Four different challenges were set up for Truller and KaPe: crossbar challenge, dribbling, target shooting and landing a ball near a given point. At stake was the minor misfortune of serving the winner's lunch for him or carrying his bag back to the changing rooms.
Truller aces crossbar challenge
The first test for the coaches was to hit the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area, and each hit would score a point. Truller stepped up confidently and struck the bar with his first attempt, eventually winning the contest on points scored. Trulsen and Stanislawski both played under KaPe at St. Pauli, helping the club to gain promotion to the Bundesliga in 1995. 57-year-old Nemet remembers the time as a happy one. “They were both good guys to have at the club, and very highly motivated.” A smirking Truller confirms this: “We were model professionals, absolutely!” with more than a hint of irony in his voice.
KaPe turns the tables
The second challenge: dribbling. This time the contestants had to dribble the ball into the goal, running from one side of the pitch to the other. “KaPe will win this one. He does nothing else all day”, joked Truller before they commenced. He was right. After three attempts each, KaPe won out 3-2, after Truller lost control of the ball on his last run. While André has more of a hands-on approach to first team training, KaPe is often employed to keep an eye on team strategy and tactics. “I sit in the stands at most of our games. From there you have a great overview of how the game is going and what we can improve on as a team. If I notice something, I can then communicate it to the players in the half-time break.” Truller takes his seat at Stanislawski's side in the dugout, and kicks every ball, along with his manager.
The third challenge was shooting at a target. Dummy defenders were erected, between which the guys had to shoot the ball, from a specified distance. KaPe won a narrow contest 5-4 and took the lead to go 2-1 up overall.
An even contest
The final challenge was to strike a ball and have it stop as close as possible to a specified target; the man who finished closest would win. This task required technique, balance and a good judging of distance. The two coaches were both incredibly good at this challenge, and it was so tight that measurements had to be taken to determine who had finished closest to the target. André Trulsen eventually won the challenge, but by a margin of millimetres.
That meant that the two coaches finished the day at 2-2 after the four challenges. As long-time friends and colleagues, but also two highly competitive individuals, both were glad not to have lost any face.