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15.10.2014, 11:07
Dujshebaev: "Hungary’s misfortune is my fortune"
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: To eurohandball.com Talant Dujshebaev, one of Europe’s handball greats, explains why he took over the Hungarian national team, how good his Polish already is and why he can always count on his wife's support
 

Dujshebaev: "Hungary’s misfortune is my fortune"

These days it seems to be a tendency in men’s handball to coach a top club side and a national team at the same time. Manuel Cadenas (Wisla Plock/Spain), Aron Kristjansson (Kolding/Iceland) and Dagur Sigurdsson (Berlin/Germany) started the trend, now Talant Dujshebaev joins the club.

The Spaniard, who was born in Kirgizia, was appointed coach of Polish side Vive Tauron Kielce (Poland) in January and last week he took over the Hungarian national team.

Dujshebaev, the only person in handball to date to become EHF Champions League winner as a player and as a coach signed a contract until 2017.

He succeeds Lajos Mocsai, who stepped down some weeks after Hungary failed to qualify for the World Championship 2015.

To eurohandball.com Dujshebaev explains why he took over the Hungarian national team, how good his Polish already is and why he can always count on his wife’s support

eurohandball.com: Even for most experts it was a true surprise when you were appointed Hungarian national team coach last week. How was it possible to keep this a secret?
Talant Dujshebaev: I had several talks before, as I often had mentioned that I would love to coach a national team in addition to my job at Kielce. I even wanted to do it during my time at Atletico Madrid, but it was not possible.

Therefore I checked all options and opportunities and finally both sides were 100 per cent sure that I will take over the Hungarian national team.

eurohandball.com: Vive Tauron Kielce were informed about your negotiations?
Talant Dujshebaev: Of course, they were informed about every step. You just have to see: Whenever the national teams gather I nearly have no players in Kielce, as 15 of our squad are part of national teams. So it is definitely no additional burden for me to take over a national team.

eurohandball.com: What attracts you to coaching a national team, in particular the Hungarian side?
Talant Dujshebaev: Unfortunately for them they missed the qualification for the World Championship in Qatar. But their misfortune is my fortune, as I will have a lot of time to work with the team in December and January.

But at first I only have four sessions in two days to got to know the team and to prepare for the EHF EURO qualification matches at the end of this month (Hungary play Portugal on 29 October and Ukraine on 2 November). The EHF EURO 2016 will be our first goal in my era as Hungarian coach.

eurohandball.com: Other coaches such as Cadenas, Sigurdsson or Kristjansson work on the same mission, coaching national and club teams parallel. Did you talk to one them before taking over the Hungarians?
Talant Dujshebaev: The only one I have talked to before was Juan Carlos Pastor, the coach of Pick Szeged. He was the coach of Valladolid and the Spanish national team, when Spain became world champions in 2005. If you love handball like I do, and you know your mission, you don’t need another opinion. I have 100 per cent energy to fulfil both tasks successfully.

It looks tough, but for me it is absolutely manageable. This summer I had ten days of holiday – and already after eight or nine days I missed the feeling to be in an arena, to have handball around me. I need it like it is.

eurohandball.com: But is it not hard for your family to get to see Talant now?
Talant Dujshebaev: No, it is completely the opposite: My oldest son Alex plays at Skopje and for the Spanish national team, my youngest son plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish juniors.

So when the break for the national team comes, I can’t see them anyway as both are on the road.

We all have the same calendar; the same weeks are reserved for clubs, the same for the national teams. So this new job suits me perfectly.

eurohandball.com: Because of the economic crisis a lot of players and coaches left Spain and some of them are contracted in Hungary these days. Is it an advantage for your work to know them?
Talant Dujshebaev: Indeed! 70 to 80 per cent of my national team players are coached by Carlos Antonio Ortega in Veszprem and Juan Carlos Pastor in Szeged, two Spanish coaches, who implemented the Spanish style of handball in their clubs and mixed it with the Hungarian style.

Nothing better could have happened to me! The Spanish coaching philosophy is different to all other countries, and so it is very important and makes things easier that those players are used to this style.

eurohandball.com:  When you were presented as new national team coach, you said that one of your objectives is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. Is this the no.1 goal?
Talant Dujshebaev: It is an extremely tough situation for Hungary, as during the World Championship 2015 a lot of those tickets are awarded which bring you closer to Rio.

There is only a slight, slight chance for us to make to the Olympic Games at the EHF EURO 2016, but we need to grab it. We need the luck to – as we said in Russia - “jump on the last carriage of the train”.

eurohandball.com: You speak fluently Russian, German, English and Spanish. What about your Polish language skills?
Talant Dujshebaev: When I arrived in Kielce, I daily had five to six hours intensive course by a teacher – and I think after nine months my Polish is quite OK. Of course it is not perfect, but they understand me.

eurohandball.com: And your Hungarian vocabulary?
Talant Dujshebaev: I know some words in this language, which is anything but easy - and I will definitely learn. But you have to consider: 300 days per year I work in Poland, only two months in Hungary, so definitely my Polish vocabulary will grow faster.

eurohandball.com: Kielce’s start to the VELUX EHF Champions League was successful with three wins in three matches. You must be fully satisfied…
Talant Dujshebaev: Yes, in terms of results and points, not fully in terms of the way we played, but it is getting better day by day. I can see progress, but the team played a completely different way of handball before – one cannot say if better or worse, but different. So the players needed to adapt to my philosophy and they really improved as a team.

You have to see: When I started my mission in Kielce right after the EURO I had two days to prepare the team for the Polish league and one week for the Champions League. The team needs time to minimise the number of mistakes.

eurohandball.com: What changed in your daily life in Kielce compared to Madrid?
Talant Dujshebaev: Having in mind the difficult situation we faced in the last two years in Madrid, I only can focus on my job as a handball coach here. And life is brilliant in Kielce and Poland – I had expected it being different, of course not like Madrid, so I enjoy every day here. The people are nice, the culture is interesting, the air is fresh.

eurohandball.com: Is Vive Tauron Kielce ready to win the VELUX EHF Champions League this season?
Talant Dujshebaev: We belong to the group of six, seven teams, who are supposed to be the favourites for making it to Cologne – like Barcelona, Kiel, PSG, Vardar, Veszprem and Rhein-Neckar Löwen.

Our main objective for this season is qualifying for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 again. If you make it to Cologne, you definitely cannot predict what will happen. This was proven by Hamburg and Flensburg in the past two years, who definitely didn’t arrive as the big favourites at the LANXESS arena, but eventually won the trophy.

eurohandball.com: So the underdogs’ role would be a nice one for Kielce?
Talant Dujshebaev: If it happens like this, I absolutely agree. But we have to go step by step. First we should not think about Cologne, but about our next match against Dunkerque (on 18 October).

eurohandball.com: There is the chance to have the first father-son-duel at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne, as you mentioned Alex’s club Vardar as one of the contenders. Would that be a dream come true?
Talant Dujshebaev: In January there will the first father-son-duel, when I coach Hungary at a test tournament in Spain, facing Alex and the national team.

But we are both professionals, so we know how to cope with a situation like this. Alex’s step to join Vardar was completely right. He improved, he has long playing times, so it really would be a dream come true, if Kielce and Vardar made it to Cologne.

eurohandball.com: But then your wife, Alex’s mother, would be in a dilemma. Whom would she support – husband or son?
Talant Dujshebaev: This answer is very easy. Alex has his own bank account in Skopje, my wife and me have a common bank account. So she must support the one, who brings the money home.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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