Interview with coach jan gorr: hsc coburg wants to “be back at the top of the league

HSC coburg's second-division handball team enters the hectic phase of preparations. From today, the team participates in the linden cup and meets at 20.15 o'clock against the bundesliga team GWD minden. On friday the HSC plays against the bergischen HC (1. Bundesliga) and on saturday against TV huttenberg (2. Bundesliga). HSC coach jan gorr talks in an interview about the goals for the coming season and what is particularly important in preparation for it.

Mr. Gorr, what do you prefer: season progress or preparation??

Jan gorr: as a coach i like preparations very much because you have time to get things going. On the other hand, the thrill of competition is of course much greater, and that is naturally what we toil for.

Talking about the work: the team has now passed the first phase of preparation, mainly athletic training. How satisfied are you so far?

The guys came back from vacation in good condition. You could tell that they prepared individually and we had a training camp that was almost purely athletic in focus. That actually went quite well. What makes the work more difficult is the fact that we have a few injured people from the last round. Jakob knauer is out for a long time, pontus zettermann is still in rehab because of his shoulder and is now aiming for a transition to handball. Tobi varvne and florian billek also suffered minor injuries. It seems that the two were returned to the team at points for team tactical preparation.

Will pontus zettermann be available for the start of the season??

I can not say that without a doubt yet. We will slowly bring him back into team training and then we will have to make a comparison. Does he trust that? Does he get on well with it or not? I'm cautiously optimistic.

What will change within the playing system? You will see new variations this season?

We have put up a very good 6:0 defense in the past years. But we lose the inside block with markus hagelin and anton prakapenia. That leaves marcel timm and our two newcomers, stepan zeman and andreas schroder. The first priority now is to make a functioning interior block out of the three, in conjunction with the halfbacks and center backs. A 3-2-1-covering is also from my point of view a worthwhile alternative for us and a real possibility to get one step further and therefore also one of the focal points.

You mentioned marcel timm, who has been absent from the preparations so far due to the world junior handball championship.

Against the background that we have to rebuild the defense center, this is of course an aggravation. But why do we do this work with young people?? So that they can gain experience, so that they can be in the german jersey at a world championship. For him these are extremely important games. When he is back, there will still be enough time to integrate him.

Last year we had to integrate a lot of players into the team. This year, the main challenge is to reinstall this defensive midfield block?

That's what it's all about. If we can do that well, we'll have the basis to play a good season again. If we don't make it, it will be difficult. Apart from that, there are a lot of topics that have already accompanied us in the past year and for which we did not have so much time. It's a matter of consolidating processes. I didn't really like the precision in the attack and the timing in the interplay in a lot of games. Especially in the second half of the season, the number of technical mistakes in the games in which we did not win was responsible for the fact that we were not able to continue where we had been doing so well in the first half of the season.

The league has not become easier. There are only 18 teams left, but almost half of them have already played in the first league. We put it in order?

I find it remarkable in several respects. It was already said last year: this can no longer be topped. But I think the second league this year tops the league from last season. This has of course to do with the relegation and especially with special players. If you consider that a national player like michael kraus plays second division in bietigheim, that gummersbach has signed filip ivic, an exceptional goalkeeper from kielce, who was in the final four of the champions league just two months ago – that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. That speaks for the handball-unterhaus in germany and makes it a herculean task to get involved there.

Again and again there is talk of budget problems. Is that why florian billek is an option for the currently vacant right back position??

We had to reduce our personnel budget for the first team a little bit every year for the last three years. We still managed to get better at sports. For me, it's important that we don't stand still, but that at some point we manage to move forward in terms of our budget. That will be essential anyway if we want to achieve our rough goal of the first league. And as for the left-hander position, we hope to have a player in pontus zettermann to play the position at the start of the season. Jakob knauer is currently missing behind him. We have a couple of options: one is flo billek, who as a right wing can also play in the right back area. Another is girts lilienfelds, who is actually on short time, but can help us selectively.

Attendance figures were almost the same as the season before last, but well below the average of previous years. How do you see the commitment of sportdeutschland?.Tv?

The reason for this spectator issue is simply that we have changed our strategy in this area. We have had a period where, for marketing reasons, we have made it possible for many groups to enter at very low cost. We have reduced that and now have a base of spectators, from which we have economic benefits. Specifically: there are no more free tickets compared to the past. It's great that we're still among the top teams in the second division in terms of attendance. What sportsgermany.Tv concerns (broadcasts the games of the second division on the internet, d. Red.), it's a great service that allows fans to experience their own team away from home if they can't travel with them. Or to switch back and forth between the halls of the second division. This brings our sport forward.

Was the already traditional hoffest of coburger tageblatt, HSC and radio eins last saturday the start for the fans into the new year of play?

It's a great date, because you have the chance to bring everyone together. There are not only the players of the first team, but also the other players and coaches from our junior section. All fans have the opportunity to come. It was a good together and a good platform to start the season before it goes in the preparation on the home straight.

Currently the tournament in linden, then participation in spielothek-cup against strong opponents, in between the test match against eisenach in our own hall. What do you expect from your team in this phase?

Basically, this is the phase where the tactical background and content are discussed. I naturally expect concentrated and above all goal-oriented work. We want to develop step by step. The first gauges are coming.

Then comes the first compulsory match in the cup against stuttgart in aachen. Is this the right start and the taste of the season?

It's a good test of endurance to try out all the courses. Against stuttgart, who play in the first division and don't do badly, you'll see where we stand.

What are your expectations for the coming season??

For us, last year was an outstanding one in which the icing on the cake was missing. We were in front for a long time, but we didn't manage to show the quality of our play continuously. It made me want to be there again in front. Therefore it is a rough goal for us to fight for the top places until the end of the season. Part of it is to get more continuity in our performances. With the league's power density, that's a challenging undertaking.

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