See You Next Wednesday
Once a Bundesliga giant, the club, playing at the 2006 World Cup venue Fritz-Walter-Stadion, has spend most of the last decade in 2.Bundesliga before taking the hard way down to 3.Liga before last season.
With their two German Cup trophies, a regular Europa League contestant between 1992 and 2000, I will have the history to back me up as I take on the challenge to get 1.FC Kaiserslautern back to where they belong.
It won’t be an easy challenge for sure, as the squad I have to work with is the third youngest within the league (except from Bayern Munich II), and there won't be a wealthy transfer budget either.
Kaiserslautern is a team rich with history and success. As with so many clubs in modern football these days, the financial situation and the fall of a football club has its roots in Stadium upgrades and transfers sprees going wrong.
One club who have surely been hit by financial troubles due to being forced to upgrade their stadium and not being able to pay for it, is 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Formed in 1900, Die roten Teufel is one of the founding members of the German Bundesliga. They kept their place in the top division for over 33 years before they were relegated in the same season as they won their second DFB-Pokal. With 33 consecutive seasons in the German top flight and having won the title 4 times with the most recent in 97/98 where none other than Michael Ballack, who would show glimpes as to the player he would later turn into, Kaiserslautern were one of only four teams who had never been relegated from the 16 clubs who formed the Bundesliga. Yet due to the aforementioned abysmal decision making and financial mismanagement the club now find themselves, for the first time in their history, relegated to 3.Liga, Germany’s third tier.
The aim of the save is to return Kaiserslautern back to where they belong, challenging as one of the finest teams in Germany, with a view to becoming one of the finest in Europe.
Aims of the save
Ah, but how do we get there?
Youth Development – Germany is a hotbed of talent with many many fantastic young players coming through each year, I plan to use my academy system to promote from within where possible, as well as cherry picking some of the finest talents from the country. The medium-term plan will be to invest heavily in our Youth Development structure to improve the coaching and recruitment network and give us the best chance of success. Roster Limit of 2 free signings per season.
Dominant Football – I will try to create a style of play at the club where we use our superior technical players to dominate possession on the pitch and use clever movement and passing to create openings for the forward players to wreak havoc.
Buy Young – Where we cannot use players trained at our club for the team, I will look to complete the squad with young physically and technically gifted players who can become mainstays in the team themselves or can be sold on to bankroll the youth development at the club. Of course, there will be the odd experienced, wiser head at the club to help the young players a little, but these will be the exception, rather than the rule. Roster Limit of 3 old vets.
National Pride - This sort of ties into the Youth Development tack. Our requirement is a restriction of German nationality after the initial round of contracts expire.
Next up: Coach introduction