Jens Scheuer: Brighton motivator set to make Women’s Super League history

Jens Scheuer: Brighton motivator set to make Women’s Super League history

Jens Scheuer: Brighton motivator set to make Women’s Super League history

Jens Scheuer smiling with a trophy
Jens Scheuer led SC Freiburg to a women’s cup final for the only time in their history in 2019

The intensity and passion that Jens Scheuer will bring to English football began in a village in south-west Germany.

Scheuer’s first full coaching job came in 2010 at Bahlinger SC, an amateur regional league team formed nearly a century ago in an agricultural region of just over 4,000 people.

It was the start of a career that featured scoring records, a near-invincible title win and an eight-goal thriller with Chelsea in the Women’s Champions League semi-finals.

Now the first German WSL manager is aiming to transform Brighton & Hove Albion.

“He’s a motivator”

Jens Scheuer in training
The former defender coached Bayern Munich for three years before joining Brighton on December 28.

As a teenager, Scheuer had been a trainee at SC Freiburg under then-youth coach Christian Streich, whose current 11-year reign as manager of the club’s men’s team is by far the longest in the Bundesliga.

Scheuer never appeared for Freiburg and spent most of his days playing with Bahlinger, but was inspired to meet Streich again at a Christmas party years later.

Streich was able to tell Scheuer exactly when he was working with him, his position and the following clubs – and Scheuer decided to make this thoroughness his own trademark.

“Jens has done everything at this club,” Dennis Buhrer, the current Bahlinger manager whom Scheuer signed as a player in 2011, told BBC Sport.

“Besides being the coach, he brought the balls, did the video analysis, everything. In a small club in a small village, it’s difficult. But for his development, it was very good.

“Jens has a lot of ideas about football. Outside of training, he always thinks about football.

“He’s a motivator because he wants to win every time. I learned from him that I want to win every practice game and every game at the weekend.

“We won the first game under him 11-1. Then we thought we were the best club in the division. A lot was expected of us – too much.”

“We had to work hard”

Jens Scheuer gets water thrown on him
Scheuer’s 2020-21 Bayern side are the only team to break Wolfsburg’s dominance in the last six seasons in Germany

Authenticity is key for Scheuer. He admires the extroversion of Megan Rapinoe, the down-to-earth sense of fun of Miroslav Klose and the growing willingness of players to take a stand on issues such as homophobia.

He admitted he neglected to work in women’s football after seeing a buffoon handball goes unpunished during the 2011 World Cup, then felt “immediately annoyed” to have been “so negative” watching the Fribourgeoises play.

Scheuer first became Frauen-Bundesliga manager when Freiburg appointed him in 2015, leading a side including German striker Lina Magull to third place – their best result – in 2017-18, as well as the final of the DFB-Pokal cup a year later.

When Bayern Munich secured his services, Scheuer oversaw the end of Wolfsburg’s four-year stranglehold on the title.

Bayern had finished eight points behind Wolfsburg in Scheuer’s first season in charge. At the end of his second, they held a 19-goal superiority over the defeated champions, scoring 82 times and conceding nine while losing once in 22 matches.

“He’s got a lot of self-confidence,” said Buhrer, who remains close to Scheuer and mocks his friend’s appetite for English lessons in recent years.

“He will coach a lot. Sometimes he is very emotional. We had to work hard.

“I expected his success because he is very professional and he does everything for football. That’s why he comes to Brighton.

“It’s a great chance for him to do everything, every day, every hour for football. That’s exactly his thing.”

Deep conversations – and revenge on Chelsea?

Jens Scheuer shakes hands with Emma Hayes
Scheuer feels he has unfinished business against Chelsea after the Blues beat Bayern in the Champions League semi-finals

Scheuer learned to relax, Buhrer says. The 44-year-old enjoys mountain walks, being an avowed bad loser at tennis and the occasional glasses of wine – although much of his recent free time appears to have been focused on Brighton’s status as a top side. more porous than the WSL.

The Seagulls made four signings in four days in early January, bringing in defenders Zoe Morse and Gouro Bergsvand alongside the midfielders Dejana Stefanovic and Brianna Visalli.

Scheuer wants “deep conversations” and “close bonds” with his players, who will be used to his high-intensity sessions come the time of a friendly first game for their new manager at Leicester on Sunday.

He is also concerned about the changing culture at the club such that dropping points against Chelsea and Arsenal would be seen as a cause for deep discontent.

Victory over Chelsea, Scheuer said, is a priority – and he’s only half kidding because of the painful memory of his last encounter with the WSL leaders.

bavaria won the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Emma Hayes’ side in 2021, only falling behind for the first time in the 84th-minute draw of the return match at Kingsmeadow.

“I like talking about football with him,” Buhrer says, reflecting on Scheuer’s strategy. “He wants to play good football first – not just long balls and kicking and rushing.

“He will want to watch and watch Brighton’s situation. He can adapt. He will decide what is the best philosophy for Brighton.”

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