Schalke have appointed Karel Geraerts as their new head coach on a deal until the end of the 2024/25 season following the dismissal of Thomas Reis.
Geraerts, 41, was previously assistant coach at Union Saint-Gilloise as the Belgian side enjoyed promotion to the top flight and qualification for Europe before Geraerts took the helm for 2022/23, leading the club to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals before elimination by Bayer Leverkusen.
“We’re delighted that we could bring in our desired solution for Schalke in Karel,” said Royal Blues managing director Peter Knäbel. “After the first meeting we knew that Karel precisely fulfilled the criteria we want for a Schalke head coach.”
Sporting director André Hechelmann added: “He was perfectly prepared, presented us with analysis, how he wants to look for footballing solutions. He has a clear approach to the game. His style is intense, determined and efficient. We’ve found a new coach with him who has a new idea of playing for our team and is itching to implement that with the whole team.”
Geraerts also said: “I’m so looking forward to this challenge and want to use the international break to settle in as quickly as possible at Schalke and work intensively with the team.”
A former midfielder and 20-time Belgium international, Geraerts was named Belgium’s Coach of the Year for 2022/23 after leading Union SG to third and into the Europa League knockout stage, including a last-16 aggregate win over Union Berlin.
He takes charge of Schalke with the Royal Blues languishing down in 16th place in Bundesliga 2 following their relegation last season. The Gelsenkirchen club were beaten 2-1 at home by Hertha Berlin prior to the international break with Matthias Kreutzer in charge after the dismissal of Reis.
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Geraerts’s first game at the Schalke helm will be the visit to Karlsruhe on Sunday, 22 October.
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