Hertha Berlin will have their head coach stay on the club after Pal Dardai signed an indefinite contract with the Bundesliga club. The 39-year-old, who assumed interim duties following Jos Luhukay’s dismissal on 5 February 2015, has signed a long-term deal at the club.
Dardai took charge of Hertha Berlin in February and succeeded in saving the club from the threat of relegation, keeping them up on the final day of the season.
Berlin’s only top-flight representative had just dropped into the relegation zone when Dardai came in, when Jos Luhukay was relieved of his duties. The Hungarian took over with Hertha deep in relegation trouble on Feb. 5, succeeding Luhukay following five losses in the previous seven matches.
Former Hertha midfielder managed to steer the club clear of the bottom three, albeit on goal difference, after overseeing four wins, five draws and six defeats whilst juggling his responsibilities as Hungarian national team coach.
He divides his time between coaching Hertha and coaching the Hungary national team, and successfully oversaw 15 Bundesliga matches, winning four and drawing five.
The 17 points he obtained were enough to keep Hertha in the top flight of German football. And it is only with goal difference that kept them ahead of Hamburg who went into relegation play-off.
The reward for his effort to the club is a contract which has no end date, which is a measure of the faith his club have in the 39-year-old. “I’m very happy about this agreement and the great belief that this club is showing in me,” said the coach on the club’s official website.
“I always said that leading the first team here was not just a very exciting challenge, but also something that is close to my heart and now I want to fulfil it with absolute enthusiasm. Now is the time to get to work, and there is a lot to do. Everybody knows this is a dream come true for me.”
Dardai has been on Hertha’s books since 1997, making 297 appearances as a player before starting his coaching career with the youth teams, until the call came last February to take charge of first-team affairs.
Berlin’s sporting director showed his delight on his Twitter account right after the coach signed the indefinite deal with the club. “The ink’s just dried. Pal Dardai is our new head coach,” reads this tweet from sporting director Michael Preetz.