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Now starting his coaching career, Schrock wants ADT to learn by winning


Stephan Schrock is already working on the next stage of his career in football. He is not only working with the Azkals Development Team as a player but also as a member of the coaching staff in the 2022-2023 Philippines Football League.

In his prime, the 5-foot-7 Fil-German midfielder was a leader and match-winner for the Azkals and he was someone who delivered leadership to the team and excitement to the fans.

The former German Bundesliga player always held himself and his colleagues to high standards and he expects nothing less of the same now that he is starting life as a coach on the sidelines.

“I’m relying on my coaching staff during the games,” said the former Azkals skipper. “We have a very, very good core of coaches so we’re working hand-in-hand. There’s not really a head coach or assistant coach in any other teams where one is ruling and the other is just following.

“This is a very, very good setup where we share ideas, we work on the concept generally together.”

Similar to a lot of former players, Schrock is starting his coaching career working with youth players still trying to find their way in professional surroundings.

However, the attacking midfielder has the unique challenge of passing on his knowledge of the game to some of the country’s brightest prospects.

Without a doubt, this will be a long process with bumps along the way but the former Eintracht Frankfurt wouldn’t have it any other way.

“For ADT as a team and for every single individual in the team, it’s important to first get a winning mentality. These are grown-ups, 16 to 21 years old, and we have to establish first something like a winning mentality. That’s what we’re building at the moment,” said Schrock.

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“The boys are really responding very well so far. I hope at times they don’t put too much pressure on them because I’m expecting and demanding a lot in order for them to excel to their full potential,” he continued.

“It will be a long run. It’s a marathon, especially in a 10-month season and with all the challenges they have with school, with UAAP in between, with the under-19 camps coming up next month.”

“There’s a lot to consider but I’m very confident playing alongside me and having the coaching staff that we have, they will learn that winning is a major part in football and winning games in the PFL would mean a lot to them,” he added.

Just like in any setting, there is always an adjustment period for everyone. If Schrock was used to entering an Azkals camp full of full-fledged professionals, his first time walking into the ADT environment was way different.

Schrock would come into an Azkals team and have teammates playing in the PFL or in different clubs abroad. Now, he is teammates with players who are still finishing school.

Both environments are totally opposite from one another yet there is a sense of fulfillment for him now that he is working with youngsters.

“We had only — for the Kaya buildup game — we only had four training sessions together and it was more about identifying who is who, who can do what, and get to know each other a little bit on the pitch at least,” he explained.

“I do remember plenty of my players they had pictures of me when I was younger a couple of years back and in the beginning they were a little bit shy, a little bit reserved.

“Now the boys are coming out of their shell, warming up, and understand that regardless of what you had achieved in football or in life, you only have, like every other human, two arms, two feet. They understand that we are all equal in a way when I’m on the pitch and we are open to criticism. I think it’s a very good setup because they inspire me a lot and I hope I can inspire them back too,” he said.

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Learning is always a two-way process between teachers and their students. In a sense, both sides of the fence demonstrate humility because they are ready to converse with one another to rationalize different topics.

The same way goes for Schrock and his new teammates in the ADT. While he is indeed the veteran in the squad, he himself is determined to learn from his younger peers as much as they are absorbing lessons from him.

“I never go to a training or to a team or to any competition where I think I know best or I know it all, I can do it all,” said the four-time PFL champion. “That’s what I try to implement into the ADT team that you can learn and gather information and experience from everyone regardless of the playing abilities or the level or the position in companies. It’s all a learning experience for me and for them at the same time. We will grow together during the season.

“Now that the first two weeks have gone and wrapped up – they’re not so shy anymore. I think it will help us all.”

Despite being branded as a developmental team, the ADT has gone above its designation in domestic competitions.

It finished in 3rd place in the 2020 edition of the PFL and clinched 2nd place in the 2021 Copa Paulino Alcantara.

Fans should expect that under Schrock’s direction, the ADT will fight to live up to its past successes and not just compete to learn things on the fly.

“There’s a lot to consider but I’m very confident playing alongside me and having the coaching staff that we have, they will learn that winning is a major part in football and winning games in the PFL would mean a lot to them,” said Schrock. “I mean they played in Indonesia — the AFF tournament — and they got a taste of winning in the last game when they beat Brunei in the last group stage game.

“Nothing beats winning and that’s the best feeling ever. That’s why we play the game. Hopefully, they will pick it up quicker than I expect.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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