Antonio Di Salvo is the new head coach of the Germany U21s, taking over from the new Turkey national team head coach Stefan Kuntz, under whom Di Salvo used to work as assistant head coach. Hermann Gerland has been newly appointed to the U21 coaching staff as an assistant. DFB.de has summarised the reaction to Di Salvo’s appointment.
Joti Chatzialexiou (national team sporting director): Oliver Bierhoff, Hansi Flick, Meikel Schönweitz and I agreed that Toni Di Salvo should be the next U21 head coach. We are so glad to have been able to appoint our dream candidate. As both a coach and a person, he very much has the qualities necessary for this role. As a former player he knows what it’s like to play in this age group and so he can share his authentic experience with the players. He will also bring many years of designing tactics and strategies to the role, including his recent conceptions of attacking patterns. The appointment of Hermann Gerland has also been made due to his qualities as an expert in this age group, his experience and his innovative capabilities, which are all crucial when coaching a youth team. We thank the DFB presidium for supporting our vision and allowing the smooth transition of Toni from assistant head coach to head coach of our U21 national team.
Meikel Schönweitz (national youth team manager): Our aim is not just to develop players through our youth teams but also our coaches. Our journey together with Toni Di Salvo began in 2013 and he has come on tremendously as a coach and as a person. His precise, analytical methods have made an enormous contribution to the past success of our youth teams, such as the 2017 and 2021 U21 European Championship victories and the 2014 U19 European Championship title. We’ve always known Toni has the potential to take up a role as head coach, and we’re convinced that his qualities will complement those of Hermann Gerland and Daniel Niedzkowski brilliantly. The success of our U21s will be able to continue in near enough identical fashion, which will give our U21 talents the best chance to progress and make the next step up to Hansi Flick’s senior team.
Hansi Flick (national team head coach): This is the next logical step for Toni. He’s got a wealth of experience and has been successful as a youth team coach, going as far back as 2014 as he won the U19 European Championship working under Marcus Sorg. He was part of the U21 coaching staff who reached three European Championship finals, winning two of them. I‘ve known him, his work and his principles when it comes to dealing with players for a long time, and I’ve long since known that he’s capable of being a head coach. This decision also shows that the DFB very much aims to educate their own coaches themselves before offering them opportunities in head-coach roles. The new team of him, Hermann Gerland and Daniel Niedzkowski is a great setup, and the players will only benefit from this. I’m assured this will also have a positive effect on the senior team. I look forward to working with Toni, Hermann and Daniel.
Hermann Gerland (new U21 assistant head coach): I’m looking forward to working with an already hugely successful coaching staff led by Toni Di Salvo, who I’ve known since he was a young player at FC Bayern München. I’m confident that I can support the coaching team with my experience in both youth teams and professional teams. We want to continue down the path that the U21s have been going down in the past few years and achieve our goals. We’ll also be working closely with the senior team and Hansi Flick, someone with whom I’ve enjoyed success in the past.