Thanks a lot!
VfL Bochum were in turmoil. Right in the middle of pre-season, they sacked their manager Gertjan Verbeek due to personal differences between him, the players and the board of directors. Jens Rasijewski, U19's manager stepped in as an interim manager until a permanent solution was found. The director of football, Christian Hochstätter was running out of time - only a few weeks to go until the season and he had no manager! After weeks of tiring negotiations he presented a new manager for the first team: me! Probably not the first choice after a short but illustrous career in the 3. Liga and Regional Division with Osnabrück, Koblenz and Stuttgarter Kickers. I'm holding the Continental B license so I'm just allowed to manage at this level.
With Jens Rasijewski leaving the club now and not returning to his initial job as U19s manager, I had to hire an assistant manager, a head of youth development and a new U19s manager before taking training for the first time only three days later. Thank god we could find some capable men willing to work with me -
So we started into pre-season with a new management team with no money in our coffers. I ticked the box for no transfer budgets in the first window so all we could do was to loan a few players. We were unsuccessful in our hiring ambitions but we could loan a few players out who won't play a major role in my first-team plans this season - they may get some playing time at their clubs while we don't need to pay their wages, it's a win-win situation from our point of view.
Those who initially belonged to our first-team squad are Jannik Bandowski, Alexander Merkel and Selim Gündüz.
We also played a few pre-season friendlies ahead of our opening game away to Fortuna Düsseldorf.
So to think that this club had no manager only 3 weeks ago, this is looking quite good. We're full of confidence now and ready to take on the 2. Bundesliga - I'm not sure what to expect from this season, but we should be good enough to finish in the top half of the table. I'd really like to reach the second round of the DFB Pokal for financial reasons, we will host fellow 2. Bundesliga side FC St. Pauli at the Ruhrstadion in the first round.