Hertha hires Schwarz as coach after escaping Bundesliga drop

BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin hired Sandro Schwarz on Thursday as its coach after the Bundesliga club narrowly escaped relegation.

Schwarz is the latest in a string of coaches tasked with bridging the gulf between Hertha’s grand ambitions of establishing itself as a major European club and its years of underachievement on the field.

But first he faces the challenge of restoring some confidence at the club and ending what seems to be a permanent...

READ MORE

BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin hired Sandro Schwarz on Thursday as its coach after the Bundesliga club narrowly escaped relegation.

Schwarz is the latest in a string of coaches tasked with bridging the gulf between Hertha’s grand ambitions of establishing itself as a major European club and its years of underachievement on the field.

But first he faces the challenge of restoring some confidence at the club and ending what seems to be a permanent state of crisis.

Despite the backing of wealthy investor Lars Windhorst, Hertha finished 16th in the 18-team Bundesliga and only escaped the drop this time around by beating second-tier Hamburger SV 2-1 on aggregate in a two-leg playoff under veteran coach Felix Magath, who was hired to avoid relegation. Meanwhile, cross-city rival Union Berlin placed fifth with one of the league’s smallest budgets.

“With his personality and his positive and forward-thinking style of football, Sandro can create a connection between what happens out on the pitch and the club culture. That is what we need at Hertha BSC,” the club’s managing director for sport Fredi Bobic said in a statement.

Schwarz’s new contract runs to 2024. He arrives after coaching Russian club Dynamo Moscow, where he stayed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even as fellow German coach Markus Gisdol left Lokomotiv Moscow in protest and compatriot Daniel Farke quit FC Krasnodar.

Schwarz took Dynamo to third in the Russian league and runner-up in the Russian Cup final on Sunday. That didn’t earn Dynamo a spot in any European competitions for next season because UEFA has barred Russian teams over the invasion of Ukraine.

Schwarz is better known in the Bundesliga for coaching Mainz from 2017 through 2019, with a best finish of 12th.

Schwarz has around six weeks to get Hertha ready for the new season. That starts for Hertha with a tricky visit to Eintracht Braunschweig in the first round of the German Cup, a week before the Bundesliga season begins.

If he remains in charge for the whole season, Schwarz will be the first coach to have achieved the feat at Hertha since Pál Dárdai in 2018-19. If he doesn’t, it will increase the pressure on Bobic.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.