After the mutual agreement reached by the club and Zoran Barisic to terminate his contract as Trainer of SK Rapid Vienna on Monday evening, the club is delighted just one day later to be able to release details of his successor: with immediate effect Mike Büskens takes over first team duties on a one-year contract with an option to extend!
The 48-year old German presides over an impressive CV as both a player and trainer in his native Germany. Düsseldorf born Büskens represented home town club Fortuna Düsseldorf, before moving to FC Schalke 04 in 1992. He enjoyed a successful 10-year stint in Gelsenkirchen, and was part of the side that enjoyed a UEFA Cup triumph in 1997, also winning the DFB-Cup on two occasions. Büskens career as a player wound down in the Schalke reserves, but also included a sabbatical at MSV Duisburg.
During the twilight of his career Büskens also operated as co-Trainer for Schalke reserves, before taking over as Trainer with the Royal Blues second string between 2005-2008. His long association with Schalke saw him act as interim Trainer for the first team on two occasions before resuming his role with the reserves. In 2009 Büskens moved to SpVgg Greuther Fürth, with whom he achieved promotion to the German Bundesliga in 2012 - for the first time in the club's history - winning the German second division and reaching the cup semi-finals in the process. In 2013 he returned to Fortuna Düsseldorf for a short spell as Trainer, before returning to his old stomping ground in Fürth for six months in 2015 where he remained Trainer until summer 2015, managing to fight off the threat of relegation. Most recently he was in the employment once more of Schalke 04.
Sporting Director Andreas Müller on the appointment: "The departure of Zoran Barisic - whom we wish all the best for the future – by mutual consent was confirmed shortly before the summer preparations this week. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to announce the timely appointment of Mike Büskens as Head Trainer. Büskens can call on a decade of experience in different levels of German football, and will be getting to know the squad, coaching staff, and club officials in the coming days, before he takes his first official training session on Friday".
Mike Büskens: "It's an honour for me, that I’ve been afforded the opportunity to start working in a renowned and legendary club like SK Rapid. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone in the club and to quickly get an overview on things, in order to go into my new assignment giving everything I have. It’s an extremely attractive proposition and I’ve already been gathering information on Austrian football from a variety of experts!"
The Rapid Trainer in waiting will be officially introduced this coming Thursday in a press conference. The first official training under Büskens then takes place on the following day, Friday, June 10 at 10.00 on the Ernst Happel Stadium's trainings pitches.