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Sport: Darmstadt coach Schuster wants to leave

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Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster is about to move to Augsburg. Photo: Soeren Stache

(Photo: dpa)

Both have asked the club for approval to join league rivals FC Augsburg. “With the contract running until 2018, SV Darmstadt 98 now has to deal with the request for approval. We will do this calmly and with the necessary seriousness,” said President Rüdiger Fritsch.

The “Lilien” boss knows only too well what he has in cobblers. In December 2012, the 48-year-old took over the helm at Südhessen, who were bottom of the table in the 3rd division at the time, and steered them directly into the Bundesliga and there to stay up. “Successful people are in high demand in the business,” Fritsch observed. “But we now have the longest summer break and absolutely no pressure,” he told the “Hessischer Rundfunk”.

The success story was sometimes described as a fairy tale and sometimes as a miracle – and above all served the longing of football romantics. Darmstadt has by far the smallest budget, the stadium at Böllenfalltor looks like a relic from the 1970s and the team consists mainly of professionals who have failed in other clubs. And yet the “lilies” escaped the descent that had been prophesied of them by all the experts.

Schuster’s role is a bit like that of comic book hero Asterix. He knew how to take the players to their limits and sometimes even beyond them, sometimes using unconventional methods. During training, the squad regularly chose the loser of the month, who had to put on a pink T-shirt with the inscriptions “Tussi” and “Filleinkauf”. Before the away win at Hertha BSC, which secured their place in the class on the penultimate day, Schuster sent his players to bowling instead of to the training ground.

But the former Bundesliga professional also suspects that his opportunities in Darmstadt have been exhausted. Many players have made themselves interesting for other clubs, the team is crumbling like the plaster from the walls of the ailing stadium. The planned complete renovation of the homestead is not progressing either. So the offer from Augsburg is just right.

“Dirk Schuster had a great and unforgettable time in Darmstadt and has celebrated incredible successes in three and a half years. Now the new task in Augsburg is appealing to him,” quoted the “Sport Bild” his adviser Ronny Zeller.

Schuster should already be in agreement with the Swabians, who are looking for a successor to Markus Weinzierl, who is moving to Schalke 04. Because there is one thing the ambitious and dedicated football teacher does not want to experience: a sporting fate like Tasmania Berlin, the most unsuccessful team in Bundesliga history to date.

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