Winning in your head!

OHB and SC Borgfeld: Promoting young talent in football

David against Goliath? Yes, there’s something to this analogy, says Burak Bahar with a grin on his face. After all, the 26-year-old is the father of the greatest success in SC Borgfeld’s still young history. As the coach of the B youth team, i.e. the under-17s, he has made it into the Junior Bundesliga - meaning that his boys can now compete with opponents such as Werder Bremen, HSV, Hertha BSC, Hannover 96, VfL Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig. “These are all teams that are basically already being run according to the structures of professional football.” Bahar pauses momentarily. “Structures we don't have.” Not yet, he hastens to add.

Bahar and his team of coaches are therefore currently focusing even more on pedagogical principles than on football training as such. “Last season’s assent team have almost completely moved on to the A-youth class,” says Bahar. So we had to find a whole new team. Good guys, but all at different levels. For us, the main priority is to get the boys used to the Bundesliga level and to give them a taste of the league.”

We want to make it clear to the boys what an opportunity they have – and that they should be spirited in their efforts to make the most of it.

Burak Bahar, Trainer SC Borgfeld

That has worked quite well in the first few games. There were narrow defeats against Wolfsburg, St. Pauli and Hannover 96, but also the first point in a high-level German league for an SC Borgfeld team. Bahar is convinced that preliminary successes are only a question of time. “We are working very strongly and are highly motivated,” he says. "We want to make it clear to the boys what an opportunity they have – and that they should be spirited in their efforts to make the most of it.” A bit like David does with Goliath. David plucks up all the courage he can muster and throws stones at the giant until he falls down.

The trainer also finds the David-and-Goliath analogy particularly appropriate for OHB’s own story. That's why he thinks the company is an excellent match for his Bundesliga juniors. “OHB also once set itself the goal of becoming a renowned space technology company. It needed courage, passion and a sense of community to do this and to compete with the very big players in the industry,” says the Bremen native, who works as a scheduler when he’s not coaching. “In the end, however, OHB asserted itself and, as far as I can tell, has brought down the Goliath several times.”

We're working hard to achieve our goal of leaving a mark in this league

Burak Bahar, Trainer SC Borgfeld

This is also how he sees the development of league sport at SC Borgfeld. You need patience, mustn’t be deterred by setbacks and sometimes you even have to take one step back, but only to then make even greater efforts to succeed in the new attempt. Listening to Burak Bahar, you can’t help but be impressed by so much passion for what he does. He is a man of conviction who analyses every match of his team in detail in order to show the players their mistakes, but also their opportunities. “We're working hard to achieve our goal of leaving a mark in this league,” he says. “We are relentless in showing all the mistakes, but we always do it in an encouraging, constructive and motivating way.”

He attributes the lack of any victories to insufficient experience. That applies to players and coaches. “This is a new situation for all of us. We are all experiencing everything for the first time. The Bundesliga is simply another piece of cake, as we say in Bremen. “Ultimately, it’s the small details that determine whether you shoot a goal or not.” But his boys learn from these mistakes and are improving all the time.

At the end of the day, Burak Bahar is convinced that success will depend on the team’s commitment to classic values. “Courage, passion, honesty, discipline, the ability to accept criticism, commitment and helpfulness,” he says, listing these values. “If we succeed in activating these qualities to optimum effect in everyone on the team, we are assured of sustained success.”

More about courage, passion and discipline in our OHB milestone history.