Huddersfield Town have sprung somewhat of a surprise in appointing David Wagner’s successor at the John Smith’s Stadium, with the club opting against a tried and trusted name to guide them away from the league’s relegation zone.
The Terriers’ board have instead gone for the risky option of an unknown quantity, choosing Borussia Dortmund II manager Jan Siewert as the club’s saviour.
Whilst Huddersfield know plenty about appointing a manager from BVB’s second team, the club’s fans and English football fans in general can be forgiven for knowing very little about the incoming manager.
Here are six things you need to know about the new Huddersfield Town boss..
1. He Has Never Played or Managed Outside of Germany
Siewert’s appointment with the Terriers will be the German’s first footballing venture outside of his homeland.
He only played in the lower tiers of the German game, starring as a defensive midfielder for TuS Mayen, SG Bad Breisig before retiring in 2009 at the early age of 26.
His first managerial role came at RW Essen in 2015, where he left after just one season to join VFL Bochum. He was assistant manager of the Under-19 side before assuming full control, moving on a year later to take charge of BVB’s second string side.
2. Norwich Boss Daniel Farke Was His Dortmund II Predecessor
If you scour the list of past Borussia Dortmund II managers, you’ll turn up some rather familiar names.
David Wagner was the manager of the German club’s second team up until 2015, when he left to join Huddersfield. He was replaced at Dortmund II by Daniel Farke, who stayed at BVB for two seasons before moving on to take the top job at Championship promotion hopefuls Norwich.
Siewert now leaves Dortmund after one-and-a-half year’s in charge of their second team, hoping to follow on from the successes of those who made the same step in the years before him.
3. He is Now the Youngest Current Premier League Manager
Aged 36, Jan Siewert is now the Premier League’s current youngest manager – with previous record holder Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe five years his senior.
He is, however, far from the youngest Premier League manager of all time. That record is held by Attilio Lombardo, who was 32 when he was employed as player-manager by Crystal Palace back in March 1998.
In Siewert’s homeland however, there are some fine examples of young managers who are succeeding at top Bundesliga clubs. Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann and Domenico Tedesco of Schalke are two such examples, and Siewert could look to them both for inspiration.
4. He Favours Attacking Football
Terriers fans will be pleased to know that their incoming manager is a fan of taking the game to the opponent.
Siewart has adopted an attacking 4-3-3 during his time in Dortmund, with his side looking to break opponents down with fluid, attacking football. His Borussia Dortmund II side have scored 36 goals in 21 games in their Regionalliga West campaign this season – the third best in the division.
This could have been a key factor in his appointment, with Huddersfield really struggling in front of goal during this campaign, having scored only 16 times.
5. He Leaves Dortmund II in Fourth Place in the German Fourth Tier
Siewert’s management record is pretty consistent, having finished in fourth place in all but one of his managerial campaigns.
He joins Huddersfield with BVB again in fourth place – hopefully a signal to Terriers supporters that he can brings success and stability to the club. His Premier League targets will be rather different, but there’s encouraging signs that Siewert knows how to get the best out of his players.
6. He is Not Martin From Wakefield
A rather comical moment unfolded in the director’s box of Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium during the Terriers’ 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.
During the second half, Sky Sports cameras picked up a reporter approaching whom he thought was Siewert, quietly sitting in the crowd watching his new side. The man however was not Siewert – he was Martin from Wakefield.
The Premier League strugglers ingeniously called upon the doppelganger for Siewert’s unveiling video, with Martin sat in Siewert’s new office posing as the club’s new head coach before being given his marching orders by the German.