The Belgian Karel Geraerts will be the new coach of FC Schalke 04. The 41-year-old will receive a contract with the second division football club until June 30, 2025, as the Gelsenkirchen-based company announced.

Geraerts, who signed the new contract on Sunday evening, was most recently employed by the Belgian surprise club Union Saint-Gilloise. Despite a successful season with third place, the club parted ways with him.

“Over the past two weeks, André Hechelmann and I have worked intensively to find the right trainer for the profile we were looking for. The process took place in close coordination with the sports committee and in particular Youri Mulder, who is very well connected, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium “, explained sports director Peter Knäbel. “After the first meeting, it was clear to us that Karel Geraerts fulfilled exactly the criteria we want for a Schalke head coach,” said Knäbel, according to the club’s statement.

The new coach was officially introduced in a press conference with Knäbel and sports director Hechelmann.

In Geraerts, Schalke is getting an internationally experienced coach. With Saint-Gilloise he beat 1. FC Union Berlin in the Europa League in the round of 16 last season and then failed in the quarter-finals against Bayer Leverkusen. A completely different and difficult task awaits him at Schalke.

New coach stands for new game idea

“The conversations with Karel were very familiar from the first second. He was perfectly prepared and presented us with analyzes of how he looks for and finds footballing solutions. He has a clear approach to the game, his style is intense, targeted, efficient. With him “We found a coach who has a new game idea for our team and is eager to implement it together with the entire team,” said Hechelmann.

The Revierclub is currently running far behind its own standards. As a relegated team from the first division, the goal for the season is actually direct promotion. Instead of being in the top group, Schalke is in 16th place in the table. After only two wins in the first seven league games, the traditional club parted ways with coach Thomas Reis on September 27th. Matthias Kreutzer then looked after the team as interim coach. Under the 40-year-old, Schalke lost 3-1 at SC Paderborn and lost 2-1 against Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga relegated duel on Sunday. Geraerts will make his debut as S04 coach on October 22nd in the away game at Karlsruher SC.