Frank Wormuth had undoubtedly imagined the farewell to Heracles Almelo very differently. After not being maintained in the regular competition, the club decided to sideline the German at the start of the play-offs. Assistant coach René Kolmschot took over responsibility, but was unable to save the Almelo team from relegation. Thus came a sad end to four years of Wormuth with Heracles. In conversation with TC Tubantia the 61-year-old coach looks back one last time on the disaster season.
Everything that could be against Heracles was against. The serious injuries of Kaj Sierhuis and Ismail Azzaoui, the departure of Delano Burgzorg and the fatal car accident in which tastemaker Rai Vloet was negatively involved. “It was intense. This season has not gone well,” Wormuth concludes. “A week before Sparta home, we were still eight points ahead of the post-competition spot and there was even talk about the play-offs for European football. I have always said: ‘Stop, stop, stop, it is far from that. “When I look back, I see a lot of beautiful things. Four wonderful years are behind me, the club has settled in my heart.”
The duel with Sparta Rotterdam on the final day of the competition was decisive for Heracles. A point or loss of points from Fortuna Sittard was sufficient for enforcement. It was a hopeless 1-3 defeat against Erve Asito. Fortuna won 0-1 at NEC. “I changed players because I was looking for old ties”, Wormuth looks back on the duel with Sparta. “We played a great first half, but just before half-time we conceded a goal. There was anger and disappointment in the dressing room, but I kept believing in it.” That same evening, knowing that Excelsior would wait in the play-offs, Wormuth spoke to the technical director Tim Gillissen, who has since left.
“I asked if he wanted to continue in this way. ‘Yes’, he said. I spoke to the players’ council, there was support there too,” Wormuth continues. “Director Rob Toussaint asked if I had a plan for the post-competition match against Excelsior. Of course I had. I wanted to play German, wait and keep the peace. Get at least a draw in Rotterdam and finish it at home. The opponent was in a huge flow and had much faith, while we were uncertain. But others wanted us to play Dutch, to storm, to present ourselves as an Eredivisie team. There was panic. I said, ‘Don’t cut on the wrong side of the branch…'”
What followed was layoff. Heracles chose to put Kolmschot in front of the group at the start of the play-offs in the hope of causing a shock effect. “If you think I’m an asshole, fine, but if I don’t know, I can’t change anything,” said Wormuth. “When people ask me if I stayed a year too long, I say no. I wanted to stay, because the team stayed together and was supplemented with A-players. If others think I should have left earlier, that’s fine too. I can handle that well, I don’t cling to my job. And if they had talked to me that Monday after Sparta, I could have accepted it and I would have gone.”
Wormuth experienced the tail end of the competition as a rollercoaster. He has not seen the first game with Excelsior. Too emotional. “After that I asked my agent if he wanted to call Heracles, I wanted to come back for that last game. But he didn’t want that. I would have loved to have been there. Now it seems like I haven’t been relegated, but of course I am like this.” Wormuth has eaten afterwards with Gilissen and Toussaint and says that he has closed it. “Heracles has settled in my heart, it was four wonderful years. The stadium has become my living room. Thank you for everything and auf Wiedersehenthe German concludes.