His mission at HSV is the Bundesliga

HSV is a special club for Steffen Baumgart. He used to be a fan, now he is the club’s coach. His mission is as clear as his focus.

The pedigree in Hamburg’s Volkspark is long. In October 2018, Christian Titz was the first to be fired by the HSV bosses due to a lack of confidence in promotion to the Bundesliga. Hannes Wolf, Dieter Hecking and Daniel Thioune didn’t get past fourth place. Most recently it happened to Tim Walter, who made it into relegation twice. And now Steffen Baumgart is sitting as captain on the big second division battleship HSV. He should achieve what no one has ever achieved before him.

Baumgart, 52, knows the Bundesliga well and has already played 113 games as a coach in Cologne and Paderborn alone. He also knows Hamburger SV well – he has been a fan of the “Rothosen” since he was a child. “It’s impressive” to wear the diamond on your work clothes, says the 52-year-old at the start. It has long been his goal to train the Hamburg team. “If you decided on a club as a child, it stays that way. You change your wife more often than you change your club.” At the same time, the Rostock native made it clear: “I’m not here because I’m an HSV fan.”

Steffen Baumgart wants to go to the Bundesliga with HSV

After all, his presence has a completely different reason: “The advancement is the reason why I’m here.” In the best case scenario, this will happen this season. Steffen Baumgart was convinced that this is a big but realistic goal: “We still play at home against St. Pauli and Kiel and with this team we are in a position to beat anyone. I’m not clairvoyant and can’t say “We will, but I’m convinced we can.” His team is one of the best in the league.

The 52-year-old, it quickly becomes clear, has a lot of desire. Want to go to HSV, want to join the Bundesliga mission, want to get started on the pitch with his new boys. The end in Cologne was only two months ago, but the energy reserves of Steffen Baumgart, who is often full of energy on the sidelines, are apparently full again. In any case, he didn’t have to think long about accepting the offer in Hamburg.

Emotional and energetic, players and fans in Hamburg know that all too well. Both characteristics were also attested to his predecessor Tim Walter. There will be no 180-degree turnaround from everything the 48-year-old has built at the Volksparkstadion. It shouldn’t be: “I’ll try to develop ideas together with the team on how we can continue to be successful. Because, I have to say, we weren’t unsuccessful.”

Steffen Baumgart wants to let HSV play this kind of football

As a professional, Steffen Baumgart was once a striker. As a coach, the Rostock native also thinks primarily about the future: “For me it’s about principles. I want a high level of aggressiveness when playing against the ball, a high and courageous approach so that we always try to score goals.” HSV managed that recently under Walter, but repeatedly failed due to their own defense.

The “zero” won’t happen often with him, said Baumgart. But a lot of goals. “What characterizes this team is its high quality after winning the ball, a good transition game and finding good opportunities.” Not only is the class there, the self-confidence is also high enough despite the recent results. “It’s a team that keeps coming back. You can only do that if you have self-confidence.”

Steffen Baumgart consolidated the clear, focused impression from the press conference a little later at the first training session of his term in office. The 52-year-old used a loud and clear tone towards his players. The main focus was on working with the ball, and the new head coach also practiced tackling skills.