Sebastian Kehl was met with a barrage of camera flashes as he was presented as Head of the Licensed Player Department by BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke and Sporting Director Michael Zorc on Tuesday. "His impressiveness stems from three main attributes that are of fundamental importance to the job profile: competence, character, and identification", emphasised Watzke.
Many club legends or icons such as Siegfried Held, Norbert Dickel, Karl-Heinz Riedle or Lars Ricken have been integrated into the life of the club. "The captains of the successful epochs" are accorded special status, according to Watzke: Wolfgang Paul, who captained the side to the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1966, heads the Advisory Committee; Michael Zorc (Bundesliga title winner in 1995 and 1996, DFB Cup winner 1989, Champions League winner 1997) has held the office of Sporting Director for 20 years (previously Sports Manager); and now, after a three year absence, the captain of the championship winning sides of 2011 and 2012 is back on board: Sebastian Kehl. In a new role. With a clear approach and unambiguous targets.
The 38-year-old stated the need "to meet with challenges collectively" and added: "I am looking forward to an exciting assignment." Michael Zorc explained that this task, among other things, lies in the overall organisation of the licensed player segment. Kehl is charged with "rooting out undesirable developments and minimising frictional losses through his continuous presence". First impressions of their cooperation led Sporting Director Michael Zorc to note: "The way he goes about his work impresses me."
"The transfer market has become more complex and complicated"
"Zorc determined "in the course of the previous season" that the remit of a sporting director is changing significantly, and that the requirements and demands had gone up another level: "The transfer market has become more complex and complicated." The "expansion at managerial level" was unavoidable. Under Kehl's leadership, a "refocusing on values such as discipline and mentality" will be at the fore. There is also the added bonus that "we further our sporting competence with Sebastian Kehl."
The new head of the Licensed Player Department wants to "recreate that Dortmund feeling". Kehl explained: "Dortmund is a city of workers. This club is something unique. It is very important that the players identify with this club. Discipline, respect, and a down-to-earth attitude are virtues of BVB." The 38-year-old expects the professional players to show "great willingness so as to develop a performance culture once again, and to significantly improve the relationship with the fans."
"Things won't get better straight away"
Hans-Joachim Witzke nodded to these words. In the preceding "discussion rounds, which were tough yet held with great trust", he got the impression that the returning Kehl "was bursting with vigour, ambition and commitment". The former midfield player also gave this impression when on the podium, though he noted: "A new start requires time. Things won't get better straight away simply because there is someone new here."