Ulrik Wilbek lands new role
Denmark's national coach, Ulrik Wilbek, is going to be an extra busy man in the future. From 1 October this year he will be taking over a completely new job as sports director with the Danish Handball Federation – alongside his duties as national coach.
The new job means that Wilbek will be the main boss for all Denmark´s national teams – meaning that he will also be the chief of the women´s national coach Jan Pytlick, and that he is going to attend the Women´s EURO 2O12 in Serbia – one month before he takes his men’s team to the World Cup in Spain.
“For a long time have we wanted to employ a sports director. In the DHF (Danish Handball Federation) we do not only want to maintain our position in the top of international handball, we also find it of the greatest importance to always be ahead of the development”, said Carsten Grønmann Larsen, who is Vice President of the Danish Handball Federation and responsible for the elite of the country.
“Furthermore, Urilk Wilbek´s qualities, combined with his international network and the natural recognition he enjoys in handball environments all over the world mean that we have had the perfect candidate for the job inside our own organisation all the time,” Carsten Grønmann Larsen added.
Denmark at a crossroads
In spite of the fact that it is pretty unusual that the same person is sports director and coach at the same time, Ulrik Wilbek feels that he is ready for the new job. The way he sees it, Danish handball finds itself at a decisive crossroad at the moment.
“If we look at our competitors, it is obvious that they have all increased their organisation in order to meet the increasing demands to be at the top,” he said.
“It can be seen very clearly through our own results during the past year. In 2011 all Danish national teams were in the semi-finals at major tournaments, and just one year later have we “only” won two gold medals and had some disappointing result on the way.”
Women´s national coach Jan Pytlick sees no problem in getting a new boss in the form of Wilbek. On the contrary.
“I look forward to working even closer together with Ulrik and to benefit from his vast experience”, Jan Pytlick told the website ekstrabladet.dk.
TEXT: Peter Bruun