TEAM = Total Engagement of All MembersArticle
«Go back

Füchse Berlin manager Bob Hanning unveils the secret of their success before their match against Atletico Madrid.

TEAM = Total Engagement of All Members

Still unbeaten, Füchse Berlin are currently flying high on the wings of success. The Germans are top of the 'Group of Death' in the VELUX EHF Champions League and on Sunday the Foxes will play their most crucial match so far on home ground where they will face Atletico Madrid, currently equal with Berlin on five points, with around 8,000 fans expected to witness the clash.

In an interview with Füchse manager Bob Hanning unveils the secret their of success, but is cautious about their future objectives. Do you feel that the VELUX EHF Champions League euphoria is spreading in Berlin?
Bob Hanning: We realise that the general media interest has grown, in fact the number of media accreditations has doubled since we began playing in the VELUX EHF Champions League. One of your main targets is to make handball more popular in Berlin – how successful have you been since the start of the VELUX EHF Champions League?
Bob Hanning: The popularity of handball is now huge in Berlin. We had a great atmosphere in the Max-Schmeling-Halle at our first ever match of the VELUX EHF Champions League against Kielce. Did you expect to start with five points after three matches?
Bob Hanning: I didn’t even dream about that! I was totally surprised by our team. When we took a point at Medvedi we were playing with renewed self confidence which came from the home match against Kielce and the away game in Silkeborg, both of which we won. What makes the Foxes so strong at the moment?
Bob Hanning: More than anything it is the team spirit and the team performance. We use the word TEAM in it’s true sense: Total Engagement of All Members.” You mentioned the draw at Chekhov – did you ever imagine that result?
Bob Hanning: The first ever match in the VELUX EHF Champions League is always something very special. We never assume we will take any points, we just enjoy playing in this competition. The strength of the Russians became obvious in their draw at Atletico Madrid. Have all the newcomers in your team integrated well so far?
Bob Hanning: Yes, they are all coming on fine. Iker Romero has helped us a lot already in key moments. His experience is very valuable to our team, especially in Champions League matches. Pivot Evgeni Pevnov is able to free up Torsten Laen when he needs to have a break, and we will have a lot of fun with Jonathan Stenbäcken! On Sunday Füchse Berlin will face Atletico Madrid in the Match of the Week on home ground. How many spectators do you expect?
Bob Hanning: We estimate somewhere between 7,000-8,000 fans. Madrid have more international experience than Berlin – what will the Füchse offer in response?
Bob Hanning: Passion, heart and the belief in our strengths. The primary goal of your club was to proceed to the Last 16 – has the objective changed now after your first three matches?
Bob Hanning: This question is one we also get asked by the Berlin journalists, who always want to see us go Faster, Higher, Further. If we do reach the Last 16 we will be very proud, but there is still a very long way to go. But of course we can exceed our targets. Which team is your favourite to win this group?
Bob Hanning: Atletico Madrid, certainly! But in general it is hard to predict, as this is the toughest and most equal of all groups. Every team is capable of beating any opponent, so everything is very open.

TEXT: Björn Pazen