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31.01.2014, 14:34
Gudmundsson admits to pressure ahead of Denmark job
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INTERVIEW: The current Rhein-Neckar Löwen coach will take over at the helm of the EHF EURO 2014 silver medalists on 1 July
 

Gudmundsson admits to pressure ahead of Denmark job

There is change in the air around the Danish men’s national team.

The EHF EURO 2014 Final was the last competitive match for their long-term head coach Ulrik Wilbek who will be succeeded by Icelandic Gudmundur Gudmundsson on 1 July, the date when Wilbek himself becomes the Danish Handball Federation’s sports director.

Last weekend Gudmundsson, who coaches VELUX EHF Champions League participants Rhein-Neckar Löwen, was already in Denmark as a guest, where he watched the final between the EHF EURO hosts, Denmark, and the eventual winners, France.

"I enjoyed watching the team play, and it was a very good tournament for the Danish team, even though they lost against France in the finals," Gudmundsson told eurohandball.com.

However, he refrains from analysing any game Denmark played during the tournament until he takes over as head coach.

"For now I concentrate on Rhein-Neckar Löwen only. It is my main focus for now."

He agrees that the job he takes on in less than half a year is one of the most challenging ones in European handball.

With Wilbek (pictured right) at the helm the Danish men’s team enjoyed tremendous success in the past 10 years. The 55-year-old steered Denmark, among others, to gold at the EHF EURO 2008 and 2012 as well as to World Championhip silver in 2011 and 2013.

"There is always pressure when you coach one of the best teams in the world," says Gudmundsson.

"Whether it is a top club like Rhein-Neckar Löwen or a national team like Denmark. But I never think about any pressure. It is just part of the job, and I could say I am used to it, and I don’t think much about it.

"The Danish Handball Federation and I have, of course, goals and vision for the Danish men’s team.

"When looking at the best teams in the world, there is always a requirement for success, whether it is a club or a national team."

Once he moves to Denmark Gudmundsson will be working together with Wilbek, the DHF’s new sports director by then.

"We will work closely together. But he will not just work with me, but also with other national team coaches in Danish handball.

I am looking forward to working with him," Gudmundsson concludes.


TEXT: Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson / ts
 
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