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Steffen Baumgart

Photo: Lars Baron / Getty Images

Steffen Baumgart becomes the coach of Hamburger SV and goes to the club of his childhood. The 52-year-old is supposed to lead the recently floundering promotion candidate back into the Bundesliga after a six-year absence. As the second division club announced on Tuesday, Baumgart signed a contract with an undisclosed term. “Bild” and Sky reported on the commitment on Monday. As a result, he receives a contract until 2025.

»I'm really looking forward to being here and looking forward to the big challenge. It starts immediately, I will work directly with the boys. The goal is clear, we don't have to talk around it: promotion," said Baumgart in the club's announcement. Merlin Polzin, who most recently served as interim coach, will support the former Bundesliga striker as an assistant coach, together with Sven Höh and Loïc Favé.

»Steffen Baumgart is known for his emotionally stirring manner. It is important to maintain the fire that we have ignited and to continue on our path in a targeted manner," said HSV board member Jonas Boldt in the second division club's announcement.

Baumgart is considered the preferred candidate among HSV fans after coach Tim Walter left last week. In the past, Baumgart had repeatedly shown his affection for the club. »I became a fan when HSV was still big. I've stuck with it ever since," he once said.

In 2019, the Rostock native led SC Paderborn into the Bundesliga. As a gnarly and exciting coach on the sidelines, he not only made many friends in the team, but also among the fans of 1. FC Köln during his time between summer 2021 and the end of last year. In December, the Rhinelanders, who were in danger of relegation, announced that they were separating from Baumgart.

Baumgart has to stabilize the defense

During his stints, the football teacher, known for his robust nature, demanded intensive pressing and tireless offensive football from his players. The composition of the offensive HSV squad should suit him. However, his main task will be to stabilize the error-prone HSV defense. Walter, who had missed promotion with the Hanseatic League twice in a row due to relegation, was rarely able to do that.

HSV is trying to return to the Bundesliga this season for the sixth time since 2018. The gap to city rivals and league leaders FC St. Pauli is now seven points, and second place Holstein Kiel is four points.