Ebbsfleet United have announced the appointment of Dennis Kutrieb to the role of first-team manager.
Kutrieb arrives at the Kuflink Stadium from Tennis Borussia Berlin (TB Berlin, or ‘TeBe’) where he took the club to the top of the NOFV-Oberliga Nord table when the early season shutdown occurred.
The fifth-tier NOFV-Oberliga Nord is renowned as one of Europe’s toughest lower divisions and the 40-year-old Kutrieb led TB Berlin to second position in the 2018/19 season as well as the Berlin Cup Final, before dominating last season’s (2019/20) league campaign with his mixture of academy youth and seasoned professionals. In 19 games this season, TeBe have lost only twice and scored 61 goals while their frugal defence has conceded only 17 times.
The premature shutdown of the Oberliga season halted table-topping Kutrieb’s bid for a third promotion over a six-year period which includes last season’s second place achievement with TB Berlin and his prior hugely successful period leading VSG Altglienicke who he took from the Berlin League to the fourth-tier Regionalliga Nordost.
Leading German football publication Kicker recently anointed Kutrieb with the title of ‘Erfolgstrainer’, a rare honour saved for the brightest up-and-coming managers across all divisions. And Kutrieb created headlines on announcing he was not renewing his contract with TB Berlin in early May despite leading the league, attracting significant interest from clubs across the German pyramid.
On his decision to continue his rapid managerial progress in England with Ebbsfleet United, Kutrieb said, “For me this is a logical step in my career. The opportunity to create the same results and progression in the competitive English system as I have enjoyed in Germany is something I am very ambitious to do, and while I had options to remain in the German leagues and take on a role at a higher level, I’m very hungry to work hard and succeed in England with Ebbsfleet United.”
The new Fleet boss – who played in an attacking role for clubs including TB Berlin, BFC Dynamo, Rot Weiß Oberhausen and Ludwigsfelder FC – continued, “I’m excited by the preparation and meticulous approach I’ve experienced already in my discussions with Ebbsfleet and we share the same philosophy and belief in terms of the high work ethic and standards that a club requires to consistently progress and win football matches.”
Ebbsfleet United said of the appointment, “Dennis is one of Germany’s most highly regarded young managers and we are extremely pleased to secure his services to take the club forward. A feature of Dennis’ success has been his tactical flexibility and dynamic tactical management during matches, along with his meticulous and thorough approach to preparation.
“An exhaustive and thorough process has been undertaken to identify and profile the attributes that best suit our club going forward to provide the optimal structure for stable and consistent football operations and results.”
Dennis will be supported in his role by existing club director of football Steve Lovell. Steve’s vast league and local football experience will be integral in providing Dennis with recruitment and retention support at Ebbsfleet United and his role and position at the club remains unchanged.
Like all National League clubs, the Fleet await clarity and guidance on the finalisation of the 2019/20 campaign, a starting date for the new season and the make-up of the National Leagues ahead of a new season.