Towards the end of last month, Bayern Munich appointed club legend Martin Demichelis as their U-19 side manager. Before the announcement, there was uncertainty regarding the position and whether U-17 coach Miroslav Klose was willing to accept a promotion and take over the team.
Klose had a remarkable season with his side and has clearly impressed the front office. It is also obvious that the management wanted Klose to take over Sebastian Hoeness' spot in charge of its U-19 side. But the world cup winner turned the offer down and resolved to stick with his current side.
In an interview given to Kicker on Monday, Klose denied all speculation that he was not on good terms with Hasan Salihamidzic and other members of the front office on account of a conflict over his role. He clarified that his decision was completely based on personal preference.
According to Klose, one successful season with the U-17 squad and the experiences he has gained have not made him confident enough to take the next big step in his career. He said (via Kicker):
The step to the U19 team would have come too soon for me. When I tackle something, I have to be convinced 100 percent to deliver an optimal performance. I already hvae a clear plan for my career.
The meeting between Klose and Salihamidzic did not produce the result desired by Bayern’s leadership, but that does not mean that there is a feud between the two men. It seems that Klose is comfortable with his current position and wants to achieve the most of what he can there. Asked whether his meeting with Salihamidzic was heated, he said,
Complete nonsense — even if it was depicted that way in the media. It wasn’t a case of two stiffnecks colliding. For me it was entirely objective. I’m just happy that I can keep coaching this team. This solution is the best for all sides.
As his contract of two years expires in 2020, after the upcoming season, he was asked about his plans for the future. He said:
I’m not thinking about it at all at present. I’ve been working toward the new season for four months.
Klose also said he is in no rush to rise through the ranks to coach a more senior team:
It gives me a lot of joy. I think I can give the boys a lot. I don’t want to reach the top as fast as possible like many others before me. It just has to grab me. Maybe I’ll go for my professional coaching license in 2020.
Klose has now completed more than two years of his coaching career — as an assistant coach under Joachim Löw and as a head coach for the Bayern's junior team — but he believes that he still has a lot to improve and many more things to learn. He said:
When I feel that I’d like to work with a men’s team, I’ll go for it. But I first want to invest and experience and learn more.
Bayern’s U-17 side will play their first league match of the season on August 10, Saturday, against Greuther Fürth.