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24.10.2014, 11:30
Gensheimer leads Germany to EHF EURO 2016 Qualification
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FEATURE: The fact that Dagur Sigurdsson nominated a bunch of young players for the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification puts new responsibilities on team captain Uwe Gensheimer’s shoulders
 

Gensheimer leads Germany to EHF EURO 2016 Qualification

The change is visible in the German national team just one week ahead of the start to the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification.

It is not only that head coach Dagur Sigurdsson nominated some young players for the qualifiers against Finland on 29 October and Austria on 2 November; furthermore there is only one player remaining from the team that became world champions in 2007 left among the 18 players Sigurdsson called up.

Young guns like Timm Schneider, Paul Drux or Fabian Wiede are part of the team that hopes to make it to the final tournament in Poland.

The players with the biggest international experience are the aforementioned Lichtlein, team captain Uwe Gensheimer and Steffen Weinhold from VELUX EHF Champions League winners SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

Despite all those changes Gensheimer, who had already been team captain under previous head coach Martin Heuberger, has "a good feeling for the future, which starts in Gummersbach against Finland".

Two test matches against Switzerland, resulting in one clear victory and one draw back in September, marked the start of Sigurdsson’s mission.

However, the true tests come now as the qualifiers against Austria, a team that Sigurdsson coached from 2008 to 2010, and Finland are Sigurdsson’s first competitive matches since being in charge of the German national team.

"I don’t say anything about Austria before the match against Finland isn’t over. The Finnish team has achieved good results in the previous month like eliminating Romania in the first stage of this qualification. We have to be aware," he says.

Gensheimer is confident to finish the first two rounds of the qualification successfully which would boost the team’s confidence ahead of the World Championship 2015 which Germany only reached courtesy of an IHF wild card.

"We have already seen in those matches against Switzerland that some things have changed. And I am sure that we will continue on this way," the team captain says.

"My role did not change that much, as I have the same positive relationship with Dagur as I had with Martin.

"The only things which might be different is helping to integrate the young players.

"Some of them come to me and ask me some things, sometimes I go to them if I recognise some things which need to be adapted or changed. And I believe that this fresh blood will bring us forward."

Besides the qualification for the EHF EURO 2016 and a good result at the World Championship 2015 Germany already focus on long-term objectives: 2019, when they are - with Denmark - joint host of the World Championship, and 2020, when the goal is an Olympic medal at the Games in Tokyo.

Gensheimer’s main concern about the current team is that it lacks stability and commits too many mistakes if under pressure.

"We have to reduce the hectic pace and keep our heads high, but this will only become a stable factor if you train and work together for a longer period.

"So every player has to do his homework. Only like this we can count on our strength. Furthermore we need victories to increase our confidence. Hopefully we start with victories against Finland and Austria so  that we have four points on our account before we face Spain in spring."

One debutant – Timm Schneider – is in the roster for the qualification openers. After some months of absence, line player Jacob Heinl, left wing Tobias Reichmann and playmaker Martin Strobel are back in the team.

The German squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualification matches against Finland (29 October) and in Austria (2 November):

Goalkeepers: Silvio Heinevetter (Füchse Berlin), Carsten Lichtlein (VfL Gummersbach)

Left wings: Uwe Gensheimer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Michael Allendorf (MT Melsungen)

Left backs: Steffen Fäth (HSG Wetzlar), Timm Schneider (TBV Lemgo)

Centre backs: Paul Drux (Füchse Berlin), Martin Strobel (HBW Balingen-Weilstetten), Sven-Sören Christophersen (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf)

Right backs: Steffen Weinhold (THW Kiel), Michael Müller (MT Melsungen), Fabian Wiede (Füchse Berlin)

Right wings: Patrick Groetzki (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Tobias Reichmann (KS Vive Tauron Kielce/POL)

Line players: Patrick Wiencek (THW Kiel), Hendrik Pekeler (TBV Lemgo), Jacob Heinl (SG Flensburg-Handewitt), Manuel Späth (Frisch Auf! Göppingen)


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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