Bundesliga side Mainz hires Danish coach Hjulmand
MAINZ, Germany (AP) — Bundesliga club Mainz appointed Kasper Hjulmand as coach Thursday to replace Thomas Tuchel, who stepped down after five seasons in charge.
The 42-year-old Hjulmand agreed to a three-year deal and will join from Danish side Nordsjaelland, which he led to the Champions League after winning the Danish title in 2012.
“He has a very high level of expertise; he is an intelligent and meticulous coach and an advocate of attacking football,” Mainz managing director Christian Heidel said.
Hjulmand oversaw Lyngby Boldklub’s promotion into the Danish top flight in 2007, before a spell as joint-coach of Nordsjaelland in 2008. He assumed sole coaching duties of the club in 2011.
Hjulmand, whose playing career was cut short at 26 after several knee operations, said he had been following the Bundesliga and that he learned more about Mainz after speaking with Heidel.
“I was surprised how perfectly the philosophy of the club fit with my own. For me the switch to Mainz is a decision of the heart,” said Hjulmand, who will be formally introduced Monday.
Heidel said the club was certain that Hjulmand could continue Tuchel’s “very successful work.”
Tuchel stepped down last Sunday after leading Mainz to seventh place in the Bundesliga for a spot in Europa League qualifying. Regarded as one of Germany’s best young coaches, the 40-year-old Tuchel said he had taken the decision to leave as a “necessary step.”
Tuchel still had another year left on his contract and has been linked with several Bundesliga clubs, though Heidel said Mainz will not rescind the contract.