Bundesliga: Union Berlin’s new start: Bo Svensson becomes head coach

Union Berlin’s new start: Bo Svensson becomes head coach

The Dane Bo Svensson will be the new head coach at Bundesliga soccer club 1. FC Union Berlin. photo

© David Inderlied/dpa

1. FC Union Berlin has found its ideal candidate for the coaching position. Bo Svensson is expected to bring stability back to Köpenick. To do this, the Dane has a number of tasks to complete.

1. FC Union has quickly created clarity in the sporting leadership positions. With Bo Svensson as coach wants the Köpenickers to find their way back to their old strength in their sixth year in the Bundesliga. As the Iron Men announced, the 44-year-old Dane succeeds Nenad Bjelica, who was released shortly before the end of the season, and interim coach Marco Grote. The pay-TV broadcaster Sky had previously reported on the agreement between the Köpenick team and the former Mainz team.

“In close consultation with Oliver Ruhnert and Horst Heldt, we have decided to make a sporting fresh start in the summer and are convinced that Bo Svensson is a coach who is a good fit for our club,” said President Dirk Zingler in a statement from Union. As usual, the Berlin club did not provide any information about the length of the contract.

“The solidarity that Union exudes, the unity between the team, fans, employees and club management, is a very important factor,” said the coach himself. “I am looking forward to the road ahead and will do everything I can to ensure that we have a successful season.”

It was only on Tuesday, three days after staying in the league, that the Eisernen presented Heldt as their new managing director of professional football. Like Svensson, the official will not start his new job until July, but will already be involved in all planning. His first official act with the Berliners was not long in coming.

Coaching bench instead of teaching

Svensson takes over the Köpenickers just one year after qualifying for the Champions League, almost at their lowest point in the sport. After a nerve-racking season with a series of defeats, two coaching changes and a last-minute Bundesliga rescue, the unsettled team lacks self-confidence. The collective unity and determination that has allowed the Berlin team to leave individually much better teams behind in recent years have rarely been evident recently.

The Dane is considered smart, empathetic and someone who questions his own behavior rather than that of his players. After retiring from active professional football in 2014, he actually wanted to study and “maybe work as a teacher with young people,” as Svensson once reported. But his compatriot Kasper Hjulmand brought him into the coaching staff at Mainz 05, where he was head coach between 2021 and 2023.

Urs Fischer’s shoes are huge

He now has time until the Bundesliga starts at the end of August to close the Berlin construction sites together with sports director Heldt and to reinstill the lost virtues in his team.

Union will want to reduce the size of its relatively expensive squad and make it cheaper, as the club will not be playing internationally for the first time in three years next season. Unlike last year, personnel planning should be completed as early as possible.

Svensson will be in demand as a mental coach and psychologist in his first few weeks. The Scandinavian was also considered Union’s dream coach because of his human and emotional nature.

After a lot of coaching turmoil last season, Union finally needs some consistency on the sidelines again. The shoes that Urs Fischer left behind last November after more than five years are still huge. Bjelica was not able to fill them in his five-month term in office. Interim coach Grote certainly wasn’t able to in his short time in charge.


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