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Thomas Letsch is the new Bochum head coach, taking over following the dismissal of Thomas Reis. - © IMAGO/Vitesse Arnhem v RKC Waalwijk/IMAGO/ANP
Thomas Letsch is the new Bochum head coach, taking over following the dismissal of Thomas Reis. - © IMAGO/Vitesse Arnhem v RKC Waalwijk/IMAGO/ANP
bundesliga

Bochum appoint Thomas Letsch as new head coach

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Bochum have appointed Thomas Letsch as their new head coach on a two-year deal following the dismissal of Thomas Reis.

The Ruhr club parted ways with their promotion-winning coach after failing to pick up a single point from the first six games. U19s boss Heiko Butscher oversaw last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Cologne, but Letsch takes over with the team still bottom of the Bundesliga table.

The 54-year-old German arrives at the Ruhrstadion after two highly successful years in charge of Dutch side Vitesse. He took charge of 101 games, guiding the club to fourth and then sixth in the Eredivisie as well as reaching the Dutch Cup final in 2021. Last season Vitesse also made the last 16 of the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League – a run that included a famous 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and was only ended by eventual winners Roma.

Watch: Bochum's sole point of the season against Cologne

“Thomas Letsch is our desired solution for the position of head coach,” said Bochum sporting director Patrick Fabian. “He has the experience needed in professional football and is capable of forming a team with a clear structure and style of play. On top of that, he has always promoted the development of young players at his former clubs. We’re confident that he – as a communicative coach – will manage to give the team new impetus and turn things around with the whole team, coaching staff and the support of the fans.”

The Bochum job is Letsch’s first in the Bundesliga. He did have a three-game spell in the second division in charge of Erzgebirge Aue as the successor to Domenico Tedesco in 2017, but lost each match.

He had previously been brought into coach at the Red Bull Salzburg academy by Ralf Rangnick, later becoming assistant to Roger Schmidt in the first team, head coach at feeder club Liefering and briefly interim boss of the Salzburg senior squad in December 2015.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the team quickly and approaching the upcoming tasks with them,” Letsch said of taking the job at the Ruhrstadion. “Our big goal is for Bochum to still be playing in the Bundesliga next season. We’ll work very hard for that. The fans have shown extraordinary support for the team, and we’ll continue to need this support. We’ll only have success with togetherness and solidarity.”

His first game in charge after the international break is away at RB Leipzig. His home debut comes the following week against Eintracht Frankfurt.