Hertha Berlin is putting its faith in under-23 coach Ante Covic to take charge as Pal Dardai's replacement for next season. The Bundesliga side says the 43-year-old Covic will take over as coach from July 1.
Sporting director Michael Preetz says, "We said from the beginning that we wanted a coach with Hertha DNA. Ante Covic has this DNA more than any other candidate. He knows our young players, and formed and challenged them to prepare them for the professional business." Covic, who played for Hertha from 1996 to 2000, has been coaching the under-23 side since November 2013.
He assisted Otto Rehhagel as coach in 2012. Hertha was looking for a new coach after announcing on April 16 that Dardai would leave the club after four and a half seasons. Hertha had lost its previous five Bundesliga matches. Dardai, who took over as interim coach from Jos Luhukay in February 2015, saved the club from relegation and was given a permanent contract at the end of that season.
Dardai led Hertha to a seventh-place finish in 2016, sixth in 2017 and a spot in the Europa League, and 10th last year. But injuries hurt the team this season and Dardai complained that expectations had grown too high. Hertha is 10th this season and won't qualify for the Europa League.