Transfer to England: “Loss for the club”: St. Pauli is looking for Hürzeler’s heir

Transfer to England: “Loss for the club”: St. Pauli is looking for Hürzeler’s heir
Transfer to England: “Loss for the club”: St. Pauli is looking for Hürzeler’s heir

Many FC St. Pauli fans are disappointed. Coach Fabian Hürzeler is moving to Brighton on the south coast of England. Who will succeed the coach?

Fabian Hürzeler could understand the fans’ frustration. After the coach’s move to the English club Brighton & Hove Albion was confirmed, many supporters of Bundesliga newcomers FC St. Pauli showed little understanding online.

“Leaving the club was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I understand that many of you are disappointed and I want to assure you that I did not make this decision lightly,” the 31-year-old said on Instagram. Shortly before, his transfer to the Premier League had been announced.

Just two weeks ago, Hürzeler wrote to the Hamburg fans on his Instagram account: “See you at the start of the season.” St. Pauli’s football fans knew that the coveted coach would leave at some point. Now, just under a month after promotion, it has come sooner than expected. “We were aware that he could also become interesting for other clubs,” sports director Andreas Bornemann was quoted as saying. “We would have liked to continue down the path with him, but we respect his wish.”

Search for successor: Second division coach in talks

When the announcement was made, the Hamburg team did not announce a decision on the replacement. They only said that the overall situation should be clarified quickly. According to several media outlets, second division coaches Christian Eichner from Karlsruher SC and Daniel Thioune from Fortuna Düsseldorf are among those being discussed. One thing is certain: St. Pauli urgently needs clarity on the position in order to plan for the promotion season. It is also unclear whether assistant coach Peter Nemeth and goalkeeping coach Marco Knoop will stay in Hamburg.

Hürzeler’s career is meteoric, even for the fast-paced world of football. In a year and a half, he matured from coach of the second division team that was then threatened with relegation to the new coach of the English first division team led by DFB international Pascal Groß. He is now the youngest head coach in Premier League history. Only Ryan Mason, interim coach at Tottenham Hotspur in 2021, was younger at 29 years old. He will soon be competing against the biggest teams in the world in England. “Moving to the Premier League is a dream come true for me,” said Hürzeler. He signed a contract in Brighton until 2027, where he will succeed his role model Roberto De Zerbi.

Divine: Change “proof of good work”

For the Hanseatic League, the move is accompanied by bittersweet feelings. On the one hand, the Hamburg team is reportedly receiving a large sum of millions – officially, both clubs have agreed not to disclose the details. The club has never received so much money in a transfer before.

On the other hand, there is the loss of the coach who rallied the fans for the coming season at the promotion party at Spielbudenplatz. “Fabian’s departure is a loss for the club,” said President Oke Göttlich. Nevertheless, he was positive: “The interest of international clubs in our players and coaches is proof of the good work that Andreas Bornemann has initiated in the sporting management in recent years.”

Before Hürzeler started work, the situation at Kollaustrasse was anything but good. Under the then coach Timo Schultz, the club was in 15th place in the table in December 2022. Sports director Bornemann reacted and replaced Schultz with his inexperienced assistant Hürzeler. The change on the coaching bench caused skepticism. But the coaching talent silenced his critics: He stabilized the team and had them play impressive combination football. Hürzeler led the club up the table with ten wins in a row. In the following season, he then realized his big dream and returned to the Bundesliga with the second division champions after 13 years of absence.

Source: Stern

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