FC St. Pauli – Fabian Hürzeler in an interview: “Mehmet Scholl was outstanding”

At 29, Fabian Hürzeler is one of the most talented coaches in German professional football. Hürzeler has been assistant coach to head coach Timo Schultz at FC St. Pauli for two years.

In an interview with SPOX and GOAL Hürzeler talks about his exciting career path from player-coach in amateur football to the first steps in the professional field.

Hürzeler also reveals why Bayern legend Mehmet Scholl was an important person in his development as a coach, why he doesn’t complain as much as he did when he was younger and why he still kicks the ball himself.

Mr. Hürzeler, four years ago we did a big interview that obviously made a few waves at the time, didn’t it?

Fabian Huerzeler: (laughs) That’s right. I got a few questions about a statement from the last interview with you.

Fabian Hürzeler: “Running gag when I came to Pauli”

Huerzeler: The phrase was spoken far into the future, but not everyone perceived it that way. It was an offensive sentence, out of youthful carelessness and a certain naivety. In essence, I still stand by the statement today. I know that it is a very, very long way and I currently feel very privileged to be able to work as an assistant coach at FC St. Pauli in the second division at such a young age. That is not something that can be taken for granted and I appreciate that very much. But it is still important to have goals and vision. I’m a very ambitious person. I don’t just want to live for the day. The same goes for working with a team. I don’t go to training and say we’ll do it today, we’ll do it tomorrow. You need a clear goal. You have to know where you want to go. What you want to achieve in life. What you get up for every day. I think that’s very important as a guide.

Especially as you enter in a positive sense football madman. Are you still looking at all sorts of things?

Huerzeler: (laughs) It’s gotten better. I did watch Galatasaray against Basaksehir, but that was under pressure from our goalkeeping coach, who used to be with Fener. Otherwise, I’ve ended up more in the mainstream than I used to. To be honest, I don’t have that much time anymore. Of course, I watch our games very closely, as well as the opponent’s games and the competition in general in the 2nd division. Plus the Bundesliga, Premier League or Italian football, which I still admire, there’s not much room left for anything exotic. Of course you try to absorb things all the time and then you always think about whether there is something you can transfer to your club.

So the obsession definitely stayed?

Huerzeler: Absolutely. It’s still the case that I play a lot with football. It’s just my passion, nothing will change in this life. In the interview I said at the time how much the coaching life surprised me because the difference to the playing life is so stark and you can never switch off. After a defeat you think a lot and even after victories you constantly question yourself. From my point of view, it is even more important here, because otherwise you always run the risk of becoming complacent, which is the worst thing. That’s why it’s rattling in your head all the time. Luckily, I’ve learned to take time off now.

You were player-coach in Pipinsried in amateur football and you were assistant coach at the DFB in the youth sector before you came to St. Pauli. Looking back, what was that time like?

Huerzeler: I am extremely grateful for the time. It was worth its weight in gold to be able to gain experience in amateur football on the one hand and to be able to get to know the professional association structures at the DFB on the other. And now, as a professional club, St. Pauli is the perfect next step. I’m also happy to be at such a special club as FC St. Pauli. A club that stands for certain values ​​that we try to carry into the stadium. It is well known that St. Pauli fights against racism, homophobia, fascism and discrimination. And we are a club that is also on the pitch for virtues that I can identify with. When we come onto the pitch, we work, run, fight. We stand for emotional, passionate and sometimes wild football. That fits perfectly with my personality, because I’m also a very emotional and passionate guy.

Huerzeler: (laughs) That was the running gag when I came to St. Pauli. A quiz was held at the training camp and my card statistics were alluded to with a combination of numbers.

46 yellow cards, 5 yellow-red cards, 1 red card. In 87 games. Not bad. In Pipinsried it was also said for a long time that you couldn’t get your bitching under control.

Huerzeler: I’ll never be a coach who sits calmly on the bench, that wouldn’t be me, but I’ve actually calmed down. I’ve only gotten one yellow card as an assistant coach since I’ve been here. I’ve also given it a lot of thought, because it’s a fact that a team behaves like the coach. You definitely have an impact with your behavior. Let’s think of Carlo Ancelotti at Real. What an impressive personality. The calm and coolness he exudes is definitely a factor that carries over to the team. So you have to ask yourself: Am I helping the team if, for example, I keep attacking the referee? On the other hand, it can also have a rousing effect. Emotions are a must for me, but I’ve found a better balance for myself – that was definitely an important development step for me.

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