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This is how veteran coach Friedhelm Funkel wants to save the FCK – football

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This is how veteran coach Friedhelm Funkel wants to save the FCK – football

Friedhelm Funkel is the new coach of 1. FC Kaiserslautern. The veteran should save the Red Devils from relegation to the 3rd league. At a press conference, the 70-year-old explained how the FCK should be saved.

Friedhelm Funkel succeeds Dimitrios Grammozis, who is on leave, at 1. FC Kaiserslautern. “He has a resume that is second to none. He is an absolute expert, very experienced and was also a fixture at FCK as a player,” said FCK managing director Thomas Hengen to SWR. “He’s passionate about this task. During the discussions we quickly realized that he’s really keen. It’s all about staying in the class.”

A dream comes true for Funkel

Funkel, who announced in 1996 as coach of MSV Duisburg that he dreamed of coaching FCK one day, is fulfilling his wish late on. Even if his contract only runs until the end of the season. He has a mission – and he wants to fulfill it: At the age of 70, he takes over the helm of the traditional Palatinate club in order to prevent it from falling into the third division. He conducted his first training session in the afternoon – in front of over 500 fans.

Funkel enjoys a reputation as a savior in the industry. He acquired this at, among others, KFC Uerdingen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fortuna Düsseldorf and, most recently, 1. FC Cologne. He saved the club from the cathedral city from falling out of the Bundesliga in the relegation game against Holstein Kiel in 2021 – his last stop to date. So now Kaiserslautern – and Funkel exuded great enthusiasm during his introduction. The veteran trainer spoke about:

What made you decide to take over the coaching position at FCK?

“I felt that the fire still burned in me. That I wanted to take over a team. When the request came from FCK, I didn’t have to think twice. This is a special club for me. The fans are very special “They do everything they can to help the team. That’s a big bargaining chip that we have to use. That also makes it our duty to give something back to the supporters. I want to help the team do that.”

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The expectations of the fans

“I’m not a savior. But I feel that people are happy that I’m back. That’s a very nice feeling. My coaching team and I have a great responsibility, and the team also has it. We have to do enough in the last 13 games Get points in order to achieve the goal of staying in the league. We want to start with that in Nuremberg. This is a nice away game with a team that is playing well this season. We still have a few days left and we as a coaching team will come up with something by then .

The rescue mission at 1. FC Kaiserslautern

“The last few games are about nothing other than staying in the league. I have a lot of experience and know how to convey something to the team and players. Especially in the home games, we have to perform differently than last time. I will have a lot of discussions “The next few days. Then there’s the training work – and maybe I’ll do a few things tactically differently. It will be very important to bring more fire onto the pitch. Running, fighting – and then there’s the playful side too.”

His immediate measures

“Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and plow the pitch. I have to really get to know the team in the next few weeks. But that’s enough to be well prepared for the next games. We’ll work hard and talk a lot about ourselves “To improve the interaction between defense and offense. That will be the first task. Then I need a good hand to select the right players.”


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Football | Opinion Friedhelm Funkel should fix things at FCK – will everything be better on the Betzenberg now?

After the dismissal of coach Dimitrios Grammozis, the experienced Friedhelm Funkel is supposed to prevent 1. FC Kaiserslautern from falling into the 3rd league. The last but only meaningful straw, says Stefan Kersthold from the SWR sports editorial team.

Wed.14.2.2024 7:30 p.m. SWR Aktuell Rhineland-Palatinate SWR RP

The DFB Cup, in which FCK is in the semi-finals

“I’m not interested in that at the moment. That’s still a long way away.”

His FCK past

“It’s been almost 40 years since I was a player here. We had big games here at Betzenberg back then. It’s nice when you come back here after all these years and see that people haven’t forgotten you.”

Funkel was noted: For the veteran, the job in Kaiserslautern is a matter close to his heart. During his playing days – over 40 years ago – he played 89 competitive games for FCK. With well over 1,000 Bundesliga and second division games as a coach and player and eleven coaching positions (twice in Cologne), Funkel knows the business better than almost anyone else. Now he is embarking on what may be his last mission: to save the FCK.

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