In 2020, the Viennese Wolfgang Fiala came to SV Ried as the sporting director of the youth team. About two years ago he became sports coordinator, then he was promoted to the sports director. Among the pros, however, it was almost exclusively Thomas Reicheltshammer who was in the limelight. As reported exclusively in the OÖN, Fiala will now receive more professional skills again. The 34-year-old remains head of the youth academy, he will resign as coach of the AKA18 team.
OÖN: How will the constellation change at the sporting management level?
Wolfgang Fiala: I’m someone who wants to create. In the past weeks and months, this was best possible in the academy and in AKA18. There were certain ambiguities in the division of responsibilities among the professionals, which the Presidium has now clarified. The supreme body is the Annual General Meeting, where the Executive Committee is appointed. Under the presidency, Rainer Wöllinger is an economics director and I am a sports director. We are both responsible for the big picture. The association will present this in detail at the end of November. I will be the main person responsible for squad planning. But it’s important to me that we work as a team in the club and are successful together. Thomas Reicheltshammer does a very good job and takes on many important tasks in the operational area of the professionals. Our relationship is very good, nothing will change that.
How should the “new” cooperation with Reicheltshammer look like?
We sit together almost every day and talk about the next steps. Squad planning has priority. We have to define more clearly what style of play we want. New players need to change and improve our game. We have to base our scouting on this, which we are now professionalizing and intensifying. I’ve created a scouting guide to help us take a closer look at players.
What should this “style of play” look like?
This will require discussions with the coaching team around Christian Heinle. Analysis of the fall season shows a clear trend as to where our biggest themes are. The most obvious lever is the number of goals scored. We have to go into detail there and see why we’ve been able to score so few goals so far. We have to find a common way to become more direct and more dangerous. In general, everyone has to put their ego aside. It’s all about the club. When SV Ried is doing well, the actors involved are doing well too. You can only be successful in Ried if everyone sticks together.
You last coached the AKA18 and are head of the football academy. Is that possible in the future?
I will hand over the AKA18. I am sure that we will find a very good solution here. For me it’s important to know every young player so that we can take the right steps when planning the squad. The Young Vikings with Max Senft are playing a great season with a very young team, there are some very exciting players. This is also a result of the last two years. I also wrote a club and game concept that should apply to all teams. It’s not about specifications for the basic order or the system, but about an objective evaluation framework with which we can identify. For example, SV Ried has to play active football in all phases, the fans just want to see that. The coaches have freedom, but they need to know what the framework looks like.
How will your “daily business” change?
I’ll be back in the training center more and intensify scouting, and the scouting guide I’ve already mentioned needs to be revised. We have to work more purposefully when it comes to squad formation. There is room for improvement here.
Opportunities for transfers are now available in winter.
Making good and financially sensible transfers is much more difficult in winter than in summer. There are players without a contract, but they often have a lot of training arrears. Therefore, the only option left is to rent or buy players. So it won’t be easy, everyone has to be aware of that.
How would you sum up the summer transfer window? Which players do you want to part with again?
There will be talks with one or the other player, but I don’t want to anticipate that at this point.
According to reports, there should definitely be financial means for reinforcements. Where do you see an urgent need for action?
One or two offensive players. One for the wing if possible and possibly a striker, although we’re generally not badly positioned here with Monschein and Chabbi. What we need is a player with speed and footballing qualities who can create dangerous moments in the final third. We would like to strengthen our defense with a left-back. However, this search will be anything but easy because this position is difficult to find. The following applies: We will not bring in any players just to supplement the squad. The newcomers have to help us immediately. In our current sporting situation, we can no longer afford to make mistakes.
Some of the new signings Agyemang Diawusie, Oliver Kragl and Kingsley Michael were not “fit for the game”. Can a club like Ried afford such transfers?
Certainly not in the long run.
In your opinion, was the separation from Robert Ibertsberger a mistake?
No, I do not think so.
The Bundesliga record for the 2022 calendar year is five wins, eleven draws and 14 defeats. Honestly, that’s far too little, isn’t it?
Yes, that’s not enough. Unfortunately, the fact that we made it into the cup final in the previous season is lost. For a club like Ried, that is anything but a matter of course. We’re in the quarterfinals again this year. In addition, academy players finally made their Bundesliga debut again this season in Jonas Mayer and Belmin Beganovic. But that plays a secondary role if the results in the Bundesliga are not up to par.
After the long winter break, there are still six games to be played in the regular season, after which Ried will most likely once again be fighting for relegation in the “qualification group”. Will you go straight into this crucial phase of the season with coach Heinle?
I can not say that. But we assume so because we stand behind the coach, otherwise we would have already parted ways. It’s about creating the “strength to stay in the league” together. If everyone pulls together, then we’ll make it. I am convinced that we will stay in the league.
What has to happen so that Ried isn’t a permanent candidate for relegation?
We need a clear concept for the game idea. This must then result in a meaningful, continuous cadre policy.
In your opinion, are the (public) expectations in Ried too high?
Some people still think they are in 2011 with an autumn championship title and the cup win. Those times are definitely over. We have a big advantage with our really great fans, but it’s impossible for a club like Ried to become autumn champions today. The gap to the big top clubs has grown – not least due to several years in the second division. We only missed out on the championship group by a hair’s breadth last season. Afterwards you had the feeling that the world was coming to an end. Unfortunately, the fact that we made it into the cup final was lost due to the relegation battle. But we don’t need to discuss the fact that our performances in the qualifying group weren’t necessarily great.
Samuel Sahin-Radlinger is one of the strongest goalkeepers in Austria. Do you think he will change in the winter?
No, I assume he will stay with us. He will be a big advantage for us in the relegation battle because he has been outstanding for a long time. Nobody in the club can understand why he hasn’t been nominated for the national team.
Michael Martin is associated with some Bundesliga clubs from Germany (Union Berlin, Cologne, Schalke). Are there any specific requests?
No, there aren’t, but it’s not surprising that he has aroused the desires of one or the other club. He has made a top development with us so far.