Stuttgart - VfB Stuttgart have appointed Thomas Schneider as the club's new head coach following the departure of Bruno Labbadia on Monday.

Schneider, who represented the club for 20 years in his playing days, has been promoted from the Under-17 side to take charge of the senior squad and has signed a two-year contract. He will be assisted by Alfons Higl and Tomislav Maric.

"Knows the club"

Sporting director Fredi Bobic commented: "We're convinced that we've made the right decision. Thomas did a great job with the U-17 team, finishing runners-up in 2011/12. He knows the club inside out."

Schneider himself was honoured by the appointment, but said all his focus was on the team's upcoming UEFA Europa League qualifying tie against HNK Rijeka, which they currently trail 2-1 from the first leg: "It's going to be hard work but I'm looking forward to it. There's a lot of hard work to be done, but we're all ready for it. At the moment, all our concentration is on the game against Rijeka."

Cup winner

Schneider joined VfB way back in 1983 and broke into the first team in the 1991/92 season. He was a key player for the club in the next decade and appeared in the DFB Cup final in 1997, in which Stuttgart triumphed over FC Energie Cottbus.