He took the job on a temporary basis but turned out to be a success story. Ahead of his final match in charge of Germany Women, Horst Hrubesch has won every match since taking over as coach. He will want to complete his perfect record with a victory this afternoon at home to fellow World Cup participants Spain in Erfurt (16:00 CET). In an interview with DFB.de, the 67 year old reflects on his eight month tenure and speaks about his imminent departure from the team.
DFB.de: Horst Hrubesch, barely anyone can believe that you will be leaving your post as DFB-Frauen head coach after today’s match. Are you feeling down regarding your final match?
Horst Hrubesch: No. I’m looking forward to the match. My time with the team has been fantastic and I will never forget my time here. My contract with the DFB ends on 31st December and I would like to then do what I have always wanted to do. I believe it is a good time for me to leave the time.
DFB.de: You are about to go travelling…
Hrubesch: Yes, my wife and I have been planning a trip for a long time. We always said that we would travel once I retired. We will begin travelling at the start of next year, spending six months in New Zealand before continuing to Malaysia and Singapore before ending in Hawaii and Las Vegas. I would’ve retired a while ago had the opportunity not become available with DFB-Frauen. Today’s match is my final farewell. However, I will travel to France next summer for the World Cup and watch the matches.
DFB.de: Do you therefore feel down ahead of the match today?
Hrubesch: Only pleasure and thankfulness for the opportunity. It has been a lot of fun. I am also grateful for the experience. A temporary contract was the right approach both for me and for the team. You can see this among the players, who now have renewed confidence and have played their part in recent successes. We have performed well. However, the girls also know that there still some way to go. They can rest for 15-20% of the time as the World Cup is still a while away. This team have the quality to do well. The team have to take the momentum they currently have to the tournament in France next summer.
DFB.de: In your opinion, what has been the decisive factors for the team’s successes since you took over?
Hrubesch: I was entering uncharted territory when I took over as coach eight months ago. I have to compliment the girls for the way they embrace my coaching style. This was superb. Everything went smoothly from the very first day and we became a close-knit group. This was also the case with each individual in the squad. It then became easy for me find a solution that allowed the team to progress. This helps to create a sense of belonging in the squad. This was also the decisive factor in how we qualified for the World Cup. The only problem we encountered, which the team still suffers from now, is the lack of goals scored. Overall, the team has improved.
DFB.de: How has the team been able to find its confidence again so quickly?
Hrubesch: Firstly, I was able to win their trust and then I gave them more responsibility. Our aim was to get them to play the football we know they are capable of. The girls have proved this with how well they have played in recent weeks. I also believe they have a strong chance of progressing at the World Cup.
DFB.de: What will you take out of your eight months with the DFB-Frauen?
Hrubesch: I was especially surprised at how open the contact is with the fans. That shows how approachable football can be and this is something I have embodied throughout my career. Professionalism comes from this. The girls always give everything they have, regardless of what that is. They act as role models regarding self-responsibility.
DFB.de: You have won every match you have been in charge of the DFB-Frauen. Are you handing over a strong squad to you successor, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg?
Hrubesch: Martina can certainly build upon our good work. She has been informed of what we are doing through Britta Carlson and there will be a smooth handover. We haven’t made a hasty reaction. I was assured after my first meetings with Martina that she knew everything correctly. She will continue to lead the girls on the path towards the World Cup, bringing her insights into the role. She knows exactly what she wants to do and this is great.