On the road to Nantes: WiesmachArticle
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Holstebro's speedy right winger confident ahead of the Danish derby

On the road to Nantes: Wiesmach

When Team Tvis Holstebro meet KIF Kolding in the quarter-finals of the EHF Cup, one of their most important weapons in their attempt to reach the final round is likely to be Patrick Wiesmach.

The 23-year-old right winger has five internationals on his CV and is one of Denmark´s fastest handball players. Due to his large variation of shots from the right wing position as well as his efficiency in the fast breaks, he could be a deciding factor against Kolding over the tow legs.

Not only does he hope for another successful experience against Denmark´s number one at the moment, but he also firmly believes in his team’s chances to get to Nantes, admitting that the chance to play the final tournament in France give him and his teammates extra motivation this spring.

eurohandbal.com: You are in your third season in Holstebro after playing your early handball years in Aalborg. What is different in Holstebro compared to the big city club of Aalborg?

Patrick Wiesmach: It is obvious that it is a smaller town and a smaller club, and that suits me well. Here in Holstebro we also have a women’s league team, which gives a fine social life in the club.

Of course, I also enjoy playing much more than I did in Aalborg. When I was there, Jan Lennartsson was the obvious first choice in the right wing position, so I did not play that much.

That also means that today I am very keen on taking care of the young players in our squad, particularly if they feel a bit down due to lack of match practice.

eurohandball.com: Your coach in Aalborg was Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen who is now head coach in Kolding. Do you feel you have something extra to prove to him when you meet Kolding?

Patrick Wiesmach: I have met Peter Bredsdorff several times since then at training sessions with the national team, when he was assistant national coach, and I have also played against Kolding several times since he became coach there, so I do not have that much to prove to him anymore.

There are absolutely no hard feelings towards Peter from my side, and I realise that I could not have contributed much to the side securing the Danish championship back in 2010, when I played there. Lennartsson was better than me then.

However, the first times we met Kolding with Peter as coach there, I liked to show him that I might have deserved a few more minutes in Aalborg than I got – but now we have met them so many time that I really do not feel the need to prove that much any longer.

eurohandball.com: Have you ever been to Nantes, where the final round is taking place?

Patrick Wiesmach: No, I have never been to Nantes, but I would very much like to go there in May, and actually I think we have a really good chance of getting there.

Of course, of latest match against Kolding (26:19 for Kolding) was no success, but the situation is different in an EHF Cup tie.

When we got down by seven in that recent championship play-off match against Kolding, we knew that it would almost impossible to get back and win.

In the first leg of a cup tie it is different, as you do not necessarily have to strive to win, but to narrow down the gap as much as possible in order to improve your chances in the return match.

In that respect I see it as a great advantage for us to be meeting Kolding in Brøndby first and having the second match at home.

After all, we have played well against them earlier this season, as we have drawn against them in Kolding and managed to put them under pressure at home before finally losing by four. Therefore I think we have good chance against them this time.

eurohandball.com: What will it take for you to defeat Kolding over two matches and get to Nantes?

Patrick Wiesmach: For a large part, the key lies in the first match in Brøndby. It will be crucial to us that the distance in goals does not get too big – unless, of course, we manage to win, in which case the distance is welcome to be big.

If we can play an equal match in Brøndby, our previous experiences at home against Kolding are so good that I believe we can make it all clear at home. Actually, we have defeated them quite often in Holstebro, so that should be possible again.

eurohandball.com: Is the EHF Cup extra important for you now that a domestic title is no longer possible?

Patrick Wiesmach: The EHF Cup is our really big chance to make something great this season. That competition gives us an extra kick, and that is just another reason why will do everything we can to reach the final round and as I said, I think our chances are good, if only we can keep it close in the first leg against Kolding, or even win it.

eurohandball.com: You are in the periphery of the Danish national team yourself. In that respect, what do these European matches mean to you personally?

Patrick Wiesmach: They give me the international experience I need to compete for a position in the national team. It is a great variation from playing against Danish teams all the time.

There is not really that much of a difference in the way that Danish teams play, so it is a major change to play against teams from Eastern Europe or from France for instance. Such matches mature you as a player.

eurohandball.com: What do you think of the new concept with the EHF Cup being decided in a final round?

Patrick Wiesmach: I think it is a really good idea. Of course there was a lot of advanced arithmetic regarding the second places in the groups and qualification for the quarter-finals, but fortunately we got around that by winning our group.

I really expect the final round to be a great event with a lot of spectators. From what I know, Nantes always have many spectators for their matches, and I know that the sale of tickets for the final round is going very well already, so I am sure it will be a fine event which I very much hope to be part of.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor