New challenges for GislassonArticle
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THW coach Gislasson talks about the future of his team without three of their stars.

»EHF CL Channel »2008-09 Men's News

New challenges for Gislasson

He was highly disappointed after his team failed to take the Champions League title. Now Alfred Gislasson has to build a new team for THW Kiel after Lövgren, Karabatic and Kavticnik will leave the club. In an interview with the newspaper “Kieler Nachrichten” Gislasson talks about his emotions and his plans.

Gislasson will have to build a new team in KielQuestion: At your first season as THW coach you were close to become a legend by winning the triple – German championship, German Cup and Champions League. What are your emotions after losing the CL Final?

Gislasson: It’s bitter to miss the title this way. I’m highly disappointed, but our team did not break down. From the sports point of view we played a successful season. We reached a new record in the Bundesliga, but I would have preferred to win the triple.

Q: Your team were leading 20:16 in Ciudad Real, which meant a nine-goal lead in aggregate. How could it happen that you lost by six at the end?

Gislasson: At the beginning, our goalkeeper Omeyer was outstanding and then we gave the good basis out of our hands. We missed too many chances and we didn’t have the alternatives that Ciudad Real had on their bench. We couldn’t put pressure on them anymore.

Q: The defeat is bitter, but isn’t it even worse to lose the three top players, Stefan Lövgren, Nikola Karabatic and Vid Kavticnik?

Gislasson: It’s not possible to replace these world class players right now. It is a significant setback for Kiel even if we signed new players such as Palmarsson, Illic and Sprenger. Life goes on. It’ll take some time to reach the same level, but our experienced players like Kim Andersson and Filip Jicha will have to take more responsibility. And it would have been a hopeless effort to force Karabatic to stay. We wouldn’t have played with 100 percent in this case. We tried hard to keep him in Kiel, but he wanted to leave us in any case.

Q: Who will replace Karabatic or Lövgren in the middle back position?

Gislasson: Börge Lund, Filip Jicha or Aron Palmarsson. Aron is one of the most talented players in the world, but he’s only 18. He’ll need some time to fill those large shoes.

Q: Lot of things changed in the club, not only in the team, since you arrived last summer. Was there a moment when you wanted to leave THW?

Gislasson: Never. I came here with different working conditions, but I never thought about my future. I am and I will be the coach of THW Kiel.

Q: What’s your personal balance of the season?

Gislasson: I’m disappointed when I think about the CL Final. But if someone had promised me last August that we would win the German league, the German Cup, the German Supercup and – in addition – we would reach the CL Final, I would have been very satisfied.

TEXT: Björn Pazen