German Hockey is restructuring its junior section in competitive sports as the nation looks to put youth at the forefront ahead of the LA 2028 Olympics, as well as bringing on more female coaches.
The implementation of the new structure until the end of 2024 will be managed by a project team led by former men’s national coach Stefan Kermas on a freelance basis. In addition, Rein van Eijk and Johannes Schmitz will occupy the position of those responsible for the male and female coaches divisions from 2024.
Martin Schultze, Board Member for Sport and Sports Director of the DHB, said: “With our realignment, we are taking an important step towards the further professionalisation of our youth teams and thus the better training of the senior national team players of tomorrow.
“By separating the sporting-conceptual management and the youth coaches, we are able to differentiate tasks more clearly from each other than before. With this step, we want to establish our chosen path in the junior ranks and thus create conditions to be competitive in Los Angeles 2028.”
Women’s national coach Valentin Altenburg is also enthusiastic about the structural realignment in junior competitive sports. He said: “This is a strong signal. From now on, our greatest coaching talents will be able to take care of the promotion of our German hockey talents even more consistently.”
With the restructuring that has begun, the DHB is also pursuing the goal of bringing more female coaches into responsible positions.
New national coach U18 Female will be Corinna Zerbs, who was previously assistant coach of the U21 female team at the DHB and most recently also looked after the women’s A squad and the U21 female team at the Austrian Hockey Association.
Friederike Sievers is part of the U16 Female coaching team. Dominic Giskes will be the U21 coach of the junior women’s team from January 2024, succeeding Akim Bouchouchi.
Giskes was previously in charge of the U16 male team at the DHB. Bouchouchi will become national science coach at the DHB on January 1, 2024. Paul Koch, who was previously assistant coach in this youth team, is new in charge of the U18 men’s team.