Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup January 5 & 6, 2019

Marc Kienle, VfB Stuttgart, and the Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup

Marc Kienle has a special relationship to the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup and not just because he lives within nine kilometers of the Glaspalast, in Ehningen.

In 1991, at the first edition, he wore the jersey of the leading scorer. In 2009 occurred his first come back as the U19 coach of the VfB Stuttgart. For the first time, on January 6 and 7, he will be responsible for the sports coordination of the VfB Stuttgart at the Glaspalast. Only a few have accompanied the development of the tournament so closely.

Marc Kienle, you are the "man of the hour" at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup. What does this event mean for the VfB Stuttgart?

Marc Kienle: "The tournament has a national and international major importance. We are like the home team of the tournament and were the only group that has participated in all events. The tourney takes place in our direct catchment area, we have a lot of VfB fans in the arena, and we want to present ourselves well.”

You were a player at the first tournament in 1991, what memories do you have? Marc Kienle: "I remember that well. That was the first big international indoor tournament, right at my front door where I even became leading scorer. That was quite special for me as a young player.

The tournament was outstanding at that time, although it is not comparable with today’s Junior Cup.”

What is the biggest difference?

Marc Kienle: "Of course soccer has changed overall. However, the biggest change in this tournament is the public awareness. Live on TV and a sold-out arena. We were still far away from that back in 1991."

What are the main reasons for this positive development?

Marc Kienle: "There are plenty. Primarily, the commitment, and the persistence of Mercedes-Benz stands out. Promoting such a tournament over this period is something special.

In addition, Sindelfingen offers an ideal setting with the arena to the two clubs, VfL Sindelfingen and GSV Maichingen, with the potential audience, and the indoor soccer tradition. I also think that the point in time is perfect, and of course, we have to consider the fact that youth soccer has gained significantly in importance.”

How was it in 2009 when you returned to the tournament as the coach of the VfB Stuttgart U19?

Marc Kienle: "I never lost sight of the tournament, not even in the time between. I kept going back to the arena as a viewer. In 2009, we actually had a really good team with players like Daniel Didavi, Julian Schieber and Boris Vukcevic. But we were missing a little bit of luck.”

And if you return to the Glaspalast, eight years later back again…

Marc Kienle: "... then the tournament and the youth soccer developed significantly once again. Today, we no longer talk about a junior tournament, but about a tournament of young professionals that are no longer on their way to become professional soccer players, but are already on the threshold. The viewers can look forward to good games - and hopefully a successful VfB Stuttgart. "

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