“There’s more pressure on Kiel”Article
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Interview with newly appointed Flensburg manager, Fynn Holpert, who talks about the CL plans of his team.

“There’s more pressure on Kiel”

Back to the roots: after several years as a manager of the former German champion and European Cup winner TBV Lemgo, Fynn Holpert returns to his home town, Flensburg. Since the start of this season, Holpert is the manager of the two times Champions League finalists. In the administration he works together with Anders Dahl-Nielsen, the new sports director of the club.

The greatest success last season: Flensburg made it to the finalIn an exclusive interview with Eurohandball.com Holpert talks about his new job and the chances of SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the new Champions League season.

Eurohandball.com: You started well in the Toyota-Bundesliga, especially with Flensburg’s first ever victory in the Kölnarena against Gummersbach. What are your first impressions so far?

Holpert: We have a good team, although not all the players are fit at the moment. Blazenko Lackovic and Frank von Behren will return soon, I hope. The knee of Sören Stryger had just been operated; it will take some weeks for him to recover. But I think our team have more possibilities now with the new players. We have an advantage: we never give up and fight until the end. This is how we gained two points in Gummersbach.

Eurohandball.com: Last weekend Flensburg lost their first point at the away match in Essen. Are you disappointed about this draw?

Holpert: A start without losing a point would have been better, especially when you look at the next matches –the hardest weeks are coming up. We have to work hard to dominate in the away matches to achieve our objectives. At the end, some individual mistakes made us lose one point in Essen.

Eurohandball.com: You spoke about the next week’s programme: on Saturday you have the “match of matches” against archrival THW Kiel. Is this the first “real test” before the forthcoming Champions league matches?

Kiel coming up againHolpert: Yes, it is. Whole North Germany is involved in this most spectacular German handball derby. Every year it’s the same. There’s great atmosphere and it’s a good prelude to the Champions League.

Eurohandball.com: Will Lackovic and von Behren return for the Champions league?

Holpert: I hope so as they are two very important players. But we have some players who can substitute them, for example Kasper Nielsen. He improved in the back-court position.

Eurohandball.com: What’s your opinion of the Champions League group of Flensburg?

Holpert: Ciudad Real is – beside THW Kiel – the best team in the world. It’s normally not good to play against them in the first round. But this first match against Ciudad will show our place in Europe. Our minimal objective is to reach the second group phase, and I think we are able to get through. But we have to show respect to Drammen and Lublin. Naturally, we want to win all the matches.

Eurohandball.com: Are Flensburg favourites for the Champions League?

Kiel and Flensburg will play enough against each other againHolpert: I think the favourites are Kiel, Ciudad Real, Hamburg and Barcelona. But this is good for Flensburg: there is no so much pressure on us as on Kiel or Ciudad Real.

Eurohandball.com: What’s the difference between your last task in Lemgo and your current one in Flensburg?

Holpert: It was time for me to do something new, so I returned to Flensburg after the former manager, Thorsten Storm, was appointed manager in Mannheim. There’s a different club structure in Flensburg, the team has a different quality.I hope I can help the club reach its objectives.


TEXT: Björn Pazen