"You first have to climb the mountain yourself''

In January 2023, Pirmin Schwegler returned to TSG Hoffenheim to take on the role of head of licensed football. The former TSG player was promoted after just six months, taking on a leading role in the club's sporting management as head of professional football in the summer. In a major interview for the December issue of the TSG club magazine SPIELFELD, which will be published on Friday, the 36-year-old spoke about his new responsibilities, his demand for authenticity and the importance of making mistakes in personal development.

Pirmin Schwegler was always known as a model professional. In his three years at TSG Hoffenheim, where the Swiss played from 2014 to 2017, he gained a reputation for impeccable leadership and sometimes even wore the captain's armband. After returning in January, Schwegler, who previously worked as chief scout at Bayern Munich, was promoted to head of professional football in the summer. "I'm happy to be back here - and to find a cool job that I can totally identify with. Because I fully support the Hoffenheim approach of offering a platform to youth," says Schwegler in a major interview with TSG magazine SPIELFELD.

In his return to Hoffenheim, Schwegler has started to play a role in the dressing room again: "I didn't consciously seek out or push for this proximity to the team. But I realise that it gives me great satisfaction and helps me a lot in my day-to-day work." Nevertheless, Schwegler maintains a certain distance in his new role: "I think that's important, because the key people on the pitch are the players and the coaching team. I'm in the role of observer, and I try to gather a lot of different insights so that I can act quickly to address things internally with the players or the coach when required."

Personal connections mean a lot to Schwegler - he doesn't want to have to put on an act in his new role: "I always try to be authentic, because the person you're talking to can sense that. I want to be allowed to be myself - and stay that way. Of course, if the situation requires it, I can get a little more angry. But that's an honest reaction. It comes out of me when I feel that something is going in the wrong direction."

Promoting young talent is a core task for the Swiss. In Schwegler's view, this means actively developing not only footballers, but also people: "All young players should remain human beings, enjoy their freedom and be allowed to gain experience. But we often take that away from them, we don't allow them to take this step." Schwegler has valuable insights from his playing days to share with the young talents: "Development is not a straight line. There's no cable car that takes you comfortably up the mountain. You have to climb the mountain yourself, otherwise you won't know how you got there."

In the 112 pages of the December issue, you will find lots more content from the world of TSG. Anton Stach describes his favourite jersey, young professional Bambasé Conté talks about his first-team debut and Marius Bülter introduces himself to the fans in the "No comment" section. In addition, TSG referee Justin Bechtel is portrayed, mini football is explained and the SPIELFELD team pay a visit to former player Sebastian Rudy in the Kreisliga.

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