Sascha Riether: I was up for it straight away

Around six weeks after his final game as a professional in the Bundesliga, Sascha Riether has been appointed to a new role at FC Schalke 04. The 36-year-old will act as a coordinator between the first team, the coaching staff, and the board.

“When Jochen Schneider called me, I was up for it straight away. I didn’t need any time to think about it and I agreed right away,” said the former Schalke defender, who first spoke about his new role with Schneider shortly following the end of the season. A lot of Riether’s former teammates were quick to message him to congratulate him on the job: “They’re glad that I’m staying at the club.”

Coordinator between players and coaching staff

Sascha Riether has already been in intensive discussions with both Jochen Schneider and Michael Reschke for the last few weeks. “It’s very interesting to see everything from another perspective,” said Riether. He also revealed that he’s massively looking forward to the job: “Above all, my job is to coordinate all activities in the performance centre. I’ll be with the team everyday and I’ll be the link between the players and the coaching staff. I’ll also have a direct line to the board.”

The 36-year-old also believes that his new role fits him well, having already been someone for players to turn to in recent years: “The guys could come and talk to me if they had any problems. It wasn’t just the younger ones, the older ones were asking me for advice, too.” However, Riether admitted that his new role will be a different one.

Strong arguments

It won’t be through speeches or team talks that Riether tries to convince people going forward, rather through strong arguments. “The players know me and know that I have strong opinions on certain things. I’ll express these and therefore I won’t change too much when dealing with the guys.”

The players know me and know that I have strong opinions on certain things.

Sascha Riether

Schalke want to learn from their mistakes of last season, and this is the reason why this new position was created for Riether. In addition to the former defender, Massimo Mariotti will also come in to strengthen the team. He will work mostly with young players and new signings, trying to help with the integration process off the pitch. “It’s good that the young players in particular have people they can turn to when they have problems. I think that the club has reacted well there, and in Massimo we have someone who cares about the guys so that they can get off on the right foot,” added Riether.

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