Professionals | 29/05/2019

Former pro starts immediately

Willi Kronhardt is the new FC chief scout

1. FC Köln have signed Willi Kronhardt as their new chief scout. He joins FC from Lokomtive Moscow.

Willi Kronhardt is the new chief scout at 1. FC Köln. The 50-year-old has signed a two-year deal with FC and takes over the position with immediate effect. Kronhardt follows on from Manfred Schmid, who is now part of the first-team coaching set-up.

FC managing director, Armin Veh said: “We wanted to immediately fill the position of chief scout with a man who has a wide network and plenty of experience. Not just as a scout, but also as a head coach. I believe that coaches have a somewhat different view when it comes to players, which is very helpful with scouting. With Willi, we found the right man and I’m happy he’s joined FC.”

Willi Kronhardt was born in the former Soviet Union in 1969, but grew up in Germany from the age of nine. As a player, he played for Fortuna Köln, Eintracht Braunschweig and Energie Cottbus, amongst others. With the latter, Kronhardt managed to reach the 1997 DFB-Pokal final and earned promotion to 2. Bundesliga.

After his career as a player, Kronhardt collected experience as an assistant and head coach with the likes of Eintracht Braunschweig, VfL Wolfsburg II and SV Elversberg. Since July 2017, Willi Kronhardt has been chief scout at Lokomotive Moscow. In that season, Lokomotive were crowned Russian champions for the first time in 14 years. This season, they finished second and won the Russian Cup.

Willi Kronhardt said: “I know Köln from my time at Fortuna, and that FC are a very emotional, traditional club with a lot of potential. With that in mind, I didn’t think about it for too long as the opportunity to join FC came about. To find the right players for the team, for this club, is a challenge that I’m really looking forward to.”

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