches. Manuel Baum, Christian Wörns, Christian Wück, Michael Prus and Marc-Patrick Meister will continue their work beyond June 30, 2020 as they prepare the German youth sides for international matches and tournaments. The DFB also extended the contracts of Stefan Kuntz and Guido Streichsbier in 2019.
Joti Chatzialexiou, Head of Sport for the national teams, said, “We are absolutely convinced of the success of our youth coaches – both professionally and personally. Our goal as an association is to return to the very top of world football, and a huge part of that is developing top talents at youth level so they can one day be an important piece of the senior puzzle. Our coaches have all the qualities necessary to ensure our players have the best path to greatness.”
Last year he DFB instituted personnel reforms for the youth teams. The staff was strengthened by new coaches Baum, Wörns and Meister. In addition to the reforms, the three year cycle method was introduced, meaning each coach will continue moving up with his respective team in the age groups before cycling back down the the beginning at U15 level or U18 level. The entire staff is composed of coaches with different perspectives so that many different talents are brought to the table. One of the coaches may be an ex-professional, with the second and third coaches being an ‘age group specialist’ and an ‘innovator’. The focus of training was also revised during the overhaul.
Schönweitz: “Building continuity”
Meikel Schönweitz, head coach of the Germany youth teams, said, “We’ve taken plenty of steps forward and our changes have plenty of meaning for the setup. Now it’s all abut building continuity and further improvement as an organisation. A youth coach is more than just a ‘national coach’: Aside from just developing players and teams in general, coaches can now implement a system, keeping in regular exchange with their players, other coaches, sporting directors, all the way to the very top in order to build strong relationships. We have a great mix of people in our current staff, with lots of different qualities and experiences all of which will serve German football very well.”
Manuel Baum, who was coach at FC Augsburg for 87 Bundesliga games, has been coaching the U-20s this season, and will take over the U-18s side next year, as per the three year cycle. He should be in charge of the U-19s come the U-19 European Championships in 2022. Christian Wörns, who was a EUROs runner up in 1992 with Germany will move from the U-18 to the U-19 side with the goal of participating in the European Championships in 2021.
Christian Wück, who has reached all youth tournaments possible during his tenure, will take over the U-15 side for the 2020/21 season and will aim to compete at the U-17 European Championships in 2023. Michael Prus, a former association sports teacher with excellent connections in German talent promotion, will move up from the U-16 to the U-17 side, aiming to get to the U-17 European Championships in 2021. Marc-Patrick Meister, who has plenty of experience at all international levels, move take over from the U-15s to the U-16 side, looking to take part in the U-17 EURO 2022.