Thomas Schaaf, trainer legend at Werder Bremen, is quitting - for real!
and immediately!!! During the match against Nürnberg, Wolfgang Rolff and Matthias Hönerbach will coach.
"As we had said, in the past few days we analysed our sporting development and came to the conclusion that we wanted to venture a new beginning. We thank Thomas for everything he brought to Werder Bremen in more than 40 years of belonging to the club as a player and coach. The club celebrated excellent sporting success with him and he characterised Werder," said manager Thomas Eichin in the name of his management colleagues Klaus Filbry and Klaus-Dieter Fischer. "After battling to avoid relegation, we were of the collective opinion that a consensual separation was the best for the planned new start." A successor has not yet been named.
Schaaf bid adieu to Werder Bremen. "I had an extraordinary time here, connected with a lot of positive experiences and great successes. I would like to thank everyone who accompanied me along the way and supported me. I wish Werder Bremen a successful future," said Schaaf after 14 years as head coach.
Schaaf had been the longest current serving Bundesliga coach as the Mannheim native took office on 9 May 1999 and guided Werder to the league and cup double in 2004. Altogether, the coach won three German Cup crowns (1999, 2004 and 2009) and turned Werder into a regular in international competition. Under his leadership, the Green-Whites took part in Champions League seasons and played four seasons in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. In total, he coached Bremen's professionals in 644 competitive matches.
Schaaf looks back on an impressive career along the Weser. He has been an SV Werder member since 1972, rising through the club's youth system until reaching the Bundesliga. Already before retiring from the game, Schaaf took over coaching the Green-Whites' youth teams and coached Bremen's second team after he stopped playing and took over as professional coach in 1999.
*sniff* I'll miss him, but after the last 3 seasons I think it's for the best.