It has been described as a “football fairytale” in the Austrian media but Rene Maric’s supersonic career progression from niche tactics blogger to assistant coach at Europa League semifinalists FC Salzburg is really something else, entirely.
The 25-year-old doesn’t owe his success to an acquaintance with a friendly wizard or to a quadruped’s backside producing gold coins but to total dedication, years of detailed work and a keen intellect, as well as the networking possibilities afforded by the internet. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale china Maric’s unorthodox rise also underlines the changing nature of coaching: he’s one of the leading lights for football’s move beyond the traditional emphasis on experience and status towards a more open, meritocratic system that rewards ideas and application.
Like many young coaches, Maric started thinking about football in depth when an injury curtailed his modest playing career at TSU Handenberg, a seventh-division team from a small Upper Austrian town close to the German border. The psychology graduate combined volunteer work as an U-17 coach with writing lengthy, fairly impenetrable treatises on tactics and players for abseits.at and the Spielverlagerung blog. While some football journalists belittled the jargon-heavy prose and the accompanying vector graphics of Spielverlagerung authors as the wilful over-complication of a simple game, some readers thought they offered real insight.
One such admirer turned out to be Thomas Tuchel. The then-Mainz 05 coach contacted Maric after coming across a piece dissecting his team’s playing patterns against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern. “He noticed it, sent us an email and invited us to a meeting,” Maric told ESPN FC. Tuchel was impressed enough to commission Maric and some of his co-bloggers to write scouting reports on opposition teams.
Maric, a football-obsessive who spends up to 14 hours a day studying or coaching the game — “I tried to to leave it alone for a day during the winter break but didn’t manage it,” he said — soon found more work as a freelance consultant. Premier League clubs asked him to explain the mechanics of Guardiola’s and Jürgen Klopp’s pressing game; Ted Knutson’s StatsBomb team tasked him with scouting players that could be of interest to Brentford or FC Midtjylland.
While embarking on his consulting work, Maric continued to manage teams at TSU Handenberg and wrote a book on coaching techniques before a much bigger opportunity to put his ideas into practice arose in the summer of 2016. Once more,buy nfl jerseys cheap a manager was eager to get in touch following one of Maric’s tactics blogs. Marco Rose, FC Salzburg’s U-18 coach, was so impressed with the analysis that him and Maric struck up a friendship, discussing tactics for hours on end. At the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Rose, a former teammate and player of Klopp at Mainz, hired him as an assistant coach.