Rech inspiring new generation in Germany
Bianca Rech has an impressive resume with 20 international caps for Germany and over 270 career appearances in the German top-flight. Playing in an era where dual careers were a necessity, Rech has impressive footballing experience which was amassed during spells with SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich and FC Köln.
Away from football Rech holds a Bachelor of Sport Facility Management and Operations, the UEFA Diploma in Football Leadership and Management (DFLM) and the MIP Executive Master for International Players where she is currently a board member.
As Sporting Director for FC Bayern Munich Women, the German national is using all her experience to help manage the continued growth of the game and help players of today, plan for the future.
Speaking to the Association of Sporting Directors, Rech outlined some of her daily duties in Bavaria.
‘My role as Sporting Director for FC Bayern Munich involves working on first team relationships –working with players, agents and responsible for the squad planning. As well a lot of strategic planning in terms of where the Women’s Football Department wants to go and how to get there.
‘My role covers more than the first team, with responsibility around the entire department, the staffing, youth academy, so it is quite a lot of variation.’ Rech said.
Rech knew early on in her playing career that there was a need to look beyond her on-field journey and this helped transition into football administration.
‘Sometimes I would be happy to be a few years younger and be able to feel the movement of women’s football on the playing side. But I certainly don’t regret my time when I was playing professional football and working on the other side – because that is what I had to do.
‘The professional game did not pay as much as it does today. I learned a lot and it helped me to prepare for my career after my playing career especially since I got injured at quite an early age.
‘I knew my playing career might not be so long so, it really helped me that I was able to use my off the pitch experience, which I gained before, in my later work places. It was definitely a positive influence on my career.’ said Rech.
Promoted to the position of Sporting Director in 2019, Rech helped put the structures in place which delivered the first Frauen-Bundesliga title in five-years when Bayern clinched the championship in 2020/2021. The league honours have been battled out between VFL Wolfsburg and Munich who finished in the top two positions since 2014/2015.
‘There are some teams who are not fully developed when it comes staffing and professional environment. When it comes to the top clubs, there is a Sporting Director or General Manager on board. It is important as there needs to be someone between the general club management and the footballing side. Sometimes in the past, the coach took over the sporting director role too. I don’t think it is a healthy combination.’ Rech added.
Elements of the men’s game are creeping into the women’s with the increased attention and commercial value in recent years. The growth has been unprecedented with the speed providing challenges in ensuring correct structures are put in place.
‘The game is growing in a positive way but there is the other side, with the fact that the development is so fast, making it hard to build the build the structure behind it.
‘Building structure takes time in terms of staffing, money and bringing the right people on board. It is a little difficult right now due to the game growing so fast, leaving not enough time to ensure structures are in place. But I am happy that we are here right now and the women’s football movement is going into the right direction.
‘It will be very interesting with the Women’s EURO this year and FIFA World Cup next year; it will be great to see where we are in two years’ time. With the game growing so fast, things you talked about last summer for example are now outdated, you have to rethink very quick.’ Rech added.
The recent UEFA Women’s Champions League Final was a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues from across Europe, with Rech also enjoying opportunities to connect in person with the MIP and Association of Sporting Director Events.
‘I was part of the MIP program in 2015 and time has flown by and they are on their fourth edition now. There are a lot of ex-international players and networking within these events are incredibly valuable. We try to see each other at alumni meetings once a year and we had some online conferences in the past years.’ Rech said.
With the success of the men’s side domestically, Rech’s main dealings with them is at youth level.
‘We are in constant exchange with the youth academy due to our shared location, the FC Bayern Campus.’ Rech noted.
Bayern Munich finished runners-up this season with VFL Wolfsburg reclaiming their crown. With Champions League qualification, the Bavarian club will be hoping for continued growth alongside Europe’s elite clubs.
Rech hopes to engage with Association of Sporting Director members in the coming months as the network continues to expand and grow.
Article wrote by Colm Hand, student on the Football Industries MBA at the University of Liverpool
Feature image photo credit: Imago Images
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