Jens George moves to Ulster Youth Club

WOf course, you will not miss the previous matches and preparations for the next opponent. on the laptop. As fast as possible. With ever new analysis tools. And prepare in such a way that each player takes something with them. “I can do it,” says Jens George. “But it takes longer than half my life.”

The coach, whom everyone in the hockey arena calls “the mouse”, is 53 years old. He had to deal with analytical work, and in a conversation on the beautiful terrace of the small club restaurant in Alster, you can tell that he would have preferred to spend this time more logically at the computer – and that he could have played better with his strengths, that is, keeping the team together , To express team spirit, benefit from experience.

The cabin in the handle

George has always been a coach in control of the dressing room. And that has been the case since he started as a women’s coach at FC An der Alster in 1999. The career of the Ulster veteran on Pentecost ended on Saturday after 23 years – sadly.


With Fire to the End: Jens George Now Goes to Youth.
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Photo: Imago

His team lost in the semi-finals of the German championship in Bonn 5:6 after a penalty shootout against Düsseldorfer HC. In the regulatory time, George’s team came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, but despite two penalties just before the end, he could not face the defending champion.

“I leave without grudge”

So nothing came of a third field title after 2018 and 2019. He became the German champion seven times with the superb club from the Rotherbaum region (five times at home), winning the Cup once and the European Cup three times. “It just didn’t matter to me. I would have treated the girls,” says George, adding, “I would go without a grudge.”

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After the summer break, he will join the youth division of Ulster and try to “attract a lot of children and young people into the high-performing teams”. But in his own way .. without excessive pressure and stress, taking into account the needs of children and young people in the school corset all day long.

Er sagt: ‘Man muss nicht dreimal die Woche zweieinhalb Stunden trainieren, auch wenn das ehrgeizige Eltern vielleicht wollen.’ Could you. Can I train them? He will only follow up on the work of his successor, Stan Hogsman, as an interested spectator: ‘It’s good that I’m totally out of it. I certainly wouldn’t be the voice off the screen.”

‘The compulsion is much greater’

It’s not like he’s indifferent about the progress of hockey. But he noticed at one point that the language of the players was different. no longer has him. More technical terms, as the old ones were good. “Two or three years ago I felt the team needed a new push, a change,” he says.

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Doubts began in 2020 when Ulster were unable to defend the title. The constellation with today’s women’s national team coach Valentin Altenberg, who began as George’s assistant, made him think about it. Broke between the two. Because the communication that Altenburg used with the players and the tactics he wanted to play had little to do with George’s understanding of hockey.

And perhaps this does not really fit the time when a free spirit like him still works as a carpenter in the morning and trains the demanding national team players in the afternoon. “The biggest difference in my beginnings is that today there is a lot of seriousness and a lot of compulsion,” he says. Pleasure and freedom fell by the wayside.

always weird

He cannot say that the sport of hockey has developed admirably at least in the past 23 years. Neither at the club level nor at the union level. He saw placing the women’s final on Sunday night after the match for third place on the men’s team as a blow to equality. In any case, Jens George does not see a greater exposure in the media. He asks rhetorically, “Or are there more spectators at games than before?”

The best coach has always remained a freak. He’s traveled the world as a backpacker (98 countries!), regularly dived into exotic locales, especially poor areas in the summer, stuck to his job as a carpenter and civil engineer and, purely from a visual point of view, didn’t fit in at all in Hamburg’s great hockey scene. On the other hand, he owed Alster a regular income – even if he often shook his head at the sight of luxury cars in the parking lot. “It’s been a tough indoor walk, but I’ve always tried to stay with myself,” says Jens George.

Now, at the end of July, he will travel with his future wife Sandra Melina to their native Colombia and marry her there; A subsequent tour of the Amazon included, of course. He does not want to rule out that he will eventually return to the women after a certain time in the new job with the junior Alastair: “Maybe I will find a young, up-and-coming team of the second or third tier.” Perhaps not one great video analysis will be needed. His rich experience as a coach and as a human should suffice.

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