In the same manner that the youth academy of Borussia Dortmund has had the tendency to spurn out some of the best young talents in football – Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic and Dan Axel-Zagadou to name a few – the role of the manager of Borussia Dortmund 2 has become the springboard for catapulting coaching careers in England in recent years.
It is from the role of BVB's second-string coach that Huddersfield Town owner Dean Hoyle plucked David Wagner from in 2015, after the German had worked with close friend Jurgen Klopp, who was manager of Dortmund's senior team.
And now, following Wagner's exit from his post as Terriers manager, the side have appointed Jan Siewert , who was up until this week manager of the BVB 2 side. Thus, the BVB-reserve-coach-to-Huddersfield-manager circle of life has been completed.
After Wagner left Borussia Dortmund's reserve team to manage Huddersfield, he was replaced by Daniel Farke who left in 2017 to take hold of Championship side Norwich City before being succeeded by the 36-year-old Siewert.
Siewert is largely unknown even in Germany, though he has built a solid reputation for himself in the country as a youth coach over the years. He began his coaching career in 2009, taking charge of Germany's Under-17s and U18s teams after working as coordinator of Die Mannschaft's base camps.
Dortmund's second string are currently fourth in the Regionalliga West, a tier four league in the German football hierarchy. Prior to taking charge of Dortmund 2 in July 2017, he worked his way up as the Under-19s coach at Bundesliga 2 outfit VfL Bochum where he was also assistant to the head coach of the senior side, as well as managing Rot-Weis Essen who play in the fourth tier of German football. Like Wagner, Siewert has carved out a reputation for being a young German manager with extensive experience coaching prominent youth sides for both club and country.
A former defensive midfielder who played in lower league sides Mayen, SG Bad Breisig and Montabaur in his native Germany, Bild reported that Siewert has costed Huddersfield the sum of €300k (£264k) in compensation to Dortmund 2. The fact that a Premier League side – albeit one sitting rock-bottom of the table – has decided to hire a BVB 2 coach for the second time has caused a flurry of surprise in Germany.
Siewert's appointment establishes the fact that Huddersfield are keen on continuing in the style of Wagner and to continue the footballing philosophy he implemented on his Terriers. It also shows that the club has been impressed by the successes of recent German coaching imports to English football.
As manager of Norwich, Farke has guided the Canaries to second in the Championship table this season, and Klopp's revolution at Liverpool where he has taken them from Europa League mediocrity to genuine title challengers over the course of three and a half years has been lost on no-one.
Under Wagner, Huddersfield were a side transformed, and he guided them from being relegation-threatened in the Championship to winning promotion to the Premier League in 2017 via the play-offs against all expectations – the first time they had achieved top-flight status in 45 years.
Terriers owner Hoyle has insisted that the appointment of Siewert is not a gamble and stressed the importance of separating the manager from the line of succession from Dortmund, considering he has relative experience managing the senior team of a top-level side and is foreign to the English game.
"Let me start by addressing the obvious. We enjoyed tremendous success under our previous head coach, Wagner, and we’ve subsequently appointed a new head coach that bears many similarities to him; a young, aspirational German from Borussia Dortmund 2," said Hoyle.
"However, that does a disservice to Jan, who is his own man. There is much more to this appointment than that.
"Jan’s name came to our attention in his previous role as assistant manager and U19 coach at VfL Bochum. We first spoke with him over two years ago and we’ve kept in communication since, watching his progress with interest.
"His reputation in the game is very good; he’s known as a coach who is ambitious, has many qualities and who has strong philosophies. As such, it came as no surprise to us when he moved to one of the world’s biggest clubs; Borussia Dortmund."Wagner left Huddersfield in mid-January as the club languished bottom of the table after 22 games, having scored just 13 goals and winning only two fixtures. Terriers U23s coach Mark Hudson took charge of the most recent home defeat on Sunday to Manchester City, where the club's recent troubles were compounded by a 3-0 defeat – leaving the club 10 points adrift of safety.
Enter, then, Siewert, who faces his first real test as a coach in football when he takes hold of Huddersfield against Everton in the Premier League in his debut game in charge. In his last season and a half at Dortmund, the German deployed a fluid attacking style, usually in a 4-3-3. The same formation was used without success by Hudson against Pep Guardiola's team, although no one expected anything but a defeat against the Premier League champions.
Time will tell if Siewert can emulate his philosophy from BVB 2 and to follow in the footsteps of Wagner. Though if the 36-year-old is unsuccessful, the Terriers can always turn to the services of lookalike Martin Warhurst from Wakefield – who was mistaken for the German coach in the stands by a Sky Sports reporter at the John Smith's Stadium earlier this weekend.