Syprzak: Counting down the days to CologneArticle
«Go back

BLOG: Barcelona line player Kamil Syprzak talks about his first trip to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne, Polish handball and Spain’s domestic league.

»EHF CL Channel »2016-17 Men's News

Syprzak: Counting down the days to Cologne

Hey guys!

You know, I’m not really superstitious, but there came a moment this season when I started wondering if fate was playing a prank on me. We won the group, we missed one stage of the competition and in the quarter-final we faced THW Kiel, who we lost against in the first match in their hall. Sound familiar?

This is exactly how our unfinished trip to Cologne looked last year. We didn’t want history to repeat itself. Our thoughts came back to that first duel against Kiel to analyse our mistakes. I think we were too confident then. We believed that even if we had lost by a few goals in Germany, we would still have won at home. So, this time we had more humility as we needed to prove it’s us that deserve to play in Lanxess Arena. I’m very proud of my team, that we did it.

For me it’s the first visit to this great hall. My teammates told me it’s an unforgettable experience to be there. I can’t wait to put my feet on the floor and I’m counting down the days left to the tournament on my calendar. But to be honest, I can’t be too excited like “Wow! I’m here, I’m here!” because it may work against me. I have to throw such thoughts out of my head in order to focus on the games.

I know that some players have to wait till the age of 30 for their debut in the Champions League and I’m barely 25 while reaching the FINAL4, but actually…look at Dika Mem! He is only 19 and already played for his national team at World and European Championships, and now he’s going to play in Cologne – this is something. But we both can’t think about it like this, we still have a lot to do.


I was around 20 when I played my first season in the Champions League and I have to admit, the feelings are still the same. This competition brings a quick tempo into your life. Together with the domestic league, you play a match every fourth or fifth day. You may think it’s exhausting, but first of all it works very well for your psyche. Why? Because when you lose a game, you don’t have time to think about it – the next day you already start another adventure. In my opinion, that’s the best way to develop the young players.

Now, I’m happy I can fully focus on Cologne. We had a successful season in the Spanish league and we already secured the championship. That’s why it is only this week that we could start preparations for the FINAL4. But to be clear, we really don’t win our matches easily. The first few teams in the league are on a fair European level. Even though we break the records of matches won in a row, it still costs us a lot of effort to compete with domestic teams.



A post shared by Kamil Syprzak (@kamil_syprzak) on

On the other hand, I have a little confusion about Polish handball. You know, Plock and Kielce said goodbye to the Champions League quite quickly and now I’m the only Pole left in the competition. I’m proud to be able to represent my country, I will do my best to be worthy of it.

Our national team isn’t in good shape. Our last matches definitely didn’t look like they should and I understand the bitter comments thrown at us. As you know, Talant Dujshebaev resigned as our coach, because he felt like he didn’t fulfil the task. They always say: “It’s the coach’s fault!”, but all in all it’s us who run on the court, remember that! Now, I’m very curious how the cooperation with Piotr Przybecki will look. I’ve never worked with him. I can’t wait for the grouping call.

But firstly, the FINAL4 and our semi-final! Against Vardar it will be a crazy game. They have nothing to lose and the way they defeated Flensburg in the quarter-final impressed me. For me, Luka Cindric is their indisputable leader, who creates their game. They have good left and right backs, Borozan and Dujshebaev. From my point of view, they have an interesting bunch of line players – two giants like me and one a bit smaller, who is used in a bit different way.

And of course, the goalkeeper – it’s hard to put the ball between him and the posts, if he has his lucky day. I hope on Saturday the 3rd of June he will not!

So please, support me on my first visit to Cologne! You can follow me on social media: at @ksyprzak on Facebook, @kamil_syprzak on Instagram and @syprzak_kamil on Twitter. I will take you behind the scenes of the tournament and share my emotions with you.

Kamil Syprzak


TEXT: Kamil Syprzak