Huddersfield hires another coach from Dortmund reserve team
HUDDERSFIELD, England (AP) — Struggling English Premier League club Huddersfield turned to Borussia Dortmund’s reserve team to find another manager, hiring Jan Siewert on Monday to succeed David Wagner.
The 36-year-old Siewert signed a contract to the end of the 2020-21 season a week after Wagner left while the northern English team was in last place.
“Let me start by addressing the obvious,” Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle said, announcing the appointment. “We enjoyed tremendous success under our previous head coach, David Wagner, and we’ve subsequently appointed a new head coach that bares many similarities to him; a young, aspirational German from Borussia Dortmund II.
“However, that does a disservice to Jan, who is his own man. There is much more to this appointment than that.”
Wagner left Dortmund’s second team in 2015 to lead Huddersfield and his successor, Daniel Farke, also went on to land a first-team job in England at second-tier side Norwich.
Siewert played in Germany’s lower leagues with Mayen, Bad Breisig and Montabaur and embarked on a coaching career in 2009 as a junior coordinator for the German football federation. He had spells as assistant coach of Germany’s Under-17 and Under-18 sides.
After one year as head coach of fourth-tier side Rot-Weiss Essen, Siewert moved on to Bochum, where he was assistant to Dutch head coach Gertjan Verbeek before joining Dortmund in 2017.
“We first spoke with him over two years ago and we’ve kept in communication since, watching his progress with interest,” Hoyle said. “When David let us know he intended to step aside at the end of the season, we quickly moved to meet Jan; his name was still at the top of our list of possible successors.
“There was an immediate connection. You could see why he was so highly thought of. He is articulate, passionate and he has a huge ambition to be a success.”
Siewert was mistakenly thought to have been in Huddersfield’s directors’ box during Sunday’s match against Manchester City.
A man bearing an uncanny resemblance to the coach was asked live on Sky Sports whether he was Town’s proposed new manager and replied referencing a nearby town: “No, that’s not me. I’m Martin from Wakefield!”
Siewert’s doppelganger was Martin Warhurst, a match-day guest of Huddersfield’s, and chief executive of the Martin House hospice.
Warhurst featured in a club video with Siewert announcing the appointment, with Huddersfield tweeting the hashtag #NotMartinFromWakefield.