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Prestigious coaching prize for FCB stalwart

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Prestigious coaching prize for FCB stalwart

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:00 pm

At a ceremony in Bonn on Thursday evening marking the end of an elite coaching instruction course at Hennes Weisweiler Academy, Bayern assistant coach Hermann Gerland was presented with the prestigious German Football Coaching Prize. The €10,000 prize, awarded annually by a German FA jury headed by DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, recognises "outstanding achievement by a coach in matches, youth development, or particular socio-political commitment as a coach."

"I'm receiving the prize, but in fact it recognises everyone working in the youth development section at Bayern," Gerland commented. "FC Bayern is an outstanding club. I enjoy every day I spend at the Säbener Strasse." The 57-year-old won the prize for his exceptional achievement in developing a number of highly talented players.

Preceded by Hrubesch and Tuchel

Germany internationals including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and Dortmund star Mats Hummels are protégés of Gerland and started their successful careers with the long-serving youth and reserve boss. All have paid tribute to Gerland's influence in shaping them both as footballers and human beings.

"I'm the biggest softy of any coach. When one of my lads makes it, I have tears in my eyes. I'm always so delighted," said the man nicknamed Tiger. The prize was awarded for the third time, with the previous winners being Thomas Tuchel of Mainz and DFB youth coach Horst Hrubesch.

Adopted Bavarian, son of Bochum

Gerland was a one-club man whose playing career with VfL Bochum lasted from 1972 to 1984. The nickname Tiger stems from his time as an uncompromising defender who achieved cult status among the club's fans. "I can't imagine anyone looked forward to playing against me," he recalled.

He learned the coaching ropes with his hometown club from 1985 onwards, leading VfL to the DFB Cup final in 1988, although Bochum lost 1-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt. Gerland then had spells with Nürnberg (1988 to 1990, 1995 to 1996), Bayern Munich II (1990 to 1995), Tennis Borussia Berlin, Arminia Bielefeld and SSV Ulm.

Straight as a die

Uli Hoeneß brought the coach back to the Säbener Strasse in 2001, since when he has delivered highly respected work in the youth and reserve sections, and as assistant coach to the first team. A horse breeder in his spare time, the native of the Ruhr Valley feels at home in Munich, without having lost sight of his roots as the son of a miner. He remains totally down-to-earth: "I'm a hard worker who loves the football, not the showbiz aspect. I'm totally straight up and rough around the edges, but still sensitive," he said.
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