With Benjamin Glück (34) and Timmo Hardung (31) Julian Nagelsmann (33) are two assistants from RB Leipzig to FC Bayern Munich. Who are you? And what happens to Hansi Flick’s previous coaching team?
When Jupp Heynckes was persuaded by his friends Uli and Kalle to do a “friendship service” in October 2017, he placed a condition on the two bosses of the then stumbling record champions: he can only save Bayern if he and his favorite assistant Peter Hermann do so may do. The problem: At the time, he was under contract with Fortuna Düsseldorf.
FC Bayern paid Hermann the assistant coach world record transfer fee of two million euros, the duo took up work and led the team left by Carlo Ancelotti to the championship title. Three and a half years later, FC Bayern also set the head coach world record transfer fee and signed Julian Nagelsmann from RB Leipzig for 20, 25 or whatever millions.
However, two assistants are included in this price: video analyst Benjamin Glück and team manager Timmo Hardung. Depending on how much they make up in the total transfer fee, they may even have broken Hermann’s world record without anyone noticing. Just like Heynckes and Hermann worked together for years, Nagelsmann, Glück and Hardung are also a well-coordinated team.
When they were in their mid-twenties, they came to TSG Hoffenheim one after the other and initially took on different tasks in the youth division. Born in Heidelberg, Hardung gained his first experience as an assistant trainer for the U14 and U15 while studying business administration, before he was promoted to team manager for professionals in 2015.
How Nagelsmann, Hardung and Glück came together
As a sports student, he had to do an internship at a club; his uncle, who lives near Sinsheim, suggested the TSG. “That actually worked and I spent five weeks looking at how work is done in the youth training center,” said Glück in an interview with SPOX and Goal in 2019. “Back then, I did not do much video analysis compared to now, but rather pumped up balls or tidied up garages.”
Glück stayed in contact with the then NLZ director and current director of professional football, Alexander Rosen, and returned after completing his studies for another internship, this time in the professional scouting and match analysis department. He then got a permanent job as a video analyst at Nagelsmanns U19, and later he rose to become professionals with him. By then, colleagues had long since become friends.
“We both come from Bavaria, are children of the mountains, of the same age and have many interests and hobbies in common,” says Glück. “In addition, we are both equally crazy and quickly realized that we were on the same wavelength.” The friendship even survived an incident in which Nagelsmann wounded Glück hospital-ripe.
It happened at a training game in 2019, together with Hardung, the two had already moved on to RB Leipzig. Nagelsmann hit his assistant so unhappily with the ball that the so-called vagus nerve was crushed and had to be treated in hospital. According to Nagelsmann, the injury was caused by “a very hard shot by me that he blocked with the wrong part of the body: with the neck and face instead of the foot. Then he was no longer doing so well.” In the meantime, however, all the injuries seem to have healed.
Club icon Hermann Gerland (66), on the other hand, will remain with FC Bayern in all likelihood: as an assistant coach to the professionals, as a campus employee or just as a tiger. Fitness boss Holger Broich and goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic (40), who is a great confidante of captain Manuel Neuer not only because of the same birth town of Gelsenkirchen, are also expected.
The trio worked for FC Bayern even before Flick’s arrival and has seen a number of head coaches come and go over the years: including Jupp Heynckes with his favorite assistant Peter Hermann, who will return to the club for free in 2019, around one and three-quarters years after his two million move left.