German winger hopes to qualify for the Olympics 2012.
Uwe Gensheimer: "Our fate is in our own hands"
After many world-class performances in recent years, the current German team seems to be a mere shadow of its former self. But there is one player they look to, as they seek a return to the glory days: Left-winger Uwe Gensheimer, the top-scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League season 2010/11 and who was also voted best Bundesliga player last year. Gensheimer is valuable from the penalty line and as cold as ice in counter attacks.
The player of Rhein Neckar Löwen hopes for a better future, including a good result at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia and qualification for the 2012 Olympics.
ehf-euro.com: Do you think that Germany, compared to other contenders, was lucky with their line-up of opponents in the Preliminary Round?
Uwe Gensheimer: It could have been worse, of course. But we have respect for all of our opponents. An EHF EURO is always an absolutely equal tournament, as all teams are on eye level. After our last results at EHF EURO´s and World Championships we are not the big favourite anymore. But we still have a good chance in Serbia.
ehf-euro.com: In the preparation, Germany was defeated by Sweden – one of the three Preliminary opponents – on home ground. Is this already a signal for the EHF EURO?
Uwe Gensheimer: We still have time to prepare and to work on our mistakes. For 45 minutes we were the better team against Sweden, but then we lost due to the huge number of mistakes we made.
ehf-euro.com: What are the major problems Germany have to avoid?
Uwe Gensheimer: I think we have a lot of things we can build our hopes upon, such as our defence. But our major problem is the attack. We play too frantically, we miss 100 percent chances, we don’t concentrate enough in the decisive moments, and maybe we are over-motivated.
ehf-euro.com: Is Germany still strong enough to be among the top teams in Serbia?
Uwe Gensheimer: Of course! We have to train hard in the last weeks before the EHF EURO – and I still believe we are on the same level as the top nations, maybe not France or Denmark, but all the others who are fighting for a good position. We just have to remain calm and find our rhythm. It’s always the little things which decide matches.
ehf-euro.com: One of the main German goals is the ticket for one of the Olympic qualification tournaments. How realistic are your chances for going there?
Uwe Gensheimer: In the Preliminary, and hopefully, the Main Round we’ll face teams like Czech Republic, Poland, FYR Macedonia and Serbia, which have the same goal as we do. So we have our fate in our own hands and we can reach our goal by using our own strengths. All of those games will be equal and tough but I’m confident that we are strong enough.
ehf-euro.com: One very special match will be the game against FYR Macedonia. The hall in Niš is sold out mostly with fans from the neighbouring country. Is this any kind of pressure for your team, or just stimulation?
Uwe Gensheimer: Those games with 100 per cent adrenaline provide absolute motivation for all sportsmen, as long as the crowds do not affect the performance of the referees. I hope, that aside, some Germans will be in the hall to support us. I think we are experienced enough to withstand such a crowd.
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TEXT: Mark Hegedues
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