Rouven Schröder: We need to be a community – and we need to act like one
Rouven Schröder has eagerly stepped up to his new job as FC Schalke 04 sporting director with a lot of tasks to complete. On Friday (28 May), the 45-year-old was officially introduced at a press conference. "I’m very proud. My time here has already been so intense, with so much Schalke, that makes me really want to get to work," said Schröder, who is no stranger to the Ruhr region.
Born in Sauerland, the former pro spent some of his playing career at VfL Bochum and MSV Duisburg. “I feel right at home here. This clarity, this transparency, this openness is just good for me,” said Schröder, referring to the mentality of people in the Ruhr.
For a few weeks now, Schröder has been working closely with the other sporting representatives on the future of the club. “It’s important to talk less and take more action,” he stressed, adding that, as a team-player himself, he would devote all his passion to trying to make the club successful. “We need to be a community – and not just say it, we need to act like one as well,” said Schröder.
Added strength for the first team
New to the team next season: André Hechelmann as head scout/scouting director and Jörn Menger as athletic director. Gerald Asamoah will also dedicate his entire work to the first team in a managerial role, reporting directly to Schröder. “For me it is extremely important for Gerald Asamoah and the coach to be my primary points of contact in the team,” said Schröder. “We saw a demand in the athletic department and have been able to employ a new director in Jörn Menger. André Hechelmann will join the scouting team as head scout and department director. His network gives him unbelievable expertise in this sector. I am very pleased that we’ve been able to acquire all their services.”
The dressing room has to be spot on.
S04 have also completed the signing of four players, who are expected to play an important role in the newly set-up team: Danny Latza, Simon Terodde, Victor Pálsson and Marcin Kaminski will play for the Royal Blues as of next season. “It’s important to have a good mix. We’ve got a significant contingent of experienced players,” said Schröder. “Our players from the Knappenschmiede will also get their chance. We need a core of players who have proven themselves under pressure and can lead the young players on the pitch,” he added. Schröder expects there will be a lot more games that the Knappen need to dictate in the second division. “This means we will need good passing and creativity from the back, so we can break down teams that sit deeper. We also need robust players, though, who aren’t afraid of getting stuck in,” said Schröder, for whom homogenous squad building is elementary for success. “The dressing room has to be spot on.”
Suitable metrics needed for new player
As for filling still outstanding positions in the squad, plans are well in motion, revealed Schröder. “Despite everything, we need to keep an eye on squad size. It is clear that we will need to offload players,” said the sporting director. Budgeting is a most-significant consideration when it comes to looking for new signings. “There will be certain metrics that we will keep in place,” underlined Schröder. “Then we will get a sense of how much this player wants to be at Schalke and help ensure the club has a brighter future. If that turns out not to be the case, we will not be offering a contract to that player.”