BERLIN - Borussia Dortmund fans should not expect their team to dominate the German league in the coming years despite winning the Bundesliga in spectacular fashion three days ago, the club's sports director Michael Zorc said.
"We do not see ourselves as serial champions," Zorc, recovering from the weekend's extended celebrations, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
"We are fully aware that this was a unique season and this dominance we showed all year cannot just be repeated at will.
"What's important for us is that next season we show that same passion, the same commitment to playing our style of football."
It is difficult to imagine what coach Jurgen Klopp's young team - with an average age of 24.2 years - can do better next season.
They won their seventh German league title and the first since 2002 after beating Nuremberg 2-0 to go eight points clear with two games to spare.
Few had believed in Dortmund's title chances before the season as they lined up a largely untried and untested group of players.
So far this term they have won 22 of their 32 league games and lost four. They have scored 64 goals while conceding 19.
"We did not set a specific aim at the start of the season," said Zorc, who won the Champions League with the club in 1997.
"What we said at the start was we wanted to see this young team develop. A few more young talented players joined them and we said we would be happy if we won a European spot."
Zorc has been credited with spotting their highly successful purchases in the past few seasons, including Japanese Shinji Kagawa, Poland's Robert Lewandowski and Paraguay international Lucas Barrios
Quickly they set their sights on winning the title.
"It started with the away win at Schalke 04 (on the fourth match day). There we had the feeling that the club had rediscovered its dynamism," he said.
"The team gained more confidence and with the away win at Leverkusen (in January) and the away win at Bayern Munich (in February) the team showed it could handle the pressure that was quickly building up," he said.
Their spectacular run also caught the eye of Germany coach Joachim Loew, who called up defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Mats Hummels and midfielders Sven Bender, Mario Goetze and Kevin Grosskreutz for international duty.
Playmaker Nuri Sahin most certainly would have joined them had he not opted to play for Turkey.
Dortmund have planned ahead, agreeing long-term deals with their core of young players, although Sahin looks set to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.
"There will be some changes, winning a title triggers changes but our playing style will remain the same, it is how the coach wants it and it is also this club's character," said Zorc.
The future of Sahin, 22, however, still remains uncertain even though he has a contract until 2013. Many pundits believe he could join Real Madrid at the end of the season.
"It is difficult to say what will happen. We have to deal with a request when one is there but no final decision has been taken yet," Zorc said when asked whether Sahin would be playing at the Westfalen stadium next season.
Zorc, however, believes Dortmund is attractive enough as a football destination to keep all their other players for a few more seasons.
"We have very good arguments for them to stay in Dortmund - what we call the full package. Not only financial but also the prospect of playing in this unique constellation of this young team with 80,000 fans there with you in every game."
"But we are talking about the next season and maybe the one after. Anything beyond that is too far away in football."
Zorc also said he did not see any danger in his team's performances with the added Champions League commitments next season.
"The physical burden is more or less then same (as we've had in the Europa League this season) but the mental burden is far bigger in the Champions League. But all this is overshadowed by our anticipation to play in that competition again," added Zorc.comments