Hoeness can look forward to the next highlight of an eventful year on Saturday (19 September), as he takes charge of his first match in the Bundesliga. For the 38-year-old, it became clear early on that he would one day work as a coach: ''At some point it dawned on me that I wouldn't have a glittering playing career in the Bundesliga. But I still wanted to maintain my connection with football. It's my passion in life. I got my first coaching badges when I was still playing. It felt good, so I then said to myself: 'Why not give it a go?' It's something I enjoy and I've seemingly not done too bad a job of it.''
The Munich native's role at TSG Hoffenheim is his first job in senior football. His previous coaching experience was with youth teams at RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich, but he hasn't noticed too much of a difference so far: ''You're working with a group of people - it doesn't matter if it's the U17s or the first team. Now the people I'm working with are older and more experienced. Of course that has an influence on the way I approach the players. But at the end of the day they still have the same human requirements. Personal communication is something that defines my leadership style. It's important for me to learn things about the lads away from football, to find out how I should reach them on an individual level. Having said that, there are certain aspects of working with players that must remain consistent.''
The new TSG head coach is planning to develop a new playing philosophy in Hoffenheim: ''We're essentially in the process of implementing a new idea at the moment. We're just getting started, but I already see progress. There are nonetheless things that we want to improve on, things that need to be constantly worked on again and again. It's an ongoing process.'' Hoeness, who played for TSG Hoffenheim in the Regionalliga in 2006/07, also comments: ''There is an overarching idea, which has to be clearly defined. Within this idea, there are certain fundamentals and principles, which also have to be clear. But there's also a sense of flexibility; you have to allow room for creativity out on the pitch.''
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