Bundesliga News

Kuntz "full of energy" at new appointment, hints that U21 assistants will join him in Turkey

By Peter Vice

Following is official introduction as the Turkish national team's trainer on Monday, Germany's now former U21 coach Stefan Kuntz sat down for a German media roundtable.

The 58-year-old most definitely will be bringing some of his assistants from the U21s with him. The search for Kuntz's replacement also turns up some familiar names.

Stefan Kuntz.
Stefan Kuntz.

Confirmation of Stefan Kuntz's appointment as the new Turkish national team trainer came late Sunday evening. The official introduction to the Turkish press proceeded on Monday.


"For me it's a bit like coming home," the former Besiktas striker noted at the press conference, "I want to become either the most German Turk or the most Turkish German. I'm full of energy because I know what the Turkish players have inside them."

Speaking later with German journalists, Kuntz confirmed that the there had already been contact with the Turkish FA after the national team's early group stage exit from the Euros last summer. The former 1. FC Kaiserslautern captain noted that it never crossed his mind to depart the DFB prior to the Olympics, however.

Kuntz noted that he had been firm with the TFF during negotiations in recent days. He also thanked the German Federation explicitly for releasing him from his contract in order to pursue a "new challenge in a land where I've had success that totally enticed me."

For his part, DFB manager Oliver Bierhoff wished Kuntz well.

"For me, there's no question that Kuntz has the ability to be the coach of a senior national team," Bierhoff said in a statement, "And he can now prove that in Turkey. They're getting an absolute top trainer."


Asked if he would be bringing any of his assistants from the German U21 with him to the new job, Kuntz confirmed that he was considering it while also stating that he didn't wish to "gut" in the coaching staff.

Kuntz will definitely need to bring some Turkish native language assistants with him from the Bundesrepublik. The new national team did coach did confirm that former hanover man Kenan Kocak was "among the group of candidates."

According to German footballing magazine Kicker, at least four assistant coaches from the Germany U21s are considering following Kuntz Eastward.

Possible replacements for Kuntz include recent FSV Mainz 05 interim trainer Jan-Moritz Lichte, who may end up with Kuntz as well. The Bundesrepublik's preeminent footballing publication also brings Miroslav Klose's name into the discussion, but there seems to be no concrete evidence yet to back up this speculation.

The German U21s will need at least an interim head-coach to run the team when their qualifying campaign for the next UEFA U21 European Championship resumes on October 7th in Paderborn.

Two possible quick fixes would be moving up Christian Wörns from the U20 or Hannes Wolf from the U19 programs. Wolf--not to be confused with the Gladbach player of the same name--recently returned to the DFB after serving as caretaker trainer for Leverkusen last spring.






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