Question of funds: complete change in Vilsbiburg’s volleyball players – sport

Question of funds: complete change in Vilsbiburg's volleyball players - sport

It’s “as always,” says André Wehnert, managing director of the Bundesliga volleyball team from Vilsbiburg, “we would have liked to have kept some, while others were fine, but we wanted a change”. We are talking about the squad of the Lower Bavarians, of which only three players are left for the coming season: diagonal attacker Dayana Segovia, setter Lindsay Flory and young attacker Lara Darowski, whose contract was for two years. And that, one has to say, is not quite the same as always. And it’s also not what they had imagined in Vilsbiburg under targeted reinforcement. “The fact that it has now taken on this comprehensive form was not actually planned,” admits Wehnert.

However, he does not reveal which of the nine departures he would have liked to keep and who not. Especially since the past season with corona interruptions and numerous injuries for the eighth of the main round had been very eventful for a long time. No player could be blamed for that alone, but there was no one who managed to achieve sufficient stability on her own.

What Wehnert frankly admits is that the departure of attacker Alexis Hart to the master from Stuttgart hurts. The American had hinted at her great potential. “But it was clear to us that this would not go unnoticed by the competition,” he says. Despite big plans for the coming years, Vilsbiburg cannot yet keep up with the offer of a title aspirant and Champions League participant. The budget for the new squad is roughly in the range of the financial resources available in the previous season. In the long term, Vilsbiburg has set the ambitious goal of more than doubling its budget of a good one million euros by 2025.

The problem: With the exception of young athletes, contracts lasting more than one year are almost impossible to negotiate

This increase is not just about being able to sign seasoned professionals alongside talented players, but about keeping them after the end of the season. Middle blocker Beta Dumancic, for example, who initially signed Vilsbiburg until the turn of the year and then at least until the end of the season, settled in quickly despite a lack of training and did not seem dissatisfied at all. But she also moves on after less than a season.

The problem: With the exception of young athletes, contracts lasting more than one year are almost impossible to negotiate. Players’ agents determine the negotiation culture and obviously see significantly more advantages in annual readjustments than in the security that long-term commitment offers. For clubs like Vilsbiburg, this is not unproblematic in terms of sport. Anyone who supplies the instantaneous water heater for the US and South American markets not only has to invest a lot of energy every season, but also repeat the steps that went up in the previous season if necessary.

“From our side,” says Wehnert, “therefore there has been a desire for years to bring in a long-term perspective.” But that costs money. Outside attacker Luisa Keller also said goodbye to Stuttgart, while captain Jodie Guilliams is moving west after three years in Bavaria for family reasons.

On the other hand, what is designed for continuity is what those responsible have direct influence on: the team in the background. The new sports director, Vilsbiburg’s former master trainer Guillermo Gallardo, wants a long-term commitment. His wife Nadja, a former setter for the Roten Raben, is in charge of the enlarged boarding school. Even the former league manager Klaus-Peter Jung is unlikely to regard his position as chairman of the supervisory board as a flying visit. At least structurally, Vilsbiburg has done a lot to ensure that the “as always” from this spring is the exception in the future.

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