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Bern unveil new ice hockey coach

Fuhrer will take over at the end of the current season

(Keystone)

Bern ice hockey club have named former player Riccardo Fuhrer as their new chief coach and technical director.

The 45-year-old, who is currently coaching second division side Lausanne, will take over from Bern's current coach Pekka Rautakallio at the end of the season. The club said on Monday that it had opted for a "Bernese solution" to its recent slump in form.

Fuhrer, who has signed a two year contract with Bern, was also keen to play up his local credentials during his presentation to the Swiss media.

"I was born in Bern," he said, "I played here for a long time and therefore I'm able to get stuck into this new challenge with vigour."

Concerning his dual role at the club, Fuhrer confirmed that he would certainly be looking to appoint a number two either as an assistant coach or a director of sport. But the new coach said it was too early to name names, pointing out that he had only been contacted about the job three weeks ago.

Fuhrer has good memories of his time at Bern as a player, having won the league title with the club, a feat which he also achieved while playing for Lugano. But while Lugano now head the Swiss top division, Bern have struggled this season.

The side from the Swiss capital only managed to secure a spot in the championship playoffs on Sunday with just four matches of the regular season remaining.

As well as their current coach, Rautakallio, Bern announced on Monday that they would be losing the services of popular Swedish defender Fredrik Olausson at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has decided to head back to Sweden, despite an ongoing contract, citing family reasons for his decision.

swissinfo with agencies

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