Tayfun Korkut becomes first Turk to coach in Bundesliga

Tayfun Korkut becomes first Turk to coach in Bundesliga

HANNOVER - Reuters
Tayfun Korkut becomes first Turk to coach in Bundesliga

Tayfun Korkut previously coached youth teams at Real Sociedad, Hoffenheim and VfB Stuttgart and was an assistant to Turkish national football team coach Abdullah Avcı. AFP photo

Former Turkey international Tayfun Korkut was the surprise choice as struggling Bundesliga club Hannover 96 named its new coach on Dec. 31.

The 39-year-old, who played 42 times for his country between 1995 and 2003, became the first Turk to coach a Bundesliga side on a permanent basis after replacing Mirko Slomka, who was sacked last week.

It is also the first senior coaching job for the former midfielder who previously worked as a youth team coach at Real Sociedad, Hoffenheim and VfB Stuttgart and as assistant to Turkey coach Abdullah Avcı between 2012 and 2013.

“This appointment has been taken with the future of Hannover 96 in mind,” sporting director Dirk Dufner told the club website (www.Hannover96.de).

“We have decided for a young, well trained and highly motivated coach and he has fully convinced us with his personality.

“We know that we are making a bold decision, but look on our co-operation with Tayfun Korkut with a great perspective. I have great confidence that we will be successful together.”

Former international

As a player, Korkut was a member of Turkey’s European Football Championships squads in 1996 and 2000. A tireless midfielder, he made his breakthrough for Fenerbahçe, where he spent five seasons, including the title winning 1995-1996 campaign.

He then played three seasons for Real Sociedad and one year with Espanyol in the Spanish La Liga. After two more seasons with Beşiktaş and Gençlerbirliği in Turkey, Korkut ended his playing career in 2006. The following year, he started as an under-19 coach at Real Sociedad.

Hannover, 13th in the 18-team table, parted company with Slomka after almost exactly three years with the team only four points clear of the relegation zone.

“I thank Hannover for their trust in giving me this chance,” said Korkut, who was born and raised in Stuttgart and began his playing career with Stuttgarter Kickers.

Hannover is the fourth Bundesliga club to change coach this season after VfB Stuttgart, Hamburg SV and FC Nürnberg. Its next game is at VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Jan. 25.