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12.09.2007, 12:52
A man for all jobs
«Go back »Print Version


Alfred Gislasson, has multiple tasks: coaching the Icelandic national team and CL side, Vfl Gummersbach. He talks to Eurohandball.com about both challenges.

» »2007-08 Men's CL
»Group Matches
»VfL Gummersbach
»
 

A man for all jobs

A man, two jobs: Alfred Gislasson is not only the coach of the Champions League participant VfL Gummersbach but also the national coach of Iceland – until next year. So it’s easy to understand there are some of his “Iceland guys” such as Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, Sverri Andreas Jakobsson or Robert Gunnarsson in his club team. Last year,

Gislasson coaching GummersbachGummersbach reached the quarterfinal of the Champions League last year, but cried bitter tears after losing against Valladolid in the second match at home. This season, the team that now plays all matches in the famous Kölnarena, has to deal without the top star: the French Daniel Narcisse signed for Chambery and some key players like Vedran Zrnic are also injured. Nevertheless, coach Gislasson is still optimistic. His team lost both first home matches in the Toyota-Bundesliga against Mannheim and Flensburg and they are currently only 10th in the Bundesliga.

Eurohandball.com talks with the coach after the match against Flensburg.

Eurohandball.com: Second defeat on home court – are you very disappointed?

Gislasson: Yes, of course. We played a cruel first halftime, than we were stronger and equalised, but in the end we made too many mistakes, so we lost 28:30. It’s not a good feeling.

Sigurdsson is with the coach in Gummersbach and in the national team as wellEurohandball.com: Your team suffers from some long-term injuries. Is this a reason for the bad start?

Gislasson: Our goalkeeper, Goran Stojanovic, was injured, but he made some great saves against Flensburg, so I think, he’s fit again. Sigurdsson was missing in the last weeks of the preparations, but he is “on board” now. Our wing, Vedran Zrnic, is still missing just as Denis Zakharow. I think the injuries are not the most important reasons of the defeats, but they belong to this puzzle. It is part if the reason why we have only three points after four matches.

Eurohandball.com: Did you hope that Daniel Narcisse would play for Gummersbach this season?

Gislasson: When we finished last season, I did not think that Narcisse would play for us anymore. The decision of the EHF, that Narcisse’s has a contract with Chambery was no surprise to me. So we planned without him when we signed players such as Oleg Kuleschow or Geoffroy Krantz for the playmaker position. If the decision would have been contrary and Narcisse would have to play here, we would even have more options.

Eurohandball.com: Are you satisfied with the new players?

Gislasson: Oleg Kuleschow and Roman Pungartnik are very experienced players, but they have to find their place in the team, Geoffroy Krantz does a good job, and our new left wing, Adrian Wagner, who just joined our team from Dormagen, made a good start.

Two opponents for Vfl: Kiel (white) and VeszprémEurohandball.com: Are optimistic that your team can reach the objectives like qualifying for the Champions League and reaching the second group phase of the CL?

Gislasson: We have strong opponents in the Bundesliga: Kiel, Hamburg, Flensburg and especially Mannheim have more financial possibilities and signed very strong players. But I hope it will be possible for us to qualify for the Champions League again.

Eurohandball.com: In the new CL season, Gummersbach plays in a strong group….

Gislasson: Not a strong group, the hardest group in the whole competition. Celje and Veszprém are two of the best teams in the CL. Reykjavik also have improved – beware of the Iceland guys! But at the end we have to fight hard to get into the second group phase. Gummersbach, Celje, Veszprém – all these three teams can finish first or third in the group, as there’s only a little difference between them. Every goal will have an importance.

The match to forget: the quarterfinal against ValladolidEurohandball.com: Last season Gummersbach lost in a bitter way against Valladolid in the quarterfinal. You won the away match and lost at home. How big was the disappointment afterwards?

Gislasson: For some weeks we were shocked, because nobody could believe what it happened, it was very hard for all of us. But with the start of this season we had to forget what’s happened and look at the new challenges.

Eurohandball.com: You are not only the coach of Gummersbach, but also the national coach of Iceland. How long will you be a “men for two jobs”?

Gislasson: I will do my job for my home country until the EC in Norway in January. Our big objective is to reach the qualification for the Olympic Games in Beijing. I wanted to quit the job after the WCh in Germany, but I did not want to abandon the team.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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