Ante Čović will be the new head coach of Hertha BSC as of the coming season, replacing current coach Pál Dárdai, who will leave the ‘old Lady’ at the end of the current campaign after four and a half years in charge. “For me as someone who was born in Berlin, played for Hertha and worked for the club for years, it is like a dream come true. Hertha has never just been a normal employer for me – this club is my passion and has a place in my heart,” said a delighted Čović. The current U23s coach outlined his plan for his new role: “I will bring this passion and emotion into the team. That’s only possible together. I am a team player who is very approachable and I value hard work. That is the only way you can fuel enthusiasm and keep developing. I was able to experience the Hertha fans as a player and I’m really looking forward to doing it again as the coach. My excitement couldn’t be greater.”
Michael Preetz is pleased to be able to put an end to all the head coach speculation. “After intensive examinations of different candidates, we decided to opt for a ‘home-grown’ coach. Ante possesses fantastic expertise and has a great passion for the club. We are sure that he can instil his drive and enthusiasm into the squad,” explained the sporting director on Sunday (12/05). “We said from the very beginning that we wanted a coach with the ‘Hertha DNA’ and Ante Čović understands what this DNA means more than any other candidate. He knows our young players and has already formed, prepared and promoted a number of them into the first-team squad. Now he can continue with them in the Bundesliga and help them become established professionals,” said the 51-year-old on the appointment.
Dickhaut new assistant coach
Preetz was also very grateful towards the departing head coach. “Ante is following on from Pál Dárdai, who I would like to thank massively for his four and a half years in charge. At Hertha we are not only proud to develop good players, but also good coaches.” Mirko Dickhaut will join the club as the new assistant coach. Dickhaut made 268 appearances as a player with Frankfurt and Bochum and played alongside Čović with the current second-division side. In 2013, the pair earned their coaching licenses together. Goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry and fitness coaches Henrik Kuchno and Henrik Vieth will remain part of the coaching team.
Ante Čović is a fantastic example of a true Herthaner. After spells with Croatian side Hajduk Split as well as Stuttart and Nürnberg, the Berlin born former midfielder played for the ‘Old Lady’ between 1996 and 2000. Three years later, Čović returned to the capital and played for the club’s second team for seven years until 2010. The new head coach made 247 appearances with the first team and highest youth team of Hertha, scoring 43 goals and assisting 11 more. Čović began his coaching career in the youth setup of the club in 2010 and was the assistant of Otto Rehhagel in the 2011/12 season. In November 2013, the 43 year old took the reins in charge of the U23 squad, who currently occupy fourth place in the Regionalliga with one game to go. Čović has coached a total of 180 games and developed current first team players such as Maximilian Mittelstädt, Jordan Torunarigha and Arne Maier. The new coach will be officially introduced at the start of pre-season on 1st July.