Dhis first trip by Torsten Lieberknecht to the Böllenfall Gate seems like a founding myth today. Back then, in the summer of 2021, almost exactly a year and a half ago to the day, the football teacher in the driver’s seat on the Autobahn towards Darmstadt was flashed twice. Lieberknecht, so the story goes, couldn’t wait to explain to those responsible for “Lilien” why he was the right person for the vacant head coaching position. 18 months later, the club’s management can congratulate itself on its election, which was also a directional decision.
After they had enabled the young coach Dimitrios Grammozis to start professional football at SVD and then hired a well-known coach in the ambitious Markus Beginning, they relied on Lieberknecht, a driving man with pronounced second division expertise. Of course, neither side could have guessed how immensely successful the liaison began with Lieberknecht’s rapid arrival. The constant high on the soccer field is the (decisive) one thing. Lieberknecht’s enormous reputation among the fans is another. At Lieberknecht, both of these things come together to form a Darmstadt coach figure who is not only given respect for his professional performance, but who is only so fond of affection. Incidentally, also from the pros, because the self-declared football romantic knows how to take a whole squad with him, to keep up the spirit and to reduce disappointments. Not only when he gives the players his credit card after an away win so that they can all go to McDonald’s.