Schalke appoints Frank Kramer as coach for Bundesliga return

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Schalke appointed Frank Kramer as coach on Tuesday to help ensure the team’s survival in the Bundesliga after one season in the second division.

The Gelsenkirchen-based club said Kramer has signed for two seasons and will replace Michael Büskens, who led the team to promotion as interim coach. Büskens, already a Schalke club great from his playing days, is returning to his position as assistant coach.

“We asked ourselves what profile a new coach should have in order to play soccer successfully with Schalke. And success in our current situation means staying up in 2022-23 — that’s what it’s all about,” Schalke board member Peter Knäbel said in a statement.

The 50-year-old Kramer was previously coach of Arminia Bielefeld but he was fired in April in the club’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to avoid relegation. His record was record was 10 wins, 16 draws and 18 losses after taking over in March 2021.

Kramer previously coached Greuther Fürth and Fortuna Düsseldorf, while he also worked with youth teams at the German soccer federation.

He knows Schalke sporting director Rouven Schröder from their time together at Fürth between 2013-14.

“Frank is an absolute team player,” Schröder said. “Someone who can lead people and likes taking advice from experts to find the best possible solution for the team. And at the same time he is always ready to go ahead and take on responsibility — a combination that we believe leads to success.”

Kramer will be assisted by Büskens, Matthias Kreutzer, goalkeeping coach Simon Henzler and general player manager Gerald Asamoah.

“I can hardly wait to get to work with the team and staff,” Kramer said. “Schalke, with around 160,000 members and many millions of fans, is one of the biggest clubs in Germany.”

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