A new era at Borussia Dortmund began with a sparkling smile from Thomas Tuchel as the Black and Yellows' new boss gave his first press conference at 12:08pm on Wednesday. The head coach showed his excitement at the task awaiting him before speaking respectfully about the club, the team, the fans and his predecessor.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic to be the new BVB coach," were the 41-year-old's first words. Tuchel revealed that the very first discussions he had with Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc had "made an impression" on him and that he had developed "a real desire" during his year-long sabbatical "to take over the reins at a top club, a club with great tradition and a real challenger". He added: "When I heard of their interest, it was clear that it was the only place for me." He is also looking forward to experiencing the "power" and "energy" of the fans: "I'm a very emotional coach who goes through the motions too."
Even though the late international matches, which involve a dozen BVB players and last until mid-June, and the upcoming UEFA Europa League qualification matches starting on 30 July represent "a massive hindrance" to the squad's pre-season preparations and go against his credo of "training is the most important thing", the new coach certainly emits an abundance of confidence.
He views BVB as a "challenger and contender" for the top trophies in German domestic football, saying: "We want to be seen as a contender that the quartet of Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen need to take seriously. This means we need to close the gap and to really dedicate ourselves to achieving this."
Tuchel, who only had good things to say about the squad he is inheriting, expects "hard work, modesty, courage, openness and determination" from his players as well as "an atmosphere characterised by commitment and devoid of big egos". The objective is "to develop a sense of community which carries us as a group."
Borussia Dortmund will continue to stand for attacking football. "I'm really looking forward to working with the clearly talented players in our squad," concluded the new coach.
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