Dimitrios Grammozis wants to channel his ambition into the team
Dimitrios Grammozis has a hectic few days behind him. Not long after signing his contract as FC Schalke 04’s new head coach, the 42-year-old began formal introductions with the management team and some of the players, all the while focussing on the task at hand: An important home game against 1. FSV Mainz 05 this Friday night (20:30 CET kick-off).
“I would like to channel my ambition and my drive into the team. Togetherness is particularly important to me,” said the Wuppertal-born Greek native. “Having grown up in the area, I know what makes Schalke 04 tick, I know what makes the people here tick and I know how much this club means to them. I am fully on board with my new task. My talks with Peter Knäbel were very good. I got the feeling straight away that he would like to work with me.”
Following the Royal Blues closely
Grammozis revealed that he had previously been in talks with Jochen Schneider, who was relieved of his duties as Head of Sport and Communication a few days ago. “I already started to get a picture of the job in those talks,” said the coach. When FC Schalke 04 decided to go a different way with the coaching team before Christmas, Grammozis continued to follow the Knappen’s progress closely. “This team has quality. For a number of reasons, they’ve not been able to show this quality on the pitch in recent weeks and months. I am 100 percent sure, however, that they will do so against Mainz.”
As a footballer, you should never be saying to yourself after a game that you could have given more.
Precious little time remains before his coaching debut with the club: “My main task for the coming hours and days is to get an exact overview of the individual players and the team as a whole. I would like to get to know the lads – as players and as people,” said Grammozis, whose window for working on any aspects of the team’s game is practically non-existent. “But this is not a team of beginners – they’re all professionals. It will be possible to work on two or three different things that we can approach the Mainz game with,” said the 42-year-old, who expects only one thing of his new team against Mainz: “I expect the team to give absolutely everything they have for the whole 90 minutes on Friday – and I am sure they will. As a footballer, you should never be saying to yourself after a game that you could have given more.”
Looking forward to working with Mike Büskens
Grammozis will be enjoying a lot of support in his new role. “As far as the set-up of staff and personnel is concerned, Schalke 04 is a whole new kettle of fish compared to my old club SV Darmstadt 98,” said the coach. “I’ve been welcomed with open arms here and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues,” he added. One of Grammozis’ new colleagues is Mike Büskens, someone who the new head coach rates very highly. “He knows the club inside-out,” he said. Earlier this week, Mike Büskens took on responsibility as the new assistant coach on a permanent basis.
Another one of Grammozis’ new assistants is Sven Piepenbrock, who is also new to Schalke. “We got to know one another in my days as a youth team coach at VfL Bochum. We noticed at the time that we get on very well as people as well. It emerged that this could be a coaching partnership for the future,” said Grammozis, who counted on Piepenbrock’s support at his most recent coaching spell in Darmstadt. “Sven is a perfectionist and he’s crazy about football. You can call him at 3am just to talk about it. Having been born in Oberhausen, he knows his way around the Ruhr region and also knows how what makes Schalke 04 tick.”