Forever Young

By Jonathan White Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-30 5:03:02

Does success beckon for Nagelsmann, the latest in long line of youthful managers

Julian Nagelsmann, the coach of Hoffenheim Under-19 team, stands on the touchline during a match against Schalke 04 on May 25, 2015. Photo: IC

German top-flight side Hoffenheim have revealed this week that they will install their current Under-19 coach Julian Nagelsmann as first-team manager next ­season. The Dutchman is only 28-year-old. When he takes the post he will become the youngest-ever Bundesliga manager and one of the most high-­profile young managers in the game.

It's a bold move from the forward-thinking club but employing Nagelsmann is hardly a groundbreaking move.

Last season's Georgian title went to FC Dila Gori, a team managed by 25-year-old Ucha Sosiashvili. "They say experience is key to success at this level, but my example shows it can be the other way," he told after his triumph.

The English FA Cup had a 22-year-old in charge a couple of seasons back when James Phillips took charge of Romsey Town against Fareham Town, becoming the youngest manager in the competition's history along the way.

Nagelsmann is in illustrious company as a young manager. Getting started early certainly didn't hurt Brian Clough or Sir Alex Ferguson. Here are examples of other young managers and how their careers panned out.

Chris Coleman

The Welshman, born in 1970, graduated to Fulham's backroom staff under Jean Tigana after a car crash effectively ended his playing career. He was appointed as caretaker manager once the Frenchman was given his marching orders in April 2003 and was given the job permanently at the end of that season. He confounded critics by taking the west London club to a ninth-place finish in his first full season. After getting the boot in 2007, he went on to manage Real Sociedad, Coventry City and Greek side Larissa before taking over as Wales boss following the death of Gary Speed. Coleman guided Wales to Euro 2016, the country's first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

Lippo Hertzka

Not the youngest manager in the Primera Liga, an honor that goes to Juanmi who took over Salamanca at 29 in 1995 and didn't see out the season, the Hungarian is the shining example of youth prevailing over experience in the Spanish game. He led Real Madrid to their first-ever title in 1932 shortly after turning 28. Like Alexander the Great, he created a dynasty before he hit 30, but he was a veteran at that stage: He is said to have coached before turning 20 and had been boss at Real Sociedad, Athletic Club and Sevilla FC before arriving at Los Blancos.

Roy Hodgson

It might be hard to imagine now but back in the 1970s the England manager was a coaching sensation in Sweden, together with his former Maidstone teammate Bob Houghton, who guided Malmo to a league title aged 26. Roy's first job was at Halmstads, where he won the league at the first try at 29. Houghton meanwhile became the youngest coach to get to a European Cup final at 31 but lost to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. Hodgson became manager of Malmo in the 1980s and won five Allsvenskans in a row. He's also won the Danish Superlig and twice finished runner-up in the UEFA Cup in a career that has taken him to benches across Europe. He will lead England out at EURO 2016 after achieving 10 wins from 10 in qualifying.

Paul Le Guen

The Frenchman was in charge of Stade Rennais at 34 and stayed for three seasons before walking out after a disagreement with the board. He took a sabbatical before moving to Lyon, where he established himself as one of the preeminent French ­managers. He won three league titles in a row before another year away from the game. He rejected a host of offers to become manager of Rangers, an ill-fated six months that ended in him leaving by mutual consent. He then took Paris Saint-Germain to the French league cup, before taking Cameroon to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He is currently Oman manager.

Alberto Suppici

Not a name that is at the tip of any fan's tongue, unless they have a penchant for pub quizzes, the Uruguayan led his country to glory at the 1930 World Cup at 31, a record that still stands. He guided the hosts to a dramatic comeback, winning 4-2 after being 2-1 down in the first World Cup final. He beat out Argentina's Juan Tramutola in the final, who at 27 years of age remains the youngest-ever manager to lead a nation at the World Cup.

Giovanni Trappatoni

Thirty-five years and 21 days. To highlight how old-school Serie A is, Trap is still the youngest manager to have led a team in the Italian top flight and that record has stood for 40 years. He took over Milan as caretaker coach in April 1974 and was later given the position on a full-time basis in 1975. Since then his CV has included ­Juventus, Inter Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Cagliari, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, Italy, Benfica, Stuttgart, Red Bull Salzburg, Ireland and the Vatican City. He's won leagues in four countries, cups galore and the Grand Slam of European honours - European Cup, UEFA Cup, European Cup Winners Cup and European Super Cup. Trap has also rightly been inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame and AC Milan's Hall of Fame.

Andre Villas-Boas

The Portuguese polyglot talked his way into Bobby Robson's backroom staff as a teenager and had achieved his UEFA A licence by the time he was 19. At 21 Villas-Boas was technical director of the British Virgin Islands national side and a decade later, after time shadowing Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter, he was leading out Academica in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, a few days shy of his 32nd birthday. His eight months there got him a return to Porto but this time as head coach. In his only season, Porto were undefeated in the league, winning it by 20 points, and he became the third-youngest manager to win the Primeira Liga. The league was joined by the Portuguese Cup and the Europa League to complete a treble, the latter making him the youngest manager to win a European competition at 33 years and 213 days. Subsequent spells at Chelsea and Spurs disappointed but Villas-Boas has got his coaching career back on track at Zenit St Petersurg, where he lifted the league last season and who are the only team with a 100 percent record in this current Champions League. 

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