Acun Ilicali lifts lid on Tim Walter meetings as new Hull City boss makes good first impression

New Hull City head coach Tim Walter at the MKM Stadium
-Credit: (Image: Hull City AFC)


As arrivals go, Tim Walter's entrance into the tight confines of Hull City's MKM Stadium media suite on Tuesday lunchtime was rather subdued, certainly compared to the one owner Acun Ilicali was at 24 hours earlier in Istanbul.

A much calmer, low-key event than Jose Mourinho's arrival at Fenerbahce which Ilicali played a significant role in putting together, but no less captivating and fascinating in its own way.

Walter delivered a polished performance to match his choice of attire - for those wondering, the 48-year-old was decked out in a dark blue polo neck and matching blazer - a smile as wide as the Humber and a glint in his eye City fans will hope to see more of as his tenure begins, and his passionate exterior takes supporters along for the ride.

READ MORE: New boss Tim Walter reveals why Hull City is the 'perfect challenge'

Ilicali, himself in his now familiar black t-shirt and trousers combination explained why the German, the former Bayern Munich academy chief was his outstanding candidate from the moment he decided Liam Rosenior was no longer the man capable of returning City to the Premier League.

"Tim was our number one choice of our football brain team," said the Turkish businessman, who covered all manner of topics throughout. "He was the number one target. There were many technical directors who wanted to work with us and some successful coaches were interested, but our target was always Tim Walter.

"It was a fantastic meeting when we came together. After the first meeting in London, we had one more really important meeting and saw that we were completely on the same page. His style of football and way of controlling the team is really suitable to my football mentality. I think we have achieved fantastic performances the last two years and I will never forget how Liam Rosenior improved our team, he will forever be in our hearts."

Throughout the 70-minute introduction, Walter cut a relaxed figure as he glanced around the room, eying up those who will become part of his Hull City journey for the duration of his stay in East Yorkshire, smiling and catching the eye of both media and club staff.

Naturally, Walter was not only speaking to those assembled in the room, but the fans watching on and so too, his players who will have been keen to listen in and get a feel for what they can expect from their new boss when they return for pre-season training in less than a month's time.

Little was given away by the former Hamburg chief, who spoke candidly about being different, his desire for attacking football and awareness of the challenges the Championship will pose, while being cautious not to make any outlandish predictions which will likely come back and bite him.

The thorny subject of the goalkeeper was broached, with Ilicali clarifying comments about Ivor Pandur being number one, and saying that will be down to Walter, though he again played it with a straight bat with the inference that decisions will be made over the coming weeks and players given the chance to impress in pre-season.

"I am very happy to be here. I was made in Germany, but I am made for England," was perhaps his stand-out line along with "if you stay still, you will be dead."

He added: "Our vision fits perfectly and I am very happy to be here. My philosophy will fit perfectly in the style of English football. This is a new challenge and I am very excited. I have a winning mentality and this fits perfectly together."

It's hard for any new manager not to make a good first impression at a press conference, and the real test will be when he gets out on the training pitch at Cottingham in a few weeks' time and sells his vision to the players. While the media and supporters can be impressed by what they've seen thus far, the people who really matter are the ones who will dictate how successful Walter's tenure will be. And that's the players.

As first impressions go, this was a confident display and one that teases what excitement could be to come, but Walter will know the hard work must now begin to get City prepared for a season where expectations will be big from the off, and the pressure will be on, both from the terraces and chairman's suite.