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“Stay humble but optimistic”

Club

28.05.18

“Stay humble but optimistic”

Just after he was officially unveiled as the new sporting director of Hamburger SV, Ralf Becker spoke about what his new role entails, his previous interactions with Christian Titz and the challenges that will face the Rothosen in the upcoming season in the second division.

Ralf Becker is the new sporting director at HSV. The 47-year-old, who has functioned in a similar role at Holstein Kiel over the past two years, was officially unveiled on Monday afternoon. “"I think Ralf is exactly the right person for our club. He knows this league inside out. He's committed, humble and a team player. I’m extremely glad to be able to announce him as our new sporting director," said CEO Bernd Hoffmann. Becker himself, who was active as a player and manager before taking a more administrative role, is excited about his new role. “The last few days have been really intense. We held some good talks and I’m happy to be here now. Starting right now, we want to work together to ensure that HSV has a successful future. I want to do my part in that.”

The 47-year-old spoke in detail about...

... the challenges ahead: Everyone knows it’s going to be hard. I obviously have a good idea of what’s ahead of us. I’ve been a part of clubs at this level as a player, a coach and now as a sporting director and I’m drawn to these sorts of challenges. HSV really appealed to me. The tradition and size of the club has been spoken about enough over the last few years. HSV is definitely one of the biggest football clubs in Germany, but we’re now in the second division. We need to stay humble, but at the same time work hard and remain optimistic as we try and reach our goals. I have a good feeling that we can get this club back to where it needs to be if we work together.

... what his job entails: I’m responsible for the sporting side of the club, with a focus on football and the first team. They are the main part of the club and they have to be run well. I called the coach immediately after I was appointed as a result, because I wanted to get a sense of what he wants his squad to be like for next year. That’s the highest priority for me right now and so the other topics will be discussed down the line.

... head coach Christian Titz: During my time at Kiel, I had the chance to watch HSV’s second side quite a lot. We even played a friendly against one another. I found his tactical approach very interesting - it resembled ours at Kiel in some ways actually. I talked to him back then about possibly working together in the future, because as a sporting director you always engage with coaches that interest you. However, all that happened before Christian was appointed as head coach of the first team and looking back I’m happy that we got to know each other throughout a time that has nothing to do with the current situation. We’ve got along well from the beginning and I’m confident that we can maintain a successful relationship going forward.

... the squad going forward: Christian Titz has really made an impression on the team over the last few weeks, which is stronger than mine from afar. It’s important that we firstly come together before we go about making personnel decisions. Irrespective of which league you play in it’s critical that you have a good mix of experience and youth in your squad. It’s important to integrate young players, but it’s just as important to have players who can be leaders to them. And we need a solid leadership structure.

... the challenges of the second division: It doesn’t matter where we’ve come from, we will always be the team to beat. Every game will have the atmosphere of a cup final. Away games especially will likely be the home side’s biggest game of the season. We have to be prepared for that. The situation has changed. We will be the hunted in the second division. The style of football will be different. The individual quality of the players in this division is good, but not as good as in the Bundesliga. It will come down to our mentality, our team spirit and our readiness to give everything in order for us to outplay other teams. Only then can we be successful.