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FC Schalke 04 - Joining the Big Boys

Started on 19 March 2020 by Joe
Latest Reply on 22 March 2020 by Joe

The First Day

Well, where do I begin? A truly whirlwind few days for me. Out of nowhere, I’ve ended up with one of the biggest jobs in Germany - a place where I am massively out of my depth. But how did this all come about I hear you ask?

Born in London, I always grew up loving football. However, whilst most children my age wanted to be the next Ronaldinho, Gerrard or even Peter Crouch, my interest lay in the managerial and coaching side of things. I was fascinated by the tactics behind the famous teams that we watched week in, week out on TV. Watching managers such as Pep Guardiola tear other European giants apart with his brand of Tika-Taka (with a little help from a small Argentinian up front), or be it the grittier approach off Diego Simeone wearing teams down, all of them appealed to me.

Even before I left school I was helping coach at Hayes in the 6th tier of English football. This little experience, combined with the coaching badges that I was racing through meant I was building a stronger football CV. But how did I end up in Germany? That CV might well be impressive for a 20 year old, but it was hardly good enough for most League 2 sides, let alone a German team that played in the Champions League last season. The German connection came through a friend of mine from school. Now it might sound farfetched, but he grew up in a family of Schalke supporters, and his dad still lived and worked in Germany. The company his father worked for happened to do some business with the Schalke owner, and, naturally, they had a chat about their mutual interests.

Obviously, they’ve taken a massive gamble on choosing me, but in a year where the club has no European football to worry about and a young exciting squad, there really is not better time to give it a shot. Now that I’m here though, I need to get my feet under the table fast, because I really will be learning on the job. Even though expectations are lowered slightly because I’ve taken over, does not mean that I don’t intend to take this club back to where they belong, and to even further success.

Next: Squad Report

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