The pupil, the teacher and the good perspectivesArticle
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Hammarby coach, Staffan Olsson, met his former club THW Kiel for the second time and lost twice. The former world class player knows that his young team can improve in the next years.

The pupil, the teacher and the good perspectives

Sometimes even the strictest teacher preaises his best pupil:

Staffan Olsson on the Hammarby bench“The teams played in similar style, they did not hide. It was hard to win here,” says Noka Serdarusic, who is something like the “father” of Staffan Olsson. The Swede played seven years in Germany and won a lot of titles with Serdarusic – except for one: the Champions League.

Olsson, now 43 years old, was called “den gamle” (“the old one”) when he played in Kiel together with his old Swedish friend, Magnus Wislander.

“These seven years influenced my whole life as a handball player,” says Olsson looking back and looking at Serdarusic whose team have just beaten Hammarby for the second time in the Champions League season.

They are equal counterparts today: Olsson is no more a player but the coach of Swedish champion Hammarby since 2005.

When Olsson left Kiel for his home country he said one sentence he is smiling about today:

“I will never be a coach. I want to stay close to handball, but rather in marketing affairs, not on the bench.”

Olsson played for Hammarby afterwards, then he has become “playing assistant coach with some responsibilities”, then assistant coach with even more responsibilities and then head coach in 2005.

The atmosphere of the game in Stockholm was tremendous“I changed my mind,” Olsson smiles again, “and became a coach. And I like this job very much as I coach a young team with great perspectives for the future.”

And in his new job he uses a lot of experience from the Kiel times.

“Yes, I adapt a lot that I learnt from Noka Serdarusic,” Olsson admits. And he is “copying” his teacher successfully: 2006 and 2007 Hammarby won the Swedish championhip. And after the draw of this season’s Champions League (carried out by the hands of Kiel’s top scorer, Nikola Karabatic) he was even happier when he learnt that Hammarby would play against Kiel.

Because of this and the five Swedish players in Kiel, the Swedish champions moved to the big Hovet Arena in Stockholm, which was sold out with 7,800 spectators for the game that Kiel won 40:36.

“I was happy to see my old friends twice within a couple of weeks,” says Olsson, “and I’m not disappointed that we lost twice, as we had the chance to play against one of the best teams in the world.”

Olsson still has a good contact to Kiel, though there are not many players he played together with.

“I often call playmaker Stefan Lövgren, manager Uwe Schwenker and coach Noka Serdarusic on the phone.”

And what will be Olsson’s job in the future?

An old friend still plays for Kiel, Lövgren“I have a contract for one more year in Hammarby and I don’t like to start speculations about my future. But a job in the Bundesliga could be interesting. However, not this year and not next year.”

Right now Olsson is doing everything for his current club and he hopes to reach the second group phase in the Champions League:

“We still have a chance, but it will be very hard to win against Constanta and Montpellier. I hope that Kiel will also win against Montpellier.”

And what objective can his former club achieve?

“Kiel are strong enough to win the Champions League again.” 

TEXT: Björn Pazen