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23.04.2016, 01:20
Reichmann: In Germany, every kid wants to be a goalkeeper now
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: German winger plotting to put Flensburg out of contention for Cologne.
 

Reichmann: In Germany, every kid wants to be a goalkeeper now

“Not so bad,” says German winger Tobias Reichmann when asked to judge his performance at the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland back in January.

Well ‘not bad’ is true if you count winning the tournament and a gold medal, named in the All Star Team, second top scorer with 46 goals in eight matches, being a charismatic team character and one of the tournament’s social media stars.

“I wanted to show everyone that I wasn’t just a replacement when they said Germany had a problem after Patrick Groetzki got injured and was ruled out,” says KS Vive Tauron Kielce’s winger.

Well, every team in Poland at EHF EURO 2016 would have liked to have had such a problem.

As his team secured their participation at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with the championship win in Poland, some of their competitors were struggling in the Olympic Qualification Tournaments held a few weeks ago.

Tobias took the opportunity of the international break to enjoy some free days with his family in Germany and on the eve of Kielce’s VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-Final First Leg against German side SG Flensburg Handewitt, the player shared with ehfCL.com the secret of creating a perfect team, contentment about another handball boom in Germany and the joys of being a father.

Watch the first leg live on ehfTV - Saturday 23 April 2016, 17:30 (local time)

ehfCL.com: What did you do during this past international break?

Tobias Reichmann: After our national team week I had another holiday which I spent with my family in Kiel and in Berlin. We visited both my own and my girlfriend’s families. I had also more time for my kids; we went to the zoo and to aquarium - we had a great family time.

ehfCL.com: You felt like a kid again?

Tobias Reichmann: Yes (laughs). My older kid is a boy, so we play with cars and go outside and ride the scooter - we have real fun.

My daughter is only six months old so we can’t do so much with her, but it’s still great. Sometimes yes, I feel like a kid.

ehfCL.com: How are the preparations for the restart of the VELUX EHF Champions League going after its break?

Tobias Reichmann: We are in a good shape. I think everybody is a little bit tired after their tournaments, so (Kielce Coach) Talant reduced the duration of our training sessions; we have less effort and more time to rest. But everybody is happy that we can play in the quarter-final. It’s a hard task ahead of us but we really can’t wait to play against Flensburg.

ehfCL.com: Both matches could be decided in the last seconds. Kielce have a mixture of Balkan, Spanish and Polish players while Flensburg are built on Germans and Scandinavians, will that make any difference?

Tobias Reichmann: Yes. In indoor sports it’s really important to have the second match at home.

Everyone knows how big support we get from our fans, the atmosphere they create is our big advantage.

ehfCL.com: So the nationality of a player is important sometimes in a team?

Tobias Reichmann: Yeah, it’s important, but maybe it’s not even about nationalities – more about personalities and temperaments.

There is also another important issue – egoism. You can’t have too many egoistic players in the team, because they always want to impose their own style on the match; they don’t pass the balls to the others and just want to shine as shooters.

It’s not that you don’t need them at all; I just think that a perfect team should be a mix of different types of players.

ehfCL.com: Tell us about the mix at Kielce?

Tobias Reichmann: I like our team blend, Talant handles it very good. We have different personalities; both young and old players. In general, we have huge experience which includes young players who have already played in the Champions League and for their national teams.

ehfCL.com: Is this possible to learn something more than just technical skills in club handball?

Tobias Reichmann: Of course. For me it’s special to be in this team. This is my first time abroad and I learnt a lot about myself. During the past two years I’ve spent in Poland I made a huge step forward in case of the man who I am.

I’m cooler in some situations, I make better decisions I guess - I’m more self-confident.

ehfCL.com: It was noticeable on the court during the Men’s EHF EURO 2016...

Tobias Reichmann: Yes, before the tournament everyone was like ‘oh, Groetzki is injured and we have a problem on the wing.’ I wanted to show to everybody that I’m not a player just for replacement, that I can do more than just sit on the bench.

I did my best and I think it was not so bad. Definitely the form I presented was a result of my moving to Kielce.

ehfCL.com: What has the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 championship title for Germany meant back home?

Tobias Reichmann: Right after the tournament handball was everywhere. On Facebook, on Instagram, in the newspapers, everyone spoke about it. The euphoria was comparable to the one in 2007 when Germany won gold at the World Championship.

It’s a big success for the whole of German handball and the clubs have already observed increased numbers of kids interested in starting training. They saw Andreas Wolff in the goal and now everyone wants to be a goalkeeper (laughs). It’s really nice to hear that.

ehfCL.com: During the event you and your teammates did a great job with social media using #badboys. Why did you decide to become so active on social media as some athletes turn it off during tournaments?

Tobias Reichmann: I don’t know (laughs). I spent a lot of time with Wolff between the matches – then we talked about that. Before the EURO I didn’t even have Instagram. I started during the tournament and now I have over 20,000 followers, so I can see it really works. But still I’m not so active at these platforms, I think I’m still normal (laughs).

ehfCL.com: In contrast to German national team success it could be possible that no German club will be at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 this year – what do you think?

Tobias Reichmann: Everything is possible – the eight best teams of European handball are left now. I hope our duel against Flensburg will finish with a win for us, but there’s no favourite here.

We just have a bit more time to prepare as Flensburg’s last match was on Tuesday and our last one was on Saturday.

Kiel has got a very strong opponent and they didn’t have a good season this year, so Barcelona seems to be a little favourite.

Watch the first leg live on ehfTV - Saturday 23 April 2016, 17:30 (local time)


TEXT: Magda Pluszewska/amc
 
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