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Coach Urs Fischer and assistant continuing with Union Berlin

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn,file)

By CIARÁN FAHEY

AP Sports Writer

BERLIN (AP) Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer and his assistant Markus Hoffmann are extending their contracts with the Bundesliga leader, ensuring both will stay on beyond next year.

Union said Wednesday it had "reached agreement on a contract extension" with both Fischer and Hoffmann, whose deals were due to expire at the end of this season. It did not give the length of the new contracts, though president Dirk Zingler said the coaching duo will "remain Unioners in the coming years."

"Urs Fischer is an excellent coach who, together with the entire coaching team, has led us into the most successful sporting phase in our club's history. Our work together has always been characterized by a great mutual respect and trust, and our talks about a continuing of this relationship proceeded along these lines," Zingler told the club website. "There was never any question of not continuing our successful cooperation for any of us."

Fischer took over as Union coach in July 2018 and led the club to its first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga in his first season in charge. Together with Hoffmann, he has overseen steady improvement in the seasons since. Union went on to finish 11th in its first season in Germany's top division, then seventh, and the club finished fifth last season to qualify for the Europa League.

This season Union leads the Bundesliga after seven rounds and it remains the only unbeaten team.

"What we have been able to experience together over the last few years is incredible," Fischer said of his time in the eastern Berlin borough of Kopenick. "I find it hard to put into words. As I have often said, I feel very much at home at Union."

Union is the only club playing in the Bundesliga to have played in the old East German league.

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Updated September 28, 2022

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