Bayern Munich just announced the signing of highly rated coach René Marić as the leader of “trainer development and footballing concept” at the FC Bayern Campus. Marić has been coaching since 2015 and some of his most high profile jobs include being an assistant coach at RB Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach and most recently Leeds United, where he was sacked alongside head coach Marcelo Bielsa back in February of 2023.
The connection with RB Salzburg make it evident that Christoph Freund, Bayern’s new sporting director, had a lot to do with bring Marić to Bayern. Freund himself more or less confirmed this connection via his comments on the signing: “We are so happy that we have contracted Rene Marić as leader of trainer development and footballing concept. René showed his capabilities through his work in Salzburg and was able to further develop at Mönchengladbach, Dortmund and Leeds. He will give us new and important input.”
Oh, this is big. So very, very important. The specification of his role as being leader of “trainer development and footballing concept” makes it so very obvious that he is there to keep an eye on the performances of the trainers and ensure that all of Bayern’s youth teams play in a more similar way. And what do you know? Two of the biggest issues at the campus has been the lack of accountability of the coaches and the lack of a consistent playing style. In one fell swoop, Freund has sought to eliminate both with the hiring of an experienced and thoroughly talented coach in René Marić.
In the past, coaches would be hired and, short of an absolute debacle, they would remain as coaches until their contract was due to expire. There was little accountability for poor performances or a push for the coaches to improve. This should be about to change.
Furthermore, uniting a footballing philosophy on the campus should help youngsters with their adaptation as they rise up the ranks, before helping with any possible adaptation into the first team. Though Bayern’s footballing philosophy has never had one consistent identity as clubs like FC Barcelona have, pace, power and dominant football via dominating the ball have been ever consistent elements to Bayern’s identity. Ensuring that these elements are also evident throughout Bayern’s youth teams can only help Bayern’s youngsters learn the expectations of football at Bayern.