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Bernd Stange in 2012
|Full name||Bernd Walter Stange|
|Date of birth||14 March 1948|
|Place of birth||Gnaschwitz, Germany|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1966–1970||HSD DHfK Leipzig|
|1970–1971||Carl Zeiss Jena (youth team)|
|1971–1978||Carl Zeiss Jena (assistant)|
|1978–1980||East Germany U21|
|1980–1982||East Germany (assistant)|
|1982–1984||East Germany Olympic|
|1989–1991||Carl Zeiss Jena|
|1997–1998||Carl Zeiss Jena|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
During his playing career, he played for Chemie Gnaschwitz, Vorwärts Bautzen, and HSG DHfK Leipzig as a defender.
Born in Gnaschwitz, Doberschau-Gaußig, a Sorbian town of Saxony, Stange started playing at an early age and was called into the East German youth team. He continued to play for Chemie Gnaschwitz in the lower divisions until 1965 followed by a year at Vorwärts Bautzen. In 1966 he joined HSG DHfK Leipzig, playing until retiring in 1970, while also studying at the DHfK Leipzig (de) to become a sports teacher.
In late 1983, he was appointed head coach of East Germany after years working as assistant coach and head coach of the Under 21s. After a mediocre five-year spell with the national team without qualifying for a World Cup or European Championship final tournament, Stange returned, now as head coach in the GDR league, to FC Carl Zeiss Jena, in the autumn of 1989.
Stange moved to coach Hertha BSC where his old ties as an informant for the East German police, the Stasi, surfaced. He was an 'Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter', which translates as 'unofficial employee'. His code name was 'IM Kurt Wegner'. His tasks included informing the Stasi about his players' views of the government and whether any of them were breaking the law by making contact with West Germans. He was sacked after these allegations surfaced.
In 1998, he joined Perth Glory in the Australian National Soccer League. Glory under Stange in 2000 won the NSL league title however failed in the Grand Final, losing on penalties to the Wollongong Wolves after leading 3–0 at half-time. Stange was very popular among supporters in Perth to the point where a demonstration was held to prevent him from being sacked. However, his abrupt nature with players and other club officials made him a number of enemies, leading to his departure at the completion of his contract.
In 2001, he was given the opportunity to guide Oman to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan but was fired after less than three months in the job, just enough time for the German to attract the attentions of Iraqi sports officials, after his team beat Iraq 1–0.
Amid threats from the US President George W. Bush of a possible military conflict with Iraq, he arrived in Baghdad in October 2002 and put pen to paper to a four-year contract that included two clauses allowing him to leave in the event of war and to refuse any political comment.
In 2005 Stange joined Apollon Limassol in Cyprus and helped them to avoid relegation. The following season Apollon won unbeaten the Cypriot Championship after 12 years. Also, Apollon won the Super Cup a few months later for the first time. Stange had indicated that he would not be continuing in Cyprus after the end of the 2005–06 regardless of results. However, after the success he had with the club, he continued for the 2006–07 season but resigned in the middle of that season because his team was not doing well and lost its chance to win the Championship again.
On 30 July 2007, Stange was appointed by the Belarus Football Federation to coach the national team after previous manager Yuri Puntus resigned the month before due to a poor performance in the Euro 2008 qualifying. For his first game on 22 August, against Israel, Stange, to the surprise of fans and media called up many young players from the domestic league, leaving veterans such as Denis Kovba out of the rosters for the game. His debut ended in a 2–1 impressive victory despite questionable positioning of players on the field (e.g. Dmitri Mozolevski, striker, playing as a defender). With Stange, Belarus achieved its highest FIFA rating in its history, currently being ranked at 55th.
Bernd Stange has often commented on his desire to eventually settle in Perth with his wife Dorothea.
Stange openly criticized Singapore players for their lack of fitness and refusal to meet him personally for further fitness drills.
Under his tutelage Singapore performed badly as they were eliminated from the 2014 AFF Championship where the "Lions" were a host nation. There were high expectations for the "Lions" because they won the last edition (2012).
Despite that in 16 June 2015, they tied Japan 0–0 in historic goalless draw at Saitama Stadium 2002. Their best results after long years.
Stange retired on 14 July 2016.
His salary was about 35 Thousand dollars which was about 30 times more than the former manager of the team Ayman Hakeem who managed the team during the final phase of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification and led the team to the knockout stage. The salary was criticized many times by the press considering the situation in Syria, the poor results and performance of the team in 2019 Asian Cup and even in the friendly matches that preceded the tournament.
After heavy criticism and a poor showing during the first two matches of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which ended in a 0–0 draw against minnows Palestine and a sound 2–0 defeat from neighbours Jordan, the Syrian FA announced that Stange would be sacked immediately and replaced with former manager Fajr Ibrahim who would see out the rest of Stange's contract, which would have ended following the Asian championship.
The following table provides a summary of Bernd Stange as the Belarus, Singapore and Syria manager, including his progress in friendlies and competitive matches.
- As of 10 January 2019
Key: P–games played, W–games won, D–games drawn; L–games lost, %–win percentage
- "Bernd Stange feiert heute seinen 68. Geburtstag" [Bernd Stange celebrates his 68th birthday today]. FC Carl Zeiss Jena (in German). 14 March 2016. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Unvergessliche Spiele im Zentralstadion" (PDF). Campus Leipzig (in German). 18 December 2002. p. 20. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- Mamrud, Roberto (12 February 2020). "Bernd Walter Stange - International Matches as Coach". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
- "Bernd Stange: Syria boss on coaching a team in a war zone". BBC News. 21 May 2018.
- "Stange to leave Belarus post". FIFA.com.
- "Football: FAS to unveil Bernd Stange as new national coach, replacing Raddy Avramovic". The Straits Times.
- "Bernd Stange unveiled as new Singapore coach".
- "Outgoing Singapore coach Bernd Stange defends his record". The Straits Times. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Ehemaliger DDR-Nationalcoach Stange erwägt Karriere-Ende" (in German). TZ. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "Bernd Stange: Ex-DDR-Trainer übernimmt die Nationalelf von Syrien". bild.de (in German).
- "مدرب سابق لمنتخب ألمانيا الشرقية يتولى تدريب المنتخب السوري" [Former coach of the East German team takes over the Syrian team]. DW (in Arabic). 1 February 2018.
- "Asian Cup news: Syria sack Stange after Jordan loss". FOX Sports Asia. 11 January 2019.
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