Former SC Paderborn 07 coach André Breitenreiter has been named the new coach at FC Schalke 04, replacing the departed Roberto Di Matteo. The 41 year-old Breitenreiter signed a contract through June 30, 2017.
S04 Sporting Director Horst Heldt stated
We are very happy to have found the right head coach for FC Schalke 04 in the form of André Breitenreiter. After Roberto Di Matteo’s departure, I emphasised what I expect from a new coach.
Attractive and passionate attacking football and a team spirit that excites our own fans.
André Breitenreiter comprehensively impressed everyone that he is the right man for our objectives. He is a young and courageous coach, who isn’t worried about making uncomfortable decisions. At SC Paderborn, he proved that he could further develop young players and understands how to discipline, create and improve a team.
Breitenreiter, a native of Langenhagen, came up in the Hannover 96 youth system as a striker. He made his debut with the club’s senior side in 1991, and played for seven other clubs, including Hamburger SV and VfL Wolfsburg, in a playing career that spanned almost two decades. Breitenreiter also played a half-dozen matches for the German U-21s in the mid-1990s.
He began his coaching career with the youth team at TuS Altwarmbüchen before managing Lower Saxony club TSV Havelse, where he fashioned a 28-9-12 record in a one and a half seasons before moving to Paderborn. In his first season with the North Rhine-Westphalia club, he brought them from a 12th place finish to runnerups in Bundesliga 2, earning them promotion to Germany’s top flight for the first time in the club’s history.
Though Paderborn were relegated after one season of first division football, it is notable that relegation didn’t take place until the season’s final matchday. Under Breitenreiter, the young club started fast, with two wins and two draws in their first four matches, despite a roster of players with little Bundesliga experience, and at the winter break Paderborn held a very respectable 10th place berth in the table. Although Paderborn only registered three victories in the Ruckrunde, they finished with 17 league losses, the same number as Hertha Berlin and Hamburg, who both survived the relegation battle.
During the talks, he analysed our situation, laid out how he plans to bring success to the club and how he’ll play the football we all want to see at Schalke. Everyone has to understand that won’t happen overnight. So he’ll be given the necessary amount of time.
Schalke finished the 2014/2015 season with a 13-9-12 record, good for sixth place and a Europa League spot for the upcoming season. Their finish, though, was ultimately a disappointment for a talented club that has made Champions League play part of the menu in recent seasons, although in all fairness the club suffered a massive amount of injuries to key players that certainly contributed to the club’s struggles.
Breitenreiter won’t have to wait long to begin the S04 chapter of his CV, as the Royal Blues will face MSV Duisburg in the first round of Pokal action on the weekend of August 7, a rematch of the clubs’ 2011/2011 Pokal final contest.
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