Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Cologne appoint Swiss Latour as coach
BERLIN, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Struggling German side Cologne appointed Grasshoppers' Hanspeter Latour as their new coach on Tuesday to help them in their battle against relegation.
Latour, 58, has agreed a contract until June 2007, Cologne said on their official website. He replaces Uwe Rapolder who was sacked after a 12th consecutive league match without a win.Cologne, who boast one of Germany's most promising young strikers, Lukas Podolski, last won a Bundesliga match in September and went out in the first round of the German Cup to second division Kickers Offenbach in August. At mid-season, they stand third from bottom in the German league.A former goalkeeper, Latour has been coach of Zurich club Grasshoppers for a year and previously steered FC Thun back into the Swiss championship after an absence of almost 50 years.Grasshoppers, who were seventh when Latour took over, won a tight race for third spot last season to clinch a place in this season's UEFA Cup. Latour had a contract with the Swiss club until the end of the season.The appointment was a surprise, even though leading German candidates Matthias Sammer and Ralf Rangnick had already ruled themselves out of the vacant job.Austrian Walter Schachner and Klaus Toppmoeller, formerly coach at Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg, were the favourites according to media reports.Bild newspaper greeted the appointment with the headline on its website 'A nobody from Switzerland to save Cologne'.With the position at Cologne now settled, only Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga still need to find a coach.