After a highly impressive start to the season, Eintracht Braunschweig’s long-serving head coach Torsten Lieberknecht has extended his contract with the club to 2020.
He has been in charge since 2008, taking the club from the third tier of German football into the Bundesliga for a solitary season in 2013-14.
His side are currently top of the 2. Bundesliga, ahead of the likes of Hannover 96 and VfB Stuttgart, having won six of their eight games so far.
Eight years in charge, and counting
Lieberknecht’s association with the club dates back to 2003, when he joined the club as a player, and he went on to coach their under-19 team after his retirement in 2007.
He replaced Benno Möhlmann towards the end of the 2007-08 season, and saved the club from missing out on a place in the newly-created 3. Liga the following season. The club won the 3. Liga in 2010-11, and needed just two years before winning promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in 28 years.
As widely predicted they only lasted a season in the top flight, but they kept their relegation battle alive until the final day. Lieberknecht remained in charge when the club returned to the 2. Bundesliga, leading them to sixth and eighth-place finishes in the past two seasons.
In German professional football, only 1. FC Heidenheim’s Frank Schmidt has been in charge of his club longer than Lieberknecht. The 42-year-old has been at Heidenheim since 2007.
Continuity the key to success
The club’s chairman, Sebastian Ebel, praised the development of the club in the eight-and-a-half years that Lieberknecht has been in charge, and expressed his desire to continue working with him.
“With today’s stable foundation [at the club], we want to continue to shape the future successfully,” he said on the club’s website.
“The work here with Eintracht is great fun for me. We have been able to achieve a lot together,” said Lieberknecht himself. “The continuity over the years was and is our strength.”
One player, captain Ken Reichel, has also been with the club during his entire reign, although both Jasmin Fejzic and Domi Kumbela have since returned to the club having been part of Lieberknecht's original team.
Quotes via Eintracht Braunschweig.