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28.05.2015, 14:50
Jicha: I am a little superstitious
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BLOG: THW Kiel captain Filip Jicha talks about his methods for success in the lead up to the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
 

Jicha: I am a little superstitious

Hi handball fans all over Europe! 

We are all counting the days until the season’s highlight in Cologne starts. Soon we will be back at the VELUX EHF FINAL4, the event and the venue we have all dreamed of since the start of the season. 

At THW Kiel my teammates and I are already in FINAL4 mode. It is easy for me to switch from Bundesliga mode to Champions League mode – having in mind that the absolute highlight is ahead. 

After our league match against Minden we had some days off, but since Monday everybody has been fully focused on the semi-final against Veszprem, and on our return to Cologne. It is simply one week of anticipation right up until the start.

Unfortunately I am not 100 % fit, as I still suffer from an inflammation of the pubic joint, so I am a little bit limited in my preparation and cannot do all sessions together with the rest of the team. But when you are in Cologne you forget all the pain you feel in your body, which is typical at the end of a long season.

My individual preparation for all matches – and also for Cologne – includes a lot of steadfast habits, as I am a little superstitious. It does not include looking at pictures or watching videos of 2010 or 2012, when we won the trophy in Cologne. I am absolutely not interested in looking back on titles or statistics – it is the present that counts, not the past.

It is more the little things on match day. I will have a big breakfast, and then I have to follow a strict running order. For me it is important to be the first at the physiotherapist to get my tape done, to do this and then do that. Everything follows a run-down of routine. But I am experienced enough to keep my head up high if the schedule does not work exactly the way I had planned; then I try not to care about it. A little superstition is OK, but I am not addicted to it.

For a long time, at away matches I shared my room with my good friend Momir Ilic. But since he is in Veszprem I have had the great opportunity to have a single room or have shared a room with Aron Palmarsson or Rasmus Lauge – all left back players like me.

In Cologne I will face Momir again in the semi-final, and we are both really looking forward to meeting each other. On the field, the friendship is forgotten, but before and after the match we will have the time to chat and to talk. 

So with regard to roommates, I might grab the chance again to have a single room – a special service, as I am the team captain and one of the oldest players.

I like to be on my own prior to important matches – in contrast to others, who need to talk with their roommates. I need silence and rest, but only when in my room, as I really enjoy having some family hours in Cologne. My wife, my parents and my children will come to the FINAL4 – and mainly my children really love the event. It is a nice tradition that for the fifth time all Jichas will be in the arena.

They will catch much more from the atmosphere and all the fringe events than I can as a player. The fans for example love the opening party including the team presentation in front of the arena on Friday evening – the players don’t, but we all know that it belongs in the event. 

Fans are the icing on the cake at the FINAL4. It really makes me proud how many THW fans will accompany our team, but on the other hand it means an obligation to give all you can. 

The second I enter the arena, leading the THW squad onto the court, this incredible atmosphere sends shivers down my spine. Though I am completely focused on the match at that moment, I feel the energy and adrenaline fans can provide you with.

On Thursday we will arrive in Cologne, on Saturday we will know whether we made it to the final – and we all love to be back in this place. 

So cross all your fingers for THW. See you in LANXESS arena and enjoy the FINAL4 – and don’t forget to learn our song: “Ole, hier kommt der THW!” We need your support!

All the best, Filip Jicha


TEXT: Filip Jicha, THW captain
 
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