In the press conference introducing Christoph Freund as Bayern Munich’s new sporting director, Freund immediately revealed the name of his first new hire in Munich. “Richard Kitzbichler will join us and will be responsible for the development of top talent and players on loan. This is a very important position. We want to develop all young players into good professionals, some for FC Bayern of course. Richard will focus on this area and will have a lot to do.”
As well as being a former Austria international and having a nearly 20-year career as a footballer, Kitzbichler has a history of being an assistant manager. Via information from Transfermarkt.us, his first job in a managing role was a big one, as he landed the role of assistant manager at RB Salzburg, where he likely earned Freund’s respect as they worked at the same club from 2009 to 2017.
From there, Kitzbichler became assistant manager of Beijing Guoan in China for two years and then assistant manager of Southampton for three years, but was let go along with many of head coach Ralph Hassenhüttl’s other staff when Hassenhüttl was sacked in November of 2022.
It will be interesting to see if Kitzbichler can transfer his skills as assistant manager to his new role in Munich. Though it is not formally stated, it seems that role will be close to one of a loan manager, something Bayern has not had for many years.
In those years, many young players have gone on aimless loans and few have been able to find success at other clubs. Furthermore, there have been many instances of players feeling isolated and abandoned by the coaching staff in Munich due to a lack of contact.
Hopefully, with a dedicated person “responsible for players on loan”, as Freund put it, the club can find more strategic loan options for the young players and the players can feel more supported. It would be a massive step in the right direction for youth development at the Bavarian giants.