"We have spring fever!"Article
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THW Kiel’s sharpshooter Filip Jicha talks about the end of the season.

"We have spring fever!"

This Saturday the German Bundesliga might be decided as runners-up Kiel play in Hamburg against the leaders. One week later THW meet Ciudad Real in the semi-final of the EHF Champions League. The player’s focus is on a maximum, as the "Zebra’s" top scorer Filip Jicha confirms.

ehfFINAL4.com: In two semi-final battles THW Kiel managed to beat the Rhein-Neckar Löwen twice. What made the difference in those games?

Filip Jicha: Those were two big games that had it all. We played very concentrated and never lost our game plan. Only in short periods it did not work quite so well, but that never put us in trouble. Overall, we played stable in defence, and goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer performed very well.

ehfFINAL4.com: Is the team a bit tense as the final phases of all tournaments approach?

Filip Jicha: (smiles) We have the typical spring fever, as always, is when a season coming to an end. We know what we have to do in this phase. Now it is time for the games, which we have been working very hard for the entire season. If we had allowed only one bad game in the semis, and had lost, the whole EHF Champions League season had been ruined. The whole time our goal was to go to Cologne for the EHF FINAL4.

ehfFINAL4.com: You mention the EHF FINAL4, what do you expect from this event?

Filip Jicha: It is simply a huge handball experience, not only because it is played in front of 20,000 spectators.

ehfFINAL4.com: You have achieved a lot in your career, but a title in the EHF Champions League is still missing...

Filip Jicha: For a long time it was my biggest dream to win the EHF Champions League. Since I have a daughter, I'm thinking a little different. A triumph would not be the greatest thing ever, but still very important.

ehfFINAL4.com: The other participants in the EHF FINAL4 are Chekhovskie Medvedi, Barcelona and Ciudad Real. See a favourite?

Filip Jicha: In each game, the chances are 50-50. There are no favourites and no surprise teams. Also Chekhovskie Medvedi has shown its strengths and is no easy opponent. We will have to give everything we have.

ehfFINAL4.com: In the German Bundesliga the big match against HSV Hamburg is being played on 22 May, what are your expectations?

Filip Jicha: Both the HSV as us are both having it in own hands to become German champions. We both aren’t depending on help of other teams. We expect a great game in Hamburg; it will most likely decide the season. Anything can happen, the form of the day will be crucial. But it will definitely be a good game and promotion for handball.

EHF Champions League FINAL4, Semi-Final
BM Ciudad Real (ESP) vs. THW Kiel (GER)
29 May 2010, 18:00 hrs, LANXESS arena, Cologne (GER)

Visit ehfFINAL4.com

TEXT: Jan Kirschner