Shenhua adds staff ahead of the new CSL season
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on Sunday announced two new signings — assistant coach and a medical official — both foreigners.
German football coach and former player Michael Henke will assist Greenland Shenhua manager Wu Jingui, while Spaniard Joaquin Mas, who worked with Real Madrid and Levante Union Deportiva, will head the medical section.
Sixty-year-old Henke managed FC Kaiserslautern in 2005-06 for 14 games. He spent much of his career working as an assistant to his compatriot Ottmar Hitzfeld, including eight seasons for Borussia Dortmund and six at Bayern Munich. He was the assistant coach at FC Ingolstadt 04 from 2013 to 2017 and has now made the move to the Chinese Super League side.
Shenhua is currently in Spain’s Marbella for a month-long winter training. Henke flew to Marbella last week and held talks with club officials and Wu before agreeing to join the side.
“I made the decision last Saturday (January 6),” the German told media in Spain. “I hesitated a bit before coming. After talking to Wu, I feel that this is a new adventure and probably a good experience for myself. As part of the managing team, I want to use my knowledge and experience to help the team.”
Henke attended the team’s training for the first time on Sunday and reconnected with French striker Demba Ba.
“Ba used to play in Bundesliga, so he can speak German,” said Henke. “I know about his injury. For us, Ba is a very important player. We mainly discussed some ideas about football.”
Ba scored for Shenhua in a friendly match against Scottish side Partick Thistle in Marbella on Friday. He came in as a substitute in the 53rd minute and scored with a long-range effort in the 84th minute with Shenhua was 0-2 down. It was the first time Ba had found the net for Shenhua after breaking his leg in a derby match in July 2016.
As assistant coach, Henke will mainly be in charge of the team’s attacking play, while the two Chinese assistant coaches, Mao Yijun and Li Chengming, will focus on defense.
New medical chief Joaquin Mas will join the team on Monday. The club is also planning to upgrade its medical and recovery facilities in Pudong’s Kangqiao base.