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09.11.2007, 14:49
“We still have a lot of ambition”
«Go back »Print Version


Read Björn Pazen’s exclusive interview with Uwe Schwenker from Stockholm. The manager of THW Kiel talks about the new objectives in the second group phase against the strongest opponents.

» »2007-08 Men's CL
»Group Matches
»THW Kiel
»
 

“We still have a lot of ambition”

Four victories in four matches, qualification in the Champions League and five titles in five months: Uwe Schwenker, manager of THW Kiel, can be very satisfied with year 2007 and the current season, despite losing two Bundesliga matches against Flensburg-Handewitt and Hamburg. Kiel are still unbeaten in the international competitions. In an exclusive interview with Eurohandball.com after the 40:36-victory against Hammarby in Stockholm, Schwenker evaluates this year looks forward to the second group phase.

Eurohandball.com: It was hard work for your team to win in Stockholm…

Uwe Schwenker had to get used to seeing trophies all around...Schwenker: Yes, but we knew this before. Hammarby played well in the match in Kiel as well, and we did not have our best day, especially in the first halftime in defence. But we won, that’s the most important.

Eurohandball.com: With this victory, your team qualify very early for the second group phase. Did you expect this?

Schwenker: We reached our minimum objective now, not more, but not less. Our next step is to stay number one in our group. We want to win our home matches against Montpellier and Constanta, especially for our fans who just had to see our first home defeat against Hamburg in the Bundesliga after 29 unbeaten home matches.

Eurohandball.com: Your forthcoming CL match will be against Montpelier. In the first match in France Nikola Karabatic was injured severely. Do you expect this match to be a very emotional one?

Schwenker: The media dealt a lot with this scene, so the spectators might get emotional at this match. But the most important thing for us is that Karabatic will be able to play after his new injury at the Hammarby match.

Eurohandball.com: THW are still unbeaten after the Hammarby game. Are you surprised?

The last victory: Champions Trophy in CeljeSchwenker: Our expectation is to win every match. So I’m not surprised about 8:0 points. And the special thing in Stockholm was that we have five Swedish players and they had a special will to win in their home country.

Eurohandball.com: Were you disappointed after losing the home match against Hamburg?

Schwenker: We lost a match, but not the championship. We lost the match because of our own mistakes, so nothing more happened. We still have every chances, it’s too early to say something about the outcome of the German championship. Nothing is lost at this moment. We have four very strong teams at the top of the ranking and these four teams will stay there until the end. It’ll be a very tight season. The next three weeks will be decisive, and I hope we will have all players fit.

Eurohandball.com: And what are your expectations for the next round of the Champions League?

Schwenker: In the second group phase there are only top teams. We will meet two or three very strong teams in our group. Before the draw you cannot say what will happen.

Eurohandball.com: What’s your opinion about the new second group phase?

Karabatic (in the middle) is a key player - Schwenker hopes he would be all right soon Schwenker: You cannot vote against the majority. The smaller nations that have not such strong national leagues are interested in international top matches in the CL. They have the great possibility to show themselves in front of a big audience in the halls and in TV.

Eurohandball.com: THW had a big audience and a lot of success this year: CL winner, German champion, German cup winner, German super cup winner and now winner of the Champions Trophy. What are the next objectives after so many successes?

Schwenker: It would be very good if we could reach another title this season. I don’t mind what this title will be. But we have very strong opponents in the national and international competitions. If I look at the Champions League, we have to be better than Ciudad Real.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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