The Deutsche Fußball-Bund (DFB) has granted Manuel Baum a release from his contract, with the Germany U18 coach taking over as head coach of Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 with immediate effect. Baum has worked for the DFB since 1st July 2019. Alongside his duties as youth coach of the U18s, U19s and U20s, he also assisted with the DFB academy's coach training programme.
Manuel Baum said: "I will remember my time with the DFB in a very positive light. The work with the youth teams and with the DFB academy helped me develop both as a coach and as a person. The DFB allowed and supported me to discover new ways of thinking through further education and training alongside my day-to-day work. In addition, I have had the opportunity to work with many skilled and extremely committed people at the DFB, which has always given me great pleasure. I really appreciate the way in which Oliver Bierhoff enabled my move to Schalke to happen in an efficient manner, and his understanding throughout this process. He immediately understood how exciting the opportunity of working with this club was for me, and how much I wanted it."
"An accolade for the quality of coach we have in our ranks"
Joti Chatzialexiou, the leader of sport for the national team, explained: "The talks with Schalke 04 and Manuel Baum proceeded in a professional, friendly, and constructive way. The DFB had no intention of standing in the way of Manuel's desire to join Schalke. From the first day, he put 100% effort into his job as coach for the Germany youth teams, totally committed himself to the development of young talents, and has always brought a lot of expertise to the coaching team. His move to the Bundesliga is an accolade for the quality of coach we have in our ranks. We wish Manuel all the best and every success at Schalke."
Meikel Schönweitz, head coach of the Germany youth teams, said: "In the coaching teams of the youth set-up, we bring together different types of people with lots of different skills that complement each other. This enables our coaches to acquire a lot of knowledge in order to promote the top talents in Germany in the best possible way, but also provides clubs and associations with key information on a regular basis. In addition to his work with the team, Manuel has had the opportunity over the past few months to gain a different perspective on the business, broaden his own horizons, and gain a lot of valuable experience. He can now apply all of this to his daily work on the pitch. The goal must be that the DFB and clubs do not see each other as competitors, but rather benefit from each other and from their work together. Manuel's move to a Bundesliga club is a good example of this."
The DFB will announce in due course how the arrangements for a replacement for the position of Germany U18s coach will be structured. In the upcoming international break, the DFB youth staff will attend a training course in Duisburg.