The trainer question is not always easy to answer at SV Ried.
Since Paul Gludovatz’ first long term in office, a number of coaches have tried their hand at the sidelines of the Innviertler. Only three have held office for more than a year in the last decade: Michael Angerschmid, Lassaad Chabbi and Gerald Baumgartner.
With Christian Heinle, another head coach is preparing to shape a successful time in Ried. It hasn’t been easy for the young coach at his first stop, but he still looks to the second half of the season and the more distant future with confidence.
LAOLA1 spoke to Heinle before the start of the second half of the season about his surprising rise as head coach, personal goals and the situation at SV Ried:
LAOLA1: You are a high-flyer in the head coaching business and were literally thrown in at the deep end last season. How did that happen?
Christian Heinle: As is well known, the situation was such that Andreas Heraf had to resign for health reasons. The club decided to entrust me with the position of interim coach almost overnight. The goal at the beginning was only to represent Andi with the existing coaching team until he is back, everything else was not actually defined in advance. I wasn’t involved at all in the further process and how it all ended.
LAOLA1: The first coaching position is of course always associated with a certain risk. Did you think about this decision at all?
Heinle: To be honest, there wasn’t time for that. When the club put their trust in me and my coaching team, I was of course very happy and immediately accepted the task. Accordingly, there was no time for considerations, we had to get started on the next day. My team totally pulled along, which was extremely helpful at the beginning.
LAOLA1: You went through the first difficult phase in the fall, how did you deal with it and finally get out of the hole?
Heinle: The situation was of course different after the summer, we had big plans and I think we did a few things well. We played well at times, especially at the beginning, the slump in the middle of the season was also due to a number of injuries and other issues. It was a very difficult situation, but we came even closer as a team and were able to turn things around. It was extremely important that this took place in the autumn.
LAOLA1: The winter break was unusually long this year, how did you prepare for the second half of the season in Ried?
Heinle: I think all Bundesliga clubs have dealt with this question. We released the players relatively quickly after the last competitive game, simply to be able to switch off completely after the difficult half-season and then start again early with full vigour. All in all, the preparation went very well, we wanted to get a winning mentality in the team in the friendlies and now start the second half of the season successfully.
LAOLA1: The problems in the fall were particularly evident on the offensive. With only 12 goals scored, they rank last in these statistics. Was that also why the top level was improved again with Christoph Lang?
Heinle: Absolutely, it was clear from our analysis that we lacked the dynamism in the game going forward and, above all, this extreme speed in the transition game. In Christoph Lang and Roko Jurisic we brought in two players who will hopefully give us this momentum. The first impression was definitely very positive, and the competition is increasing.
Roko Jurisic should provide speed on the left
LAOLA1: At his presentation, Roko Jurisic said that he would like to play with Ried for a place among the top 6 next year. Are you going with me?
Heinle: Of course I’m happy when a player has ambitious goals. We want to start knocking on the top 6, but you won’t get that for free. In order to achieve that, we as a club and with the coaching team have to work very meticulously over a long period of time. But the most important thing will be to keep the class in the difficult situation and season we are in, and to do it as quickly as possible so that we can also focus on next year.
LAOLA1: On the departure side, the contract with Oliver Kragl was terminated. Ultimately the best solution for both sides?
Heinle: I think every professional athlete wants to do their job as well and as often as possible. It’s a natural process in professional football for a player who isn’t playing to dream of a change. The club shared the views, so it was a win-win situation and an absolutely fair solution.
LAOLA1: Goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger was injured in the last friendly and is now out for the rest of the season. How bad is this loss?
Heinle: This is of course a total catastrophe for us. Alongside Marcel Ziegl, Sami Radlinger is one of the two identification figures in the club and his loss was a huge blow for the team. In principle we have two good young goalkeepers, both of whom have the quality to play a role in the Bundesliga at some point, but I think the current situation requires a certain amount of experience. For this reason, we have decided to fill the position.
LAOLA1: In the past, SV Ried has often managed to introduce many players from their own academy to the Bundesliga. In the last few years, this trend has slowed down a bit. Do you also see it as your task to improve it and to build more on your own youth again?
Heinle: Definitive. It was one of our clearly defined goals in the summer, on the one hand to give our academy players the opportunity to gain a foothold in the professional field and on the other hand to be a place for prospective players to recommend themselves for bigger things. I’m convinced that this approach works, even if the results didn’t always work out. We helped five players from the second division to make their starting XI debut in the Bundesliga and also introduced our own academy players to the team. We want to make our academy more attractive again in the long term and thereby convince players from all over Austria to take the step into professional sport via Ried.
LAOLA1: Given its location between Linz and Salzburg, does Ried find it difficult to convince promising talent for purely geographical reasons?
Heinle: I think it’s more of a challenge than a difficulty, although Salzburg’s market and ours are certainly not completely identical. I don’t see that as a problem. If you can show positive examples and continuously bring players into the Bundesliga, the geographical distance shouldn’t be a big issue either. So I’m very positive that we can set ourselves apart through our work.
LAOLA1: Finally, a personal question: where will head coach Christian Heinle go in the future?
Heinle: I’m extremely happy and satisfied to have this position at Ried, also because I feel incredibly comfortable and I can tell that the team is pulling along. I think we’re on the right track there, and if we continue to develop positively as a club over the next few years, then I see myself exactly where I am.
Text source: © LAOLA1.at