Barnsley Assistant Head Coach Andreas Winkler has a wealth of experience having undertaken various roles within football during his time in his native Germany.
The 48-year-old started his playing career at Bayern Munich, where he came through the famed Bavarian academy, before retiring in 2003.
His coaching journey began and, upon attaining his qualifications and badges, he formed a friendship with new Reds’ Head Coach Daniel Stendel.
“We stayed in touch over five years,” said Winkler. “We didn’t see a lot of each other because he was in Hannover and I was in Essen, but we talked many times about football – about his philosophy when he was under 19s coach and when he was promoted to the first team.
“When he played close to my town I visited him, but we have never worked together on a project so this is something new for us.
“This is something new for me – I’ve never been an assistant coach – but I think what I’ve done before will help me to be a good assistant and to assist Daniel. We can be successful.
“The Club also has an academy; I was the Head of Academy for 14 years, so I think my experience in different jobs can help me – how to handle and treat different people. The only thing I need to do is improve my English.”
Preparation for the 2018/19 campaign are now well underway after the players returned for pre-season training on Monday.
The coaching staff will now have an opportunity to evaluate the squad and begin to implement their strategies, ideologies and philosophies ahead of the first game against Oxford United on Saturday 4 August.
“In two or three weeks we can see if they like the philosophy and if it fits,” continued Winkler. “I know that the staff are very positive; we will be like a train and they can jump on. The coaching staff want to look at every player here.
“We thought that the atmosphere might have been a bit of a problem because of the relegation, but the players were really open minded.
“It’s a really professional Club with great facilities and very hard-working people on the staff, so I’m really excited for this season and to work with the team.”
Our new coaching staff have already started to find their feet in Barnsley and even sampled one of the local watering holes at the weekend.
Stendel, Winkler and first team coach Christopher Stern were in town to watch the World Cup and it was smiles all around as Toni Kroos scored a dramatic later winner for Germany against Sweden.
“We know that English fans want Germany to lose, but when they realised that the new Head Coach, Daniel, was here, they loved Germany,” laughed Winkler.
“There were not only fans, there was a concert too – a very good English band. They played a lot of good rock music and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve never seen a pub like that and it looked like one of the best in Barnsley.”