Hertha’s new coach Sandro Schwarz: “Torn inside” – Sport
Hertha’s new coach Sandro Schwarz, 43, has asked for understanding for his decision, even after the start of the Russian attack on the Ukraine to have stayed coach at Dynamo Moscow. Anyone who knows him knows that he “completely condemns this war of aggression,” Schwarz said in a digital media round on Friday. Schwarz recalled that he had started coaching at Dynamo in October 2020. For him, this gave rise to a personal bond and a personal sense of responsibility for club employees and players. Despite the “inner turmoil” he felt when looking at the pictures from Ukraine, he complied.
He was aware that this decision would provoke contradiction and criticism. “I can understand that completely,” emphasized Schwarz. “I’m not angry with anyone either. I felt the pressure, the expectations, but I had to decide how I felt.”
Schwarz explained that it was crucial for him to have gotten the feeling in numerous conversations that he could be there for the group “because they have the same attitude and the same values” as he does. If that was “only slightly” different “would have been the logical consequence to leave the club immediately,” emphasized the former coach of FSV Mainz 05.
The war, the fears, the worries about the future – you can feel that in Russia too, says Schwarz
In the end he made the decision Russia to leave at the end of March. “From the point at which it was foreseeable that it would continue to drag on, it was clear to me that I would not continue beyond the season.” Schwarz was last on the bench at Dynamo Moscow last weekend. He lost with the championship third in the cup final against Spartak Moscow. His contract, which ran until 2024, was terminated. On Thursday he was confirmed as the new Hertha coach. Being in Germany now feels “liberating” in many ways.
February 24 – the day the Russian war against Ukraine began – “changed everything,” Schwarz said, referring to “countless emotional moments” that followed that day. He felt like a very important contact for many people in the club, like “an anchor”. Among other things, he recalled a conversation he had with a Ukrainian and a Russian player in his coaching room, “where the three of us cried”. He also pointed out that the war has left its mark on his Russian players, who are of military age after all.
“The war was also felt in Russia. The fears, the fears about the future, the feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world – everyone felt that. Everyone had their own blows of fate with relatives, with friends in Ukraine,” said Schwarz. Addressing the journalists, he said: The decision to stay in Moscow “had nothing to do with sport, with titles or financial aspects. It was all about helping people – knowing that what is happening in the Happening to Ukraine is the worst thing ever”.