An eventful and successful year comes to an end for the junior department of FC Bayern. Some talents made their debut with the pros in recent months. The amateurs are on their way to become champions after the first half of the season in the Regionalliga Bayern, the U19 missed the knockout round of the UEFA Youth League, the U17 reached the final of the German Championship last season and are the current leaders of the Bundesliga South/Southwest.
Jochen Sauer, director of the FC Bayern Campus, talked about events that marked 2018 in a recent interview (FCBayer.com). A particular highlight for Sauer was when Miroslav Klose was appointed as the coach of the U17. Sauer is astonished by Klose’s coaching approach:
Miro and his assistant coach Slaven Skeledzic played a large part in the winter championship of our U17. He is a true legend of German football and we are very happy that he is passing on his experience and footballing knowledge to our talents. At least once a week, a special training session is now held to improve our offensive players individually. Miro shows the central strikers how to behave properly in the penalty area and the outside strikers how to properly serve the players in the middle. This is a wonderful story for these guys, from which they can benefit immensely.
Sauer also mentioned Holger Seitz, who took over FC Bayern amateurs last summer. Sauer is very supportive of Seitz and has high hopes for die Amateure:
I am very confident that our U23 team will become champions of the Regionalliga Bayern. Except for a small setback in autumn, the team knew how to convince and I’m sure that they will continue on this successful trajectory after the winter break.
He continues with the importance of development for younger players.
Our boys all want to play professional football, and in the 3rd league, of course, they are challenged quite differently. However, I do not believe that playing in the 3rd league is in every case is enough to train more players for the professional team again.
Sauer also noted that loans are another important option for some players:
For example, Adrian [Fein] fought for and especially played for a starting place in a new environment after a very brief adjustment phase. The people in charge in Regensburg are happy to have him in the team. The individual support is decisive and much more important than the standings of a junior team. We need to nurture the talents as early as possible so they can continue to improve.
A good example is Klose’s U17. They play in the U17 Bundesliga with the youngest team with which Bayern has ever been represented. Often there are up to seven players in the starting lineup who could still play in the U16 level. Nevertheless, they are leaders after the first half of the season, which many had not expected because of the age structure. These positive developments give Sauer the pleasant task of thinking through how he intends to set up the teams next season from the U17 to the U23 level.