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Saeel Sharifi

Saeel came to Germany last year at the age of 19. He was on the road for three and a half years. Today, he is on his way to graduating from high school, is attending a language course and would like to obtain his C license in soccer next year.

He has already taken the first step towards this goal, the training to become a DFB Junior Coach, with the support of RheinFlanke.

1. When and how did you come to Germany?

My journey started at the end of 2015 when I was 15 years old. I arrived in Germany in February 2019 and was finally able to see my mother and brother again. We were unfortunately separated during our journey, so I was traveling alone for the last 9 months. The first months we lived in a camp in Berlin. For a few months now we have our own apartment.

2. How did you come to RheinFlanke?

A social worker at the camp told me about RheinFlanke. I was very bored there. I had nothing to do and there were no people my age. However, I wanted to do something besides school and improve my German. I went to RheinFlanke because I was looking for some sort of activity and wanted to make friends. I thought about maybe doing an internship. I only found out about this opportunity in Germany and thought it was a great idea. In my home country there is no such thing, you just go and work.

3. What have you done at RheinFlanke so far and how has RheinFlanke supported you?

At RheinFlanke, we first looked at what I could actually do with my interests. At the same time, I went to RheinFlanke's sports programs to get in touch with new people. Since I like to play soccer and work with children, Anja and Dave had the idea that I could possibly train to become a soccer coach. That way I can do both.

4. Why did you want to become a DFB Junior Coach and how did RheinFlanke support you?

I also heard about coach training for the first time. RheinFlanke told me about it. After we discussed the idea, I organized everything together with Dave and Anja so that I could do the course. During the training, Dave met with me every week and we discussed the tasks. If it was necessary, Dave explained the tasks to me again or translated them so that I could understand them better. He would then always give me "homework" to do in order to stay on schedule.

5. How was your work as a junior coach so far?

After a few weeks in the training course, I went along to the trainings of RheinFlanke in a housing facility to learn how to work as a coach with a group of young people. Later, I switched to a team of the C-youth at FC Internationale 1908 e. V. and was able to be part of a real club. Coaching the team was a challenge because the players were more disciplined and I had to prepare very well. There were a lot more practices and less playing.

6. What experiences have you had so far at FC Internationale?

I was present at the trainings as a co-trainer and at first I watched a lot. After a while, I started to do exercises and warm-ups with the players. We had training three times a week, twice of which I was there. That was quite a lot. On weekends there were always games, which I accompanied as a co-trainer. I'll never forget my first independently led warm-up. I was very excited. But the coaches at "Inter" supported me and kept telling me that I could do it. It gave me more confidence and I got better and better. It was a very good experience!

7. What has changed for you through your work with RheinFlanke and FC Internationale?

I have learned and tried out many new things. For example, I worked with a computer in Linux for the first time, which was very interesting. The course and the work with RheinFlanke was the best thing that happened to me in Germany so far.

8. What would you like to do in the future?

My dream is to be a pilot someday. But that is very difficult. In any case, I would like to study and definitely go to a university. And maybe in the future I can coach a team in my home country, that would be great.


Saeel Sharifi is accompanied on his progress by RheinFlanke employee Dave Wilke from the "work for you" project in Berlin. Today he says about Saeel:

"Working with Saeel was and still is a great pleasure for me. Already during the training course, you could see how Saeel grew through the tasks set for him in the DFB JuniorCoach training - more confidence in his own abilities, improved language skills and the feedback that his solutions to the tasks were very good led to more self-confidence. This in turn is important in many areas of life, not least in the work as a coach of a group. I am already very much looking forward to supporting Saeel on his further path, as far as it is necessary and desired by him."

"work for you" is a cooperation project with FC Internationale Berlin e.V. and is supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.