Wolfsburg hires Joerg Schmadtke as sporting director

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg has appointed Joerg Schmadtke as sporting director effective from July.

Wolfsburg is betting on the 54-year-old Schmadtke to change the side’s fortunes after two seasons fighting against relegation from the Bundesliga. The Volkswagen-backed club only secured its top-flight status on Monday by beating second-division Holstein Kiel in a playoff. It also needed a playoff to survive the previous season.

Wolfsburg chairman Frank Witter says ”we’ve found the right man for the job of restructuring the professional side of the club. He’ll make sure that we return to winning ways with characteristic competency, passion and engagement.”

Schmadtke, a former goalkeeper, enjoyed notable success as sporting director with Cologne, Hannover and Alemannia Aachen.