Volker witzleben, who has been a firefighter at TSV geiselwind since last fall, has some of the prerequisites for a job as a soccer coach. Witzleben spent fourteen years at the top level with DJK schweinfurt, which was then in the national league. At the end of his playing days, he settled in geiselwind, where he enjoyed the end of his playing career. In his day-to-day work as a consultant, he conveys strategies to companies and their employees on how they can generate more success. For a football coach ideal conditions – one would think.
In addition, witzleben moved back to geiselwind last year after eight years abroad. In the fall, when TSV was in rock bottom and slipping to the last place in the table, the coach at the time, jochen limmer, had to leave. Geiselwind’s managers knocked on witzleben’s door to ask if he would help out as a trainer. "It was a matter of the heart for me, because the club and the players are worth it. As a former geiselwinder, i couldn’t say no," he said in response to a request that came as a surprise to him.
From then on, things went according to one of the guiding principles that can be found on the homepage of consultant volker witzleben. "No more complaining. It’s time to make the right decisions."Apparently, the new coach has drawn the right conclusions, because until the winter break geiselwind was able to record first successes with seven points from four games. The trend continued, 21 points from eleven games, that sounds good. Only on the easter double matchday a 0:1 home defeat followed against schwebheim.
How he made the turn for the better? With preserved warhorses, such as 38-year-old matthias hyna, whom he reactivated, and with a changed tactic. "The game was far too offensively oriented. The team had a goal ratio of 19:38," says the coach. "In my time, it’s 11:5." Numbers he names off the top of his head. The team of the former libero and defensive player has recovered on defense. Even the previously almost chronic home weakness is now almost a thing of the past. Another important aspect he tackled: motivation. "You try to give the boys self-confidence. They can’t have forgotten. One tries that they bring themselves over small things again into the play, over the simplest things."
Problems with the attitude of some players, as raised by his two predecessors in office, he may not hang too high. "In every team there are players whose attitude you find wanting. But at the end of the day, it’s a pound squad."He is convinced that the "super disaster," as witzleben calls TSV geiselwind’s relegation to the A-class, can be avoided. Everyone had to pull together, form a team, just as he exemplifies with achim eisenmann. The coach of the second team was and is one of the first contacts for witzleben. "I used to play with achim myself. He is very important, he knows the club and the players."
The interim coach is also counting on the help of the spectators in the race to stay in the league. It can be done, but witzleben is aware that it will not be a self-runner. If the team achieves the class goal, witzleben wants to throw "a huge party". Until then, there are still seven days to play, so 21 points to be awarded, which will not be so easy to get. Next up for geiselwind is the hurdle at table-toppers kleinlangheim on sunday. Then it’s off to the resurgent ASV untereisenheim. Fur witzleben "two very nice chunks".
Whether he has not found joy in being a coach? Maybe so, but that’s not possible for professional reasons, he says. In addition, the whole thing was taking more of a toll on him mentally than he had thought. "You go to bed in the evening with five positions and then wake up with the sixth one. It’s not that easy, I admire the people who have been doing it for years."
As a spectator, he will be happy to come back for the next round, when his successor andreas heckel is in office as player-coach. "This is the right way, heckel is a local after all. In general, the goal is to get the locals back to play for geiselwind again."This will hardly succeed in the case of relegation.