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Borussia Dortmund are welcoming back two familiar faces to strengthen their sporting competence at youth level: Michael Skibbe will re-join as U19 boss and head coach of all youth teams, while Otto Addo will serve as a link between the youth and senior teams in a newly created role of "Talent Coach". Both men will begin their roles on 1 July 2019.
BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said of the appointments: "The appointments of Michael Skibbe and Otto Addo illustrate our increasing professionalism in the fundamentally important transition stage between U17 and U23 levels in order to ensure a consistently high number of talented youngsters are promoted to the senior squad." Youth coordinator Lars Ricken added: "These two appointments mean we're sustainably and strategically well-positioned to ensure the best-possible development of our young players."
Skibbe will replace the current U19 boss Benjamin Hoffmann, who has been earmarked for a different yet important role within the BVB youth setup: the 37-year-old will be the sporting director at developmental level. Under Hoffmann's leadership, Borussia Dortmund won the German A-Youth Championship in the summer of 2017 – one of five domestic championship titles won by the U17 or U19 age categories over the past five seasons. "We will not rest on our laurels because of these successes. We want to continually develop and play a pioneering role in German youth football," said Ricken as he explained the reasons behind the restructuring. "Another factor here is that in Michael Skibbe, we're bringing back to the Youth Performance Centre a former coach of ours at youth level who has spent many years working at professional level and who has the experience and knowledge to ensure we remain successful in the future."
Otto Addo, meanwhile, will serve as a link to the senior squad. The 43-year-old former striker used to play for BVB – he was actually one of Michael Zorc's first signings following his appointment as sporting director – between 1999 and 2005, making 98 Bundesliga appearances (16 goals) and winning the 2002 title during his time at the club. He remains a fan favourite for a moment of magic produced in a UEFA Cup game in September 2003, when he scored a spectacular goal with a torn cruciate ligament that was later voted by ARD-Sportschau viewers as "Goal of the Year". Addo, who has worked in a similar position for Borussia Mönchengladbach since 2017 and was previously employed as a youth coach at Hamburg, will be responsible for helping to promote Borussia Dortmund's most talented youngsters to the senior squad and is in charge of their supervision and additional training.
At BVB, Skibbe is virtually returning to his roots. He worked for Borussia Dortmund between 1989 and the start of 2000 – initially as youth coordinator and then as the coach of the U19 squad that won the German A-Youth Championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Following a season spent in charge of the U23s (still called BVB Amateurs at that point), he inherited the position of head coach from Nevio Scala and led Borussia Dortmund from 10th in the table back into the UEFA Champions League. Upon leaving that position on 4 February 2000, Skibbe initially returned to the youth setup. The next step at his career came at the German Football Association (DFB), where he worked as part of a dual leadership with Rudi Völler and oversaw a run to the 2002 World Cup final. The 53-year-old also won the Turkish Super Cup with Galatasaray in 2009 and most recently coached the Greek national team.
In addition, Ricken said: "I know – also from my own personal experience – that Michael Skibbe will finetune the players in preparation for senior level and will simultaneously support and accompany our young coaching teams with their further training and development."