EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Füchse coach Dagur Sigurdsson speaks about the significance and the chances of his team as a host of the EHF Cup Finals in Berlin.
Sigurdsson: Huge step to promote handball in Berlin
Since 2009 former Icelandic international Dagur Sigurdsson is coach of Füchse Berlin - and on 17/18 May his club will host the second edition of the EHF Cup Finals after the premiere edition last year in Nantes.
Former Austrian national team coach - has led his team to the third big tournament after the 2012 VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne and the finally successful German Cup final tournament last April in Hamburg, where Füchse won their first title in club history. Now Sigurdsson (41) and his team are willing to continue “tasting the success”, as he says in this exclusive interview with eurohandball.com.
eurohandball.com: How huge is your anticipation before the EHF Cup Finals right now?
Dagur Sigurdsson: Very, very huge! Since we won the German Cup - the first ever title in the history of Füchse Berlin - we know how success tastes. And we want to continue tasting this success and want to repeat being on the winners’ podium on home ground, together with our fans.
eurohandball.com: Füchse face Pick Szeged in the semi-final of the EHF Cup Finals. Do you expect your team to be the favourite?
Dagur Sigurdsson: This is hard to predict, as it will be a huge challenge for our team. In case we can count on all our players, we have quite a good chance, but our current problem is the series of injuries. We hope that some of those injured players might return for the EHF Cup Finals. But currently it is too early to say who can play and who will be missing those games.
eurohandball.com: How do you rate the strengths of Szeged?
Dagur Sigurdsson: They are a really strong team, boosted by ten international top players and a highly experienced Spanish coach. They gained international experience by competing in the Champions League in the previous seasons. The task will be anything but easy, but you cannot expect an easy job at a tournament like the EHF Cup Finals.
eurohandball.com: Is it an advantage that you and your team had already taken part at a major tournament, the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne in 2012?
Dagur Sigurdsson: I hope we can use this experience we gained in Cologne and in other national and international top matches we had played in the last five, six years. Every top match brings us forward and was a step towards to where we are now. Mainly our home venue Max-Schmeling-Halle - where the EHF Cup Finals will be played - was the place where we played our greatest games. We need to be prepared on highest level, but I am in a good mood that we can be successful again.
eurohandball.com: Will your fans carry you on the wings of success?
Dagur Sigurdsson: Maybe they cannot carry us straight on the wings of success, but they can help and support us on our mission at the Berlin finals. It is a clear advantage to host this event, but the team has to do the first steps, before the fans can grant you wings.
eurohandball.com: You mentioned the German Cup trophy your team managed to win some weeks ago in Hamburg. Was this title an appetiser before the EHF Cup Finals?
Dagur Sigurdsson: We always dreamt of winning a title, a trophy. But you cannot plan the exact time and place, when it will happen. So we were absolutely happy to beat Flensburg in the German Cup Final, but now we are hungry for more. We are not satisfied, we want to be on top again.
eurohandball.com: What is the general significance of hosting the EHF Cup Finals for Füchse?
Dagur Sigurdsson: It is a really big thing for me, for Füchse, for the sport in Berlin. This event will boost the whole significance of handball in Berlin. We have a big local competition by top football, top basketball, top volleyball and top ice-hockey in Berlin, so we have to struggle hard to bring handball into the spotlight. And by hosting the EHF Cup Finals we made a huge step to promote handball.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / br
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