US News Trio turns Bochum inside out: Seventh Bundesliga promotion beckons

15:04  18 february  2021
15:04  18 february  2021 Source:   wunderweib.de

Ready again, but: Amiri has to wait

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Very daring people are already dreaming of a changing of the guard in the area. In fact, there is much to suggest that VfL Bochum will play a league over the big FC Schalke 04 for the first time in 30 years.

Der VfL Bochum will zurück in die erste Bundesliga. © Guido Kirchner / dpa VfL Bochum wants to return to the first division.

Even if this scenario, which seemed grotesque for decades because of the developments of both clubs since 1991, becomes more realistic from week to week, questions about it go too far, Bochum's sports director Sebastian Schindzielorz. "If you see the numbers, for example in terms of sales, then it is clear that they are in completely different spheres," said the manager of the second division.

women's soccer Bundesliga is developing positively

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Together with managing director Ilja Kaenzig and head coach Thomas Reis, Schindzielorz completely turned VfL inside out, which has always had to assert itself between the district greats Schalke and Borussia Dortmund. The latently restless traditional club has become an unexcited top team. After 21 match days, Bochum is tied with Hamburger SV and Holstein Kiel at the top of the table.

The change is immense, especially in terms of sport. A year ago VfL was about to fall into the third division, now the Bochumers are on the best way back to the Bundesliga and have their seventh promotion in mind. On Friday at Erzgebirge Aue (6.30 p.m. / Sky), the championship lead beckons. "Aue will be difficult enough, we are not thinking about other games yet," warned coach Reis, but also underlined the claims: "Many teams have scored many points. We want to have a say in this. " Researchers recently put it by goalkeeper Manuel Riemann: "Of course I want to finish first too."

Bosz takes time out for a trio

 Bosz takes time out for a trio The past week was a bit of calm before the storm. Peter Bosz and his team had a full week of training before the Werkself had five games over the next 15 days and two more English weeks. © imago images Peter Bosz had so far more or less thrown the newcomers around Timothy Fosu-Mensah into the deep end. It is now almost unfamiliar for the coach - who plays the competitive game number 30 in the current season with his team at the weekend - to have a full week of training available.

Such a thing would have been unthinkable a year ago. In February 2020 Reis was busy leading VfL out of the table basement. In September 2019, Schindzielorz decided on a risky path by releasing the renowned but hapless Robin Dutt as coach and replacing him with newcomer Reis. Schindzielorz relied on the "identification figure" of the former Bochum professional. It worked. The 47-year-old approached things cautiously, but gradually made decisive changes.

Through personnel changes, the Bochumers got more speed in the outer positions. The statics of the game also changed permanently due to the obligations of the top performers Robert Zulj in January 2020 and Gerrit Holtmann last summer. Zulj in particular is now a difference player in the second division.

"Something has grown together," said Reis, whose team was the most successful in the 2020 calendar year with HSV and Darmstadt. Very communicative to deal with, Reis is also not afraid of unpopular measures. For example, by putting high performers on the bench when the training attitude doesn't suit him.

The quiet work in the club also pays off economically. Like all clubs, the Corona crisis has also hit VfL, but according to Kaenzig, the club has not suffered lastingly. For the past and the current financial year, they calculate in Bochum with a corona minus of around eleven million euros. For Kaenzig, that's still justifiable - especially if the Bundesliga would soon have completely different income. The 47-year-old Swiss, who already worked for Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover 96, once described it as the “DNA of the club to make a lot out of a little”. With the big neighbor from Gelsenkirchen it was the other way around recently.

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