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Heidel not fearful of Schalke challenge

Schalke's new sporting director Christian Heidel says he is not scared by the task facing him following his switch from Mainz.

It was confirmed in February that Heidel would replace Horst Heldt in the role, ending his 24-year association with former club Mainz.

Heidel has already been busy, acquiring the services of defender Naldo from Wolfsburg on a free transfer, while he must also lead the search for a successor to head coach Andre Breitenreiter, who departed following the end of the campaign.

Aware he has a big job on his hands after Schalke's fifth-place finish, Heidel is not daunted by the prospect.

"It's been extremely hard to leave Mainz, which was my home for 24 years," he said at a media conference on Wednesday.

"I hope Schalke fans understand that and they have been very welcoming. 

"It's clear to me how big a club this is compared to Mainz. I'll be under much more public scrutiny. I'm not scared of that.

"I wasn't going to leave Mainz for an easy job. I have the impression that we can achieve something here.

"We want to combine all the club's energy and bring everyone together. We all need to be proud of Schalke.

"I've come to Schalke to make an impact. I want the fans to be proud of the club."