"Continue things in my own way"

Peter Niemeyer speaks about his role as head of professional football

Peter Niemeyer leans on a green wall.
Niemeyer was most recently managing director at Preußen Münster (photo: W.DE).
Wednesday, 26.06.2024 / 12:15

Peter Niemeyer is now ten days into his new role as Werder Bremen’s head of professional football. Before the 40-year-old was presented to the media on Wednesday morning, he sat down with WERDER.DE to talk about all things Werder, the reasons for his move and his goals for the future.

WERDER.DE: Hi Peter, welcome back to Werder! There were 14 years between your departure from the club as a player and your new start as part of the management. How does it feel to be back here?

Peter Niemeyer: At the moment I’m enjoying the chance to spend the time before the players back getting to know the ins and outs of the club even better. Werder and Bremen have an incredible charm to them – I’m very happy to be back.

WERDER.DE: How has the club changed since you were here as a player?

Niemeyer: It’s changed a lot, especially in terms of the infrastructure and the facilities as a whole. The club has grown massively, but it still represents the same values as it did 14 years ago, and that’s why it feels so great to come back.

WERDER.DE: You’ve had about ten days to settle in so far – how are you finding things?

Niemeyer: As I say, it’s definitely helped that the team aren’t back yet. It gives me time to get to know the day-to-day routines, the people and take a look at the big picture.

WERDER.DE: Do you see it as a demotion in any way to go from managing director at Preußen to head of professional football?

Niemeyer: No, that’s not how it feels. I owe an incredible amount to Preußen Münster for entrusting me with the role of managing director at such a young age. It was really special and I had a wonderful time there. But now I’m extremely happy to be in Bremen because it’s another step up on the professional ladder. Everyone here is an expert in their field and we’re all pushing to develop the club together.

WERDER.DE: You experienced great success with Preußen, winning promotion to the 2. Bundesliga last season. How difficult was it for you to leave behind the project you’d built during your time there?

Niemeyer: I was very happy to be able to close that chapter by returning to the second tier after 33 years away. The decision to stay with Münster or move to Bremen had nothing to do with whether we went up or not. I have a special relationship with Werder because they gave me my first chance to play in the Bundesliga. I share the club’s values and I’ve followed SVW ever since.

For me, the character and success of the team are the two most important things.
Peter Niemeyer

WERDER.DE: So Clemens Fritz didn’t have to spend too long convincing you to join the club?

Niemeyer: Clemens can of course be very convincing when he needs to be, but that wasn’t the case here. I discussed it with my family, took some time to think about it, but when the time came to decide I was 100% convinced.

WERDER.DE: How are you going to approach your role at the club?

Niemeyer: I will be close to the first team. I want to continue the club’s culture and established approach in my own way. For me, the character and success of the team are the two most important things.

WERDER.DE: And now is your role different from that of Clemens?

Niemeyer: Over the course of time we’ll tweak things to make sure we differentiate ourselves. Clemens will still be present, which is important.

WERDER.DE: The first team have their medical examinations on 6th and 7th July, before training starts on the 8th. Have you already been in contact with Ole Werner, his staff and the players?

Niemeyer: I’ve had the chance to speak with Ole. But it’s also important that the team are given time to switch off and go on holiday. After that, we’ll have plenty of time to work with the team when they get back. Then I’ll have some chats and take the time to get to know everyone.

WERDER.DE: You’ve had the chance to watch the team from the outside – what qualities have you seen from the players?

Niemeyer: I think there’s a great amount of team spirit. Werder have always played attacking football, and the current crop are really trying to embody that style and are willing to give everything they’ve got for the team.

WERDER.DE:A 9th-placed finish last season was Werder’s best since 2019. What are you aiming for in 2024/25?

Niemeyer: Of course I have a competitive mindset and I want to achieve as much as possible. But even more important than the results is how we get there. For me, it’s crucial that we do everything as a team, and are prepared to go the extra mile – then success will come. We want to get better and better every day in order to achieve our goals.

WERDER.DE: We wish you all the best for the season ahead. Thank you for the interview, Peter!

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