Three months after the unveiling of Jürgen Klinsmann as Bayern head coach from next season, the former Germany captain’s backroom line-up is continuing to take shape. The 43-year-old, currently in Munich for a series of meetings, met fcbayern.de on Wednesday to introduce Walter Junghans and Nick Theslof, two further members of his coaching and support team.
Junghans, who has worked with the current coaching staff since the beginning of this season, will become head goalkeeping coach on 1 July this year. Just as he once did as a player, the 49-year-old takes over from Sepp Maier, who is retiring after a long and illustrious career. “Succeeding Sepp Maier is definitely not an easy job,” commented Junghans, “but I’m delighted with the decision to entrust the task to me.“
Junghans’ impressive track record
Klinsmann declared himself “totally delighted” at the prospect of working with Junghans. “Everyone at Bayern speaks very positively about him,” the future coach observed, revealing he had also taken soundings from “people who’ve known him for a number of years. I was convinced when I talked to him face-to-face as well, there’s chemistry there. He’s a likeable guy. He’s a retiring personality, but he knows exactly what he wants, and he’s eager to learn.“
Junghans said he was keen to maintain his own brand and philosophy of goalkeeping coaching, “although the year with Sepp Maier and Oliver Kahn has obviously taught me a great deal more on top, and I’ll make sure to incorporate it.” Before joining Bayern, Junghans was on the coaching staff with the likes of Benfica and Athletic Bilbao, another point in his favour. “He’s been around the international scene and had a number of jobs already. I’m very impressed,” Klinsmann remarked.
Theslof to work closely with Klinsmann
The second newly-announced member of staff is Nick Theslof, a 30-year-old American hired as an international scout to support chief scout Wolfgang Dremmler. “He’ll report directly to me, because I want us to have a very close working relationship,” Klinsmann explained, “when he’s not travelling, he’ll be based permanently at the Säbener Strasse, so we’re shoulder to shoulder.“
The former striker met Theslof at US amateur club Orange County Blue Star. After officially ending his career in 2003, and playing under the pseudonym Jay Goppingen, Klinsmann scored five goals in eight appearances for Blue Star, coached by Theslof at the time. “I was really impressed at the way he read and analysed a game, and how he treated the players as individuals,” Klinsmann recalled.
Keeping an eye out
The new Bayern coach previously brought in Theslof as a match observer on the Germany staff at the 2006 World Cup. “At the World Cup, he wrote me match summaries which were always totally accurate. He has a very, very sharp eye,” Klinsmann reported. At Bayern, Theslof will be responsible for observing future opponents at home and abroad.
A former PSV Eindhoven youth player, Theslof appeared in Major League Soccer for Columbus Crew until an Achilles injury brought his career to a premature end, after which he immediately took up coaching. He will be introduced to Bayern gradually over the course of the next few months, “to give him a feeling for the club and Wolfgang Dremmler’s section,” Klinsmann explained, “Nick will be a great help to us.“
Theslof and Junghans bring the number of new faces hired for next season’s staff up to four, joining Mexican assistant coach Martin Vasquez and former Bayern star Christian Nerlinger, who will occupy the newly-created post of team manager. Further names would be announced in due course, Klinsmann remarked. “We’re working assiduously to get our organisational structures in place, so we’re in good shape for the new season by late June, early July – but the work’s all taking place in the background. We absolutely don’t want to get in Ottmar Hitzfeld’s way.“