Done deal: Paul Scharner signs for HSV
The central defender has arrived at HSV and agreed terms on a two year deal. Rothosen boss Thorsten Fink and the squad are looking forward to having the tough-tackling 32 year old much-travelled veteran in the squad. Until the end of last season the Austrian was at Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. He brings to HSV a wealth of international experience.
As Paul Scharner arrived at Hamburg airport on Tuesday morning (07.08.12), he could already see the scale of media interest in him. As HSV-TV wanted to exclusively report on his arrival in Hamburg our man spoke to him by his first name: "Paul? Are you Paul Scahrner?" The defender replied "Who? Never heard of him", in an effort to avoid media questions before he had even reached the university hospital in Eppendorf where he passed the obligatory medical with flying colours.
Now he is happy that the deal is done and dusted, and that he will be able to help the team in the new season which starts later this month. Scharner was more talkative as he was officially introduced to the press on Friday afternoon (10.08.12) at the Imtech Arena. With his hair parted on one side and sporting a pair of thick-rimmed glasses, Scharner happily answered media questions with a smile on his face. Asked why he decided to join HSV he answered: "HSV is a top club, so you have to take the cance when you are offered it."
HSV took their chance to sign a seasoned professional. Scharner again: "I bring to the club what is expected of me - maximum effort and 100% professionalism." The Austrian has a wealth of international experience, including 40 caps for his country. He has also played in the UEFA Cup (nowadays Europa League). Before moving to England, he played for Norwegian top flight side Brann Bergen, as well as the Austrian clubs RB Salzburg und Austria Wien. He won the Austrian league title with the latter in the 2002/03 season
What all of his stays at his many clubs have in common is his relationship with fans. In Norway and Austria he was voted most popular player by the fans. As he left Premier League club Wigan Athletic in 2010, Scharner had the word "Thanx" dyed in the club colours of blue and white on the back of his head. He, like David Beckham is known for his various hair styles. In the past he has had red, blue and red (!) and black and white styles. But the gritty defender may like differing hair styles, but his past performances have spoken for themselves. Over the past six and a half years he has made 207 Premier League appearances for Wigan Athletic (2006 - 2010), while for West Brom he played 207 times in the English top flight (2010 - 2012).
Scharner well prepared
He seems to be an interesting character to say the least. Last Monday he met Thorsten Fink in Vienna for a chat lasting several hours. Fink revealed that Scharner produced a book with several questions he wanted answered. Fink told the media with a big smile: "He wanted to know about my style of leadership and the weaknesses of our team. He was well prepared, and I really liked that."
Scharner's signing was obviously a reason to be happy for the Rothosen coach. He added: "By signing Paul we have plugged a gap. He is an experienced man who we need right away andcan help the team even when he is not playing." Fink began his coaching career as Co-trainer at Austrian club RB Salzburg, and has maintained good contacts with the country since. That is how he heard of the availabilty of Scharner, who is well known for his determined tackling and aerial ability: "Paul has had a good tactical schooling. He is top fit", added Fink, who when asked about whether his new signing would play a part in the impending friendly against RCD Mallorca answered that he had a "realistic" chance of playing.
Scharner admitted: "It is now all about settling in quickly. I am looking forward to the new challenge but it will be a tough one." If he settles in as quickly as he did finding suitable accommodation all will be fine very soon. Scharner: "I found a place yesterday. I decide such things quickly." The defender has been under the wing of mental coach Valentin Hobel since he turned 15 years of age: "You can train your mind as well as your body"; he explained.
The man who hails from Scheibbs has played under many famous coaches including current Germany coach Joachim Löw, English manager Roy Hodgson, German legend Christoph Daum and Chelsea's Champions League winning coach Roberto di Matteo. He did not want to discuss such matters though. Scharner knows: "What is most important is HSV."
HSV.de says welcome to the Rothosen Paul!