In 1978, Hild joined RC Strasbourg as coach of the reserve team. The role required him to scout, so Hild wanted an experienced player to work with the youth while he was away. Both Hild and Frantz recommended Wenger, which convinced manager Gilbert Gress to appoint him. Wenger's playing career at the age of 28 began to wane, but he never anticipated a role in the first-team. Working for RC Strasbourg, however, presented him his first full-time job at the club he supported as a young boy. Hild moved Wenger from midfield to central defence, where he was positioned as a sweeper in reserve games. In November 1978, he made his debut for the first team against MSV Duisburg in the UEFA Cup (a match Strasbourg lost 4–0) and a month later, Wenger played against champions AS Monaco in the First Division. At the end of the 1978–79 season, RC Strasbourg won the league; Wenger did not join in the celebrations as he was preoccupied with the youth team. He made his final appearance for the senior side in 1979.