Dirk Mack leaves TSG Hoffenheim

Bundesliga football club TSG Hoffenheim bids farewell to the Head of Youth Development. Dirk Mack (51) will move to top Chinese club Shandong Luneng with immediate effect, where he will not only perform a first-team coaching staff role but will also play a part in the development and streamlining of the wider sporting infrastructure at the club. The sports and education expert joined TSG in 2015 and established the TSG Academy, one of the best locations for young talents in Germany.

"We are very sorry to see Dirk Mack go," says TSG Managing Director Dr. Peter Görlich. "He did an excellent job and has received recognition at the highest level, not just in Germany. Using his conceptual and strategic approach, he raised the bar at our academy which ultimately resulted in increased international interest, thus leading to his move to China," explains Görlich.

"I find it incredibly difficult to say goodbye," says Dirk Mack. "Working at Hoffenheim has been fulfilling, unique in substance and defined by trust, passion and perspective. I have had five eventful and exciting years at TSG and I would like to thank those involved for giving me the confidence during this time to be responsible for the training of young players and coaches as the Head of Youth Development. Together we have successfully implemented a number of great projects throughout my time here and helped the club to establish a good reputation in Germany and beyond," explains the father of two, who has also held a football coaching licence since 1996. "The personnel and structure at the club couldn't have been better," explains the departing Head of Youth Development. "The offer to work in China took me by surprise. After intensive discussions and careful consideration, I decided to accept this extraordinary challenge. I have come to hold TSG very close to my heart, but now the time has come for me to start a new chapter."  

"It is a great loss for us, but we did not want to get in the way of Dirk's opportunity to successfully apply his expertise at an international level. We thank him not only for his extraordinary success at the TSG Academy but also for the down to earth, loyal and pleasant way in which he has worked with us. His analytical skills have contributed to the further development of the entire club in recent years," says TSG Managing Director Frank Briel.

"Dirk and I have worked together intensively and therefore have been able to decisively shape Hoffenheim's path," says TSG Sporting Director, Alexander Rosen. It is primarily down to the close cooperation and coordination between the two TSG directors that have made it possible to regularly integrate young talent from the youth teams into the senior squad. In addition, Mack also championed the training of talented coaches and the expansion of the academy's infrastructure through internal programs. "We will continue to build on these jointly laid foundations and drive them forward with a successor that we will meticulously and patiently procure," says Rosen.

Dirk Mack started at TSG Hoffenheim in January 2015 as the successor to Michael Mutzel and initially took over the management of the youth performance centre. Since September 2016, he has held the position of Head of Youth Development. Under his command, the club has had many achievements such as: German U19 Championship runners-up  (2015, 2016), South German U19 champions (2018), two South German U15 championships (2016, 2018) and the U19s' participation in the UEFA Youth League semi-final last year. The sought-after expert has already gained international experience as the co-trainer of various national youth teams within the German Football Association (DFB), with whom he participated in the World Cup and the EUROS (including winning the U17 European Championship 2009 in Germany), and trained coaches with FIFA, the Asian Football Association (AFC) and the DFB in Malaysia, USA, China and South Africa.

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