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Herbert Ilsanker on Passions, Comrades and Farewells

Herbert Ilsanker on Passions, Comrades and Farewells

It's particularly quiet in Tuxham these days summer vacation has taken root. Only the garden owner's lawnmower provides the usual background noise Herbert Elsanker after 19 years as goalkeeper coach He clears his desk.

In the future, the 57-year-old will have his office directly on the field as a goalkeeping scout, so he No goodbye, just a change, Which he looks forward to with anticipation. However: A little sadness However, it resonates for Salzberger, after all Tuxham For him all this time Become a second home.

for him Birthday today We caught up with Herbert again and spoke to him about his time in our coaching staff before he takes up his new role with us at the club from July and will work behind the scenes.

Interview with Herbert Ilsanker

A few days later: How was the big farewell at Red Bull Arena for you?

That was very emotional. Just leading the warm-up with the goalkeepers one last time in my 'living room' was really cool for me. At the latest, when everyone stands up, you really feel what you have achieved in 19 years. The day before there was already a farewell in a small circle. The team and staff have thought of a little surprise. Tears started falling on me, and even now I have to be careful that they don't come back again, because it really affects me and you can't hide 19 years like that. But I'm not embarrassed because I'm human and I have feelings.

You spent a lot of time with the fans after the match, what was it like for you?

It's not unusual for me to go to the fans after games. Suddenly there were shouts of “Elsie on the platform.” It was also nice to be able to say thank you in this way. The stadium was full and many stayed there long after the final whistle. All in all, it was just an overarching story that gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone – even if I didn't actually leave. I will continue to see most of them, just in a different area of ​​responsibility.

My decision has been made for a year now, and it was without a doubt the right one.

You recently left your teammate Sebastian Baumgartner's warm-up because it was causing you knee and foot pain – so changing roles is still the right decision?

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Yes, 100%, that was a perfect landing. I don't think I could have done another full season. My son Stefan also told me that I should stop before I end up wandering around and it becomes awkward – he's absolutely right! My decision has been made for a year now, and it was without a doubt the right one.

In the 19 years I've been here, the goalkeeping game in general has changed. What was it like for you as a coach?

It has definitely become more complex. For this reason alone, it was good for Sebastian and I to train the goalkeepers as a pair, because it gives you much more options for exercises and allows you to make the units more diverse and more realistic. In the game, shots do not go monotonically to one side. As a goalkeeper you have to make quick decisions in space, shots are unpredictable, we tried to incorporate all that more.

To what extent is our club's identity reflected in the goalkeeping game?

The biggest difference between us compared to many other teams is that our goalkeepers have to play more intensely and have a lot more to do in space. If we lose the ball somewhere in the opponent's half, we attack the defense line directly, and then the goalkeeper has to stand accordingly and control the space. In other teams, the goalkeeper can retreat immediately after losing the ball and focus more on defending the goal. With us, as a field player, he always has to be fully awake!

I don't want to miss a single day or training session here.

You have faced many goalkeepers and coaches, what collaboration has particularly influenced you?

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I've been asked a lot lately: who are the best goalkeepers, the best coaches, the best team and all sorts of things. But I won't single out anyone in particular. Everyone had their own quirks and strengths and everything. It's really hard to say who was good and who was better, and I don't like doing that either. I saw great goalkeepers from start to finish. I've worked with a lot of great players and always had a great time, I don't want to miss a single day or training session, here at Tuxham we're just like family.

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As a goalkeeper coach, the cooperation with goalkeepers is particularly close. You can also keep in touch with goalkeepers as they move on to the big, wide world of soccer

Over and over again, yes. Just a week or two ago, I wrote a bit with Philip (note: Cohn), and also with Pete (note: Peter Gulassi) and recently, I've been in close contact with Eddie Gustafsson anyway because he's at the academy, and the same with Heinz. Arzberger. In fact, I keep in touch with most of them to this day, and that makes me happy because it shows me, at least as a person, that I can't make too many mistakes.

Does it make you proud when your former students are posted somewhere?

definitely! Most people only look at Peter Gulacsi and the other key players, but there have been some goalkeepers who no one was really on their radar, and who are still working their way up – for example, Patrick Bentz, Carlos Coronel, Dominic Scheerl, Thomas Dahne and Fabian Bredlow. . . Of course you keep track of what they do, even if just keeping track of things becomes a lot of work.

How difficult is it for goalkeepers in general to introduce and develop young talent?

We are also in a special position at Red Bull Salzburg. The bottom line is that our club is measured by success and we are expected to always be at the top. Especially with a young team like ours, an experienced goalkeeper can be very useful. Throwing a young man deep into the field always involves a certain amount of risk, and the general excitement of the media and fans when a foul is made is greater, with people looking closely at their hands and feet. We also saw that at the time with Cican (note: Stankovic). But even if it's not easy, the goal is definitely to have young goalkeeping talent in the future.

How do your years of experience play in your new role and what will you pay special attention to as a goalkeeper?

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When I watch a football match – whether personally or professionally – I only care about the goalkeepers. There are many scouts who automatically look at the big picture. If someone asked me after the game how much I liked the full-back, I wouldn't be able to tell them anything. Look at the left goalkeeper and the right goalkeeper, that's it. In addition to technical skills, what also matters to goalkeepers is how they interact with their teammates and how they perform after conceding goals.

I will continue to be on the field and congratulate the boys.

Will you continue to appear regularly at Red Bull Arena despite changing roles? How are you looking forward to our next season?

I am very optimistic! I'm sure we will look more confident and stable in the new season. In the last few games I have already seen what the boys can do. Of course a lot will happen with the new coach, and I don't know what will change in the squad. If players leave, quality players will come, so I'm not worried about that. I am 100% sure we can do it again. And of course: I will continue to be on the field and I will still congratulate the boys!