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Max Kofler: Die Revolution

Started on 7 June 2019 by ScottT / First Post
Latest Reply on 23 August 2019 by Jack / Last Post
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Chapter Ten


Our World Cup qualification campaign was one I enjoyed immensely. To open our account with a 2-1 victory over Georgia was the ideal way to begin, although some may have seen the result as a modest one at best. We had little time to prepare with the players beforehand and to implement our ideas and methods required time, so we did our best in the time we could. It was clear during that game the players shared our ideologies, but in practise, it would require more time to perfect them. As the old saying goes; practice makes perfect.

After securing a victory in Tbilisi, our focus shifted to hosting Wales in Vienna a month later. In front of a home-crowd, we were determined to impress. Wales had enjoyed a fantastic European Championships a few months prior under Chris Coleman, making it to the semi-finals in France and were riding a wave of euphoria coming into World Cup qualification. Having comfortably beaten minnows Moldova 4-0 in Cardiff, they were formidable opposition.

Our side were drilled beforehand and we analysed the Welsh side expertly. A Marko Arnautović double cancelled out two Wales goals either side, as we succumbed to a 2-2 draw - a respectable result, all things considered, against a well-oiled Welsh team, led by the excellence of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

A comfortable victory against Moldova followed, prior to a loss against Serbia - who would go on to top the group - in Belgrade. It was a disappointing loss, as we narrowly lost 3-2, knowing that we should have come away with a point at the very minimum. As such, it minimised our prospects of qualifying and upcoming results would be vital if we sought to have a chance, even at this early stage.

This was not aided by a further narrow loss, this time in a 0-1 loss against Republic of Ireland. The disappointment around the ground was clear to see at the full-time whistle, but the fans remained somewhat optimistic under Franco's regime, as he continued to bring through a pool of new talent, something which the majority of Austrian's recognised would take time to accomplish.

An expected win against Moldova boosted morale, prior to the reverse fixture against Martin O'Neill's side. It appeared we would be heading for a vital victory in Dublin, but Jonathan Walter's came up trumps to further Ireland's hopes of progressing into the World Cup, via a play-off spot. The Irish currently occupied this place with twelve points, four ahead of both ourselves and Wales, who were unbeaten, but had drawn five of their six games - including against Georgia in Cardiff.

A loss against Wales was followed up with a disappointing draw against the Georgians, all but ending our hopes of a play-off place. A glimmer of hope appeared after Louis Schaub's late winner against Serbia in Vienna meant we reversed the score from our previous encounter to come out 3-2 winners, but Ireland and Wales' victories against Georgia and Moldova, respectively, meant our World Cup qualification hopes were over.

Whilst it was heartbreaking to fail in our bid to qualify, it was a task which we, both Franco and I, accepted would be a difficult one to complete. The FA duly obliged and accepted this when we assessed our performance at the end of the campaign, in which was concluded with a 1-0 victory against Moldova in Vienna - to finish fourth, four points behind Republic of Ireland on fifthteen points, but comfortably ahead of both Georgia and whipping boys Moldova, who amassed two points, both in draws against Georgia.

The discussions we had were progressive and beneficial. The FA identified that Franco needed more time to deliver on his promise of promoting a wealth of new blood into the Austrian setup, noticing that this was beginning to occur with the recent additions of Louis Schaub, for example, who had become a constant figure in his plans.

Another topic that reared its head was club football. There were numerous reports that clubs were interested in my services, although no formal offer had been made to myself or my agent, Aapo Koskinen. The FA wanted to address these reports and admitted they would have no issues with either of us departing the job to accept offers from clubs. It was a refreshing stance for the FA to take, but I knew that, for now, I would be remaining in this job, as would Franco.

Now, our attentions turned to the newly formed UEFA Nations League, in which would begin in September 2018. We were confirmed to be a part of League B - the league behind Europe's elite such as France, Germany and Spain - paired with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Ireland.

But, in the back of my mind, I knew that the opportunity of club football was something I may not be able to turn down, if an offer were to arise...
You deserve to not go to the World Cup after the involvement of 'Aapo Koskinen'. Horrible tarring of the good name of Aapo.
Unlucky that Franco couldn't take you any Foda than the Qualifiers, but hopefully Austria recover for 2022 and Euro 2020 and Max gets his first big managerial opportunity.

Austrian FA: "Kofler resignation is likely"


The Austrian FA have admitted that Max Kofler is likely to resign from his role as assistant-coach to Franco Foda after heavy interest from numerous clubs this summer.

Max Kofler is likely to resign from his role as Austrian assistant-coach this summer, amid a plethora of interest from numerous club sides in Europe, say the Austrian FA. The World Cup winner accepted the job alongside Foda in 2016, ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. However, the duo were unable to qualify for the competition in Russia - securing a fourth place finish behind Serbia, Republic of Ireland and Wales, four points off the pace.

It is believed the interest in the 38-year-old's services come from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Switzerland - with both SK Slavia Prague and Grasshopper Club Zürich being touted as potential destinations for Kofler.

Kofler has stated that he has "yet to receive any offer" and therefore is "focused on his duties at hand," however Leo Windtner, president of the Austrian FA, has admitted that it is "likely" Kofler will resign from these duties before the start of the 2018/19 season.

He said:

Leo Windtner:
"Max has been a great servant both as a player and as a coach. When he returned to join the coaching staff, we at the FA, were immensely pleased to welcome him back. He demonstrates a great attitude in everything he does and has a certain aura about him - a certain excellence, which is something very few have."

"Despite his many accolades, he is very much a grounded individual, who seeks to help and benefit others, which is a great attribute to have as a coach. Whilst the results haven't always gone to plan, the squad have continued to speak positively of both Max and Franco in the work they conduct off-the-pitch."

"I do feel it is likely we will see Max depart. However, we have always welcomed this opportunity. We won't stand in anybody's way if they wish to depart and further their career in club management. It will be with a heavy-heart if we were to see Max resign, but we will be keen supporters in the background and we would have full faith in him delivering his duties to the highest quality possible, that's just the type of man he is. He would make an excellent head-coach."

Replies


Jack: Aapo Virtanen is a murderer.

Maguire: We shall see what the future holds very soon, I think.
Some positive remarks from the Austrian FA about Max and his work. I wonder which club is going to finally give Max his break in management.
Enjoying the story so far, looking forward to Kofler's next adventure. This and Jack's Story are my favourites, keep up the good work mate.
2019-06-16 21:08#257620 Jack : You deserve to not go to the World Cup after the involvement of 'Aapo Koskinen'. Horrible tarring of the good name of Aapo.
Do I need to force you out of Florence too? :P
You've so far managed to keep the identity of Kofler's future club (or nation) hidden in the proverbial closet, but eventually the Wiener's choice will have to come out!
Hope the resignation brings on new horizons

Chapter Eleven


Colourful, cosmopolitan and flashy, providing a venue for trends in music, culture, partying, sports and media. Cologne is a metropolis located in the North Rhine-Westphalia, acting as the economic capital of the Rhineland, whilst also acting as a key inland port for Europe. It's a city which prides itself on being a centre of significance in both fields of art and learning, with a rich heritage, well over 2,000 years, still very much evident around the city, despite the almost complete destruction of the inner-city during World War II.

The city also plays host to one of three football clubs; 1. FC Köln. Recently relegated from the Bundesliga after finishing bottom, Effzeh are a club with a rich history and tradition, similar to the city in which hosts this remarkable football club.

After handing in my resignation to the Austrian FA, I immediately flew to Cologne airport to further my conversations with club president Werner Spinner. He was interested in my services and I shared a similar interest in joining the club. I was excited at the prospect of beginning my management career with a club who had the foundations in place, but simply needed to relay them in order to find the right formula to guide them back into the top flight and beyond.

There had been numerous offers from across Europe, but the city and football club of Cologne always had my attention. Over the phone, we had shared ideologies and began to understand each other's views. It was beneficial that we both shared a common goal of wanting to guide Koln back to the Bundesliga immediately, anything else would be an instant failure.

Upon landing, I met with Werner and we travelled to the club's offices to conduct further talks. We shared further information with each other, such as my requests and philosophies that I would like to implement, whilst Werner was keen to address the expectations and foundations that the fans expected, in which I was happy to adhere to and accept.

Talks lasted for many hours, but we finally agreed a deal and the legal documents were drawn up over the next few days. A week later, the announcement was official; I was the new 1. FC Köln head-coach. I was tasked with guiding the club back to the Bundesliga - leading a revolution as we sought to ensure that Cologne could boast of a successful future once again.

Die Geißböcke last won the Bundesliga in 1978, with their last major success coming in 1983 with the triumph of winning the DFB-Pokal. After years of consolidation, the club were relegated in 1998 and have since fluctuated between the top two tiers of German football, with the latest run in the Bundesliga lasting four seasons after initially winning the Bundesliga 2 title in 2014.

Following my confirmation as head-coach, I was given the opportunity to speak to the press and release a statement, in which read:

Max Kofler:
"I am delighted and privileged to be managing this football club. To be in this position is something I am extremely grateful for. This football club has a rich history and tradition and I am keen to ensure that we build on this and look to further our horizons. The board have been clear on their position and I am confident that I can deliver on those promises and look to guide us back to the top flight."

"I have remained an ambitious, yet professional, figure throughout my career and have been given the opportunity to work under, and with, some of the greatest managers in the sport. I have learnt a lot from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho. I will seek to use some of their teachings in my approach to management, but use a recipe in which I have formulated myself to seek to guarantee the success of this football club."

"This is a challenge in which I look forward to. I have always welcomed challenges and change. I cannot wait to get to work."

Club president Werner Spinner also commented:

Werner Spinner:
"We believe that Max is the ideal candidate to lead us through the upcoming season and beyond. His accomplishments read like very few others and he has worked under some of the greatest coaches Europe, and the world, has ever witnessed. The work he conducted alongside Franco Foda with the Austrian national team further highlighted his excellence in the dug-out."

"He will have the full support of the board and we cannot wait to welcome him to the RheinEnergieStadion."

"Welcome Max."

Replies


LFC: There we go!

SoA: I appreciate the kind words. Jack's story is excellent, so I am thrilled to see you consider my work to be half as good as his.

Justice: He has now! ;)

Maguire: Auf geht's Effzeh!
Hopefully under Wender you can put FC.Koln into a spinner and launch yourself back into the top flight once again
Ahhhhhh that picture of Cologne brings back so many great memories of my holiday there last year. Absolutely love the club as well, so please God make this last. (And bring Lukas Podolski back to where he belongs)
Max has left his mark at every club he has been to so far, lets hope he can continue that here and make Cologne a powerhouse in Germany and maybe even Europe.

The Squad


Goalkeepers: Timo Horn, Thomas Kessler

Defenders: Benno Schmitz, Lasse Sobiech, Frederik Sørensen, Rafael Czichos, Jorge Meré, Jannes Horn, Jonas Hector, Noah Katterbach, Matthias Bader

Midfielders: Marco Höger, Marcel Risse, Johannes Geis, Louis Schaub, Christian Clemens, Salih Özcan, Vincent Koziello, Dominick Drexler, Florian Kainz, Niklas Hauptmann, Niklas Nartey, Darko Churlinov, Matthias Lehmann

Forwards: Simon Terodde, Jhon Córdoba, Anthony Modeste

The Staff


Coaching: Max Kofler (Head-coach), Tom Cichon (assistant), Matthias Heidrich (Head of Youth Development), Andreas Menger (Goalkeeping Coach), Max Weuthen (Fitness Coach), Dennis Morschel (Fitness Coach), Florian Junge (Coach)

Medical: Peter Schaferhoff (Chief Doctor), Klaus Maierstein (Head Physio), Paul Klein (Doctor), Paul Schiedges (Physio), Thorsten Klopp (Physio)

Scouting: Armin Veh (Director of Football), Stefan Fleischmann (Chief Data Analyst), Heinz Hornig (Scout), Nuno Felix (Scout), Martin Bulles (Scout), Norbert Karlsen (Scout), Paul Colesar (Scout), Phillip Klass (Data Analyst), Hannes Dold (Data Analyst), Denis Huckestein (Data Analyst)

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