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The DFB, the academy and the jump back

With his extremely strong conceptual thinking, Oliver Bierhoff, even at Joachim Lion, sometimes meets his limits.

“Jogi is more of an intuitive person. He lets the day come to him. That’s a challenge, when I say to him, let’s call from 10:00 to 10:15 o’clock. And he says: Let’s see how the day begins,”Bierhoff said recently in a video chat of the German Football Federation (DFB). As director of the academy and national teams, the former goalkeeper tries to prepare the DFB with ideas and modern concepts for the future.

The symbol for this is the academy in the Frankfurt district of Niederrad, whose basic outlines seem more and more robust in front of the skyline in the main metropolis exactly one year after the spatter. The completion of the multimillion-dollar project is planned for 2021, then the Academy will become a common place for innovation, future planning and also the training of the various national teams.

Academy as a “brand new trailblazer”

” It is also true that it goes into development and research in order to improve practice. It is wonderful to see how this is gradually networked,”Bierhoff describes the current situation. As “milestone” and “lighthouse project”, DFB officials like to refer to the building on the site of the former Galopprenbahn. The goal is clear, especially after the disastrous World Cup 2018 in Russia: Back to the top of the world in football, as soon as possible.

Besides Bierhoff, Principal Tobias is mainly responsible for concepts and “the establishment of the Academy as a seal of quality in the world”. Thus, last winter, numerous federal league managers and DFB representatives traveled to the US to talk to leaders and get input from Silicon Valley. A few days later, retired basketball star Dirk Nowitzki came to talk at the Leadership Festival about his experiences in the US industry.

In September, the first management course is to begin

“The permanent learning of others, the learning of the best: This is something, what we live very intensively in the DFB Academy,”describes the Niederbayer Haupt, who studied sports management, wrote a doctoral thesis at Hannover 96 and later built the football institute in Ismaning. Specific points of focus are the reform of trainer training, mentoring training for young players and the use of the expertise of successful ex-professionals to be passed on to the next generation. From September onwards, the first management course in which a certificate is to be obtained in a half year’s mini-study begins.

When the DFB launched the construction phase of the prestigious project in May 2019 with the spade stitch, the leaders presented themselves a bit humbly. ” We were a little short because of the success,”said Bierhoff, who, according to DFL boss Christian Seifert, is described as”DFB’s product manager performance football”. Today the announcements and the claim sound a little more researched. Bierhoff says, “We’re team players, we’re pioneers, we want to work world-class. My job is to orchestrate all this.”