Schaan Redux – Prelude

From a young age my dream was becoming a professional football, a dream I shared with many boys my age but as I grew older I found out I was not actually any good as a footballer. In the youth teams, I played as a keeper because I was no good on the field and on the ball. In my teenage years, this became very apparent and I gave up on the dream of becoming a footballer. I still however kept footballing at a low level in one of the reserve teams more for fun than anything else but I started to focus on coaching instead of becoming a footballer. I was born and raised in Liechtenstein and when I was a teenager we moved to England because of my father’s work. At the age of twelve, I did The FA Junior Football Leader Award course and FA Age Appropriate Coaching course and worked my way up to FA Level 1 in Coaching Football when I was only 16.

When I went off to university I already had my FA Level 2 in Coaching Football and experience as a youth coach for the youngest age group. I went to the University Campus of Football Business and got my Football Coaching & Talent Development bachelor’s degree. Even with a degree, it was not easy finding a job a coach that would actually pay the bills. Eventually, I moved back to Liechtenstein when I got a job at the Fussball Akademie Vorarlberg in Austria which was less than an hour’s drive from where I lived. After a couple of years of coaching the youth teams at Vorarlberg, I got the opportunity to become the head coach of the third team of Verein für Bewegung Hohenems which was just over the border. They played in the Landesklasse Oberland (Vbg) the tenth tier in the Austrian football pyramid. Their first team now played in the Regionalliga West the fourth tier after they had two promotions in three years.

I hoped to work my way up in the club and maybe become head coach of the club or maybe I would get a chance elsewhere. Being the coach of a third team wasn’t really what I had hoped for, it did not feel like being a head coach it lacked independence and responsibility as I was dependent on the manager of the first team and the second team who regularly poached players for their teams. It became obvious that in the short term there was no real chance of working myself up in the club anytime soon so I had to look elsewhere. As often as possible as my team did not have to play I would go to Sportplatz Rheinwiese to watch Schaan FC the local team. Lucas Eberle who had played for the club for many years had taken over as manager as player/manager but it was not a good season and it was already announced that he would step down as manager and become player/coach next season.

I knew this was my chance, I started a conversation with the chairman Daniel Bosson who was up for election next year and casually dropped in the conversation that I was a manager myself and that I was looking for the opportunity to become head coach of a club. I basically told him I had a bachelor’s in Football Coaching & Talent Development, my experience, and my vision and how I enjoy developing players and how I would run the team. The chairman was impressed by my knowledge and vision and promised he would add me to the shortlist for the position of head coach. A couple of days later I got a call for the interview for the job which went very well I thought but you never really know for sure. A week later I got the call that I got the job.

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