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INTERVIEW – Bob Hanning: I live my dream with Fuchse Berlin!

Handball-Planet.com opens discussion about a lot of interesting topics in the previous period. One of the most interesting guys in handball world, who has influence to change and have clear opinions, Vice-president of the German Handball Federation and “the father” of Fuchse Berlin, Bob Hanning, was our target during the IHF Super Globe in Doha last week, where we spoke about a presence and future of German, but not only German handball…

– We didn’t expect such a success. We have changed the team after we won EHF Cup last season. A year before we celebrated DHB Cup trophy. Old players were feeling comfortable, so they didn’t put enough efforts. We won EHF Cup, it was great achievement, but we didn’t play good in League. So, we wanted to change team a little bit. We have many young guys from our own school. It’s not easy to give the chance to non-experience boys, but we began this story with our own idea. I decided to make rejuvenation. In past period, we didn’t invest much, starting for myself and ex-coach Dagur Sigurdsson, because we wanted to give something good also for DHB (Federation). All of us gave 5% less, so now we did something new.

You stayed without your most important youngstar Paul Drux due injury…

– We have problem with Paul Drux. He is an ideal leader of the team for the upcoming years. Zachirsson is also injured. It’s difficult situation, so we put some other youngstars. It will be very interesting to see what will happen now. We have a new coach also, but we couldn’t expect to beat two teams with 16 world class stars in roster like Barca and Veszprem.

What is the conclusion of Dagur Sigurdsson six years era in Fuchse Berlin?

– He made a very good job. We talked with many coaches before him. We wanted a coach who will have total synergy with us, not in some points, but in all things, to be on the line with us. I saw that Dagur had same idea about development the team. I was looking for a coach who had idea to work with young guys, who don’t look only for the stars, that we can grow up together. I sent him some videos of our matches , than I took flight to Iceland. We talked 45 minutes from the Airport to the hotel, and after we stopped in front of my hotel, I told him „You can bring me directly back to AIRPORT, because I know that you are the man which I looking for“. Many people told me “he is young guy, he worked only in Wien”, but I saw the potential, that he can work in Berlin.

Successful story began…

– We made a right balance between youth players and some stars which we bought. We have light system – yellow, green and red. Only if we both have green light, we will take the player. Good thing with him was the he already worked as director on Iceland, I did also the same, but we are both coaches. We know what other side need.

DAGUR AND ME – RED, YELLOW, GREEN…

Iker Romero became one of the club’s faces during time…

– I got a phone call from his agent to sign him in Berlin. I said “for me, it is red light”, for Dagur was also “red”. Iker didn’t played in Barca, he was always injured. His agent called me again, I told him, “Ok, it is Iker Romero, I have to talk with him and say No”. Then, I travelled to Sweden, it was World Champiionship 2011 there. I spoke with Iker, and after that told Dagur: “My red light became green”. Dagur told me: “Bob, you are crazy. You went there with red, now it is green!?”. I told him: “Ok, if you don’t want, we won’t take him, but I want from you to talk with him”. Since he talked with him, Dagur told me: “He is the guy for the next step”. I sad to Iker: “We aren’t Barca or Veszprem. This is our highest salary, he accepted”.

He brought with himself a lot of personality to Max Schmelling Arena…

– Many people criticized us at the start, but we both saw what we can do with Iker. New generation with new idea. That was a good decision. Dagur doesn’t discuss about impossible things, only about what is possible and what we can do together. That s why I brought him to German NT as a part of my second position in DHB.

NENADIC IS SPECIAL GUY

Serbian playmaker Petar Nenadić looks like a new leader of the team…

– I love Petar, I really love Petar. We have very good relationship. He is a special guy. Normally, if he isn’t so special, he should play in Barca, Veszprem, anywhere. When he wants, he is one of the best on the world. Sometimes his problem is that he closes door for himself. He can gives the game special moments. There is no many players in handball who can do that. And, if he wants he can also play in defense. Look match against Barcelona, he wanted to play in defense in last four attacks, because he wanted to win the game. He was so clever to give pass to Jesper on the line, we got 7m throw instead of long pass, who could be intercepted. Sometimes, he wants too much, that isn’t good for a game. Sometimes he needs one pass more. You must keep level 60 minutes, it is better to score less goals in order that your team win. He has to learn that, but the most important thing that he needs and he fells well in club. I talked with Andrej Golic, we agreed that it was good decision. He is special guy, but if you take care of him, than it’s great.

FUCHSE BETWEEN POSITIONS 4 AND 7

Where is the place of Fuchse Berlin in DKB Bundesliga this season?

– My opinion is between position 4 and 7. That is in normal conditions, but if we have some more injuries, it will be very difficult. We have not so many players on high level, we have Nenadic, Vukovic, some young players like Wiede has to work hard, Gojun to play good in defense, goalkeepers to perform well. We had great Stochl, but last year both weren’t on the necessary level.  It won’t be easy, but I count on my players, they are my life. I won’t win with money rather with idea. We have Fuchse Town, for example, in psychical room proffesional players meet youngstars during massage and all other activities. I want that players play for idea, not only for Fuchse. If you are in Fuchse, you have to teach young guys…

BERLIN IS LIKE FREIBURG IN FOOTBALL WORLD

You had great achievement in 2011, when Fuchse played for the first and the last time at VELUX EHF Final 4 in Cologne. Since then you are far away from the TOP European teams, but also you aren’t among best in DKB Bundesliga. Why results didn’t stay on that level. How come that Fuchse can’t make bigger budget?

– There is no more money in Berlin. You have 128 teams playing in first and second divison in Berlin. We don’t have industry, there is nothing. We have some starts-up, but there is no industry, only Deutche Ban. There is no money, we have to work with less finance, we have to be creative. It’s wrong that is going down. It is normal that something you can call “miracle”. That was a miracle to be in Cologne. We have to be realistic. FC Freiburg will never play EHF CL or win DHB Cup, or beat Barca and Veszprem at Super Globe. Never, but we did it in similar circumstances. We are like a family, that’s why many good players want to come…

But you are probably thinking about winning DKB Bundesliga or EHF Champions League? It’s normal…

– I can’t think. We will think if we get new sponsors – big one, but we won’t stop our school. My dream is to develop 6, 7, 8 players from our school like Wiede or Drux. We did a very good job with coaches also, there are two guys, who improved a lot and will be a first league team coaches in some 5-6 years. That is idea, to produce everything. My small office is the smallest in the league, only five people work there, but they have Fuchse in the heart. That is only how it will works. We can’t count on money…

fuchse_celebrationFUCHSE – PIECE OF CULTURE

It’s not all about money…

– We don’t have title sponsors on our shirt. We didn’t accept some offers,  they didn’t show respect to my team. I said: “we will play without any banner”. I want respect for what we are doing. We are giving education to our young players. They are going to Theatre, also working in rubbish company, to get respect for normal people, who are working for normal salary, getting up in 4 in the morning. Young persons have to know how life works. They are getting a piece of the culture in Fuchse Berlin. You can’t see them in flip-flops to go to restaurants, or with socks. It is kind of a culture what we work in the club. Meanwhile, we don’t have mecena, so guy who are throwing money on us, but we are trying to share our idea among small companies.

Fuchse Berlin have no problem with the fans…

– We have 7.000 each game. We can also play in 02 Arena, but that is an event arena. Max Schmelling is a perfect place for us.

HBL AND DHB FINALLY WORK TOGETHER

What is your idea in your engagement in German Handball Federation?

– I want to create Federation for all. I can do in my club whatever I want. if I want to sign 50 Romanian players, if I want to earn 1.000.000 from contracts as manager, and if sponsors say yes, than it is ok, but when you work for handball community, you have to work for and not from Federation. We want to make handball for all. German handball has 800.000 members. I will work for them and an idea. I began in 2012, when we said: “We have to work firstly on men’s team, than on finance, after that women’s team. I began to work, I changed many things, because it was possible. After 2007 and gold medal, we didn’t take a real next step. We are know much more proffesional. I know that I didn’t get new friends with some decisions. I always get pressure on myself. I have my own paradise in Fuchse. I worked also in HBL, but I knew it, if you want to make big changes, you have to go to the TOP.  It was just crazy what Heiner Brand said about me. I didn’t want to react, to put myself on that level. I decided to shut-up, I closed my mouth and worked next six-seven months. For me, it is important what I am doing, not what I am talking. So, it would be nice that people judging about what you have done rather about what you talked after some period of time.

You have strong opposition in your battle to appoint Dagur Sigurdsson as a NT head-coach. Majority wanted domestic coach on the bench

– I am not affraid to take decisions, even I know that means not too many friends. I always say: Amateurs hope, professionals work. It was very important to make balance between Bundesliga and national team. We agreed finally that without good national team, we can’t have good Bundesliga. DKB Bundesliga re-scheduled a whole Round before matches against Spain in order to give three more days to National team to prepare. We have millions of people in front of TV, great attention and we won. We decided to work together. Uwe Schwenker and Frank Bohman from one and me from the other side have same opinion about the job we have to do. We have to bring it together, we are on the same line, it’s a big chance for handball in Germany.

MAGDEBURG IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MUNICH

The most usual topic about future of German handball is linked with South Germany. We know about the dream “Bayern Munchen in handball”, etc…

– I really think that isn’t so important for us. League is so strong and we have some teams from south, Balingen, Goppingen, now with Stutgart. There are good teams.

What about big cities, Munich…

– It’s a really good idea to get Munich, but it’s good to have also Hamburg, Berlin, etc. Handball culture coming from small cities, Balingen, Minden, from Magdeburg. So, Magdeburg is more important than Munich. I will say Magdeburg is more important than Berlin. They have longer and stronger handball tradition. If you ask me who is the most important, I will say Magdeburg…

WE DON’T NEED BIGGER CITIES…

Is the next step to bring handball to bigger cities…

– Oh, we have already. We don’t need more handball in bigger cities. I don’t think so. If we have chance to get Munich, of course, we have to take it. I preffer traditional teams, it is not so important how people think that is…

There are a lot of ideas how to develop handball game. A lot of big coaches talked about “shot-clock”, number of time-outs per matches, etc…

– It is not easy to say. You can always change some rules, but we have dynamic, technic-tactics, everything. We need good refferes, to develop them. We have to have respect for those people. If you see what players earn, if you want best refferes, you have to give them also more money. If they get small amount money and games are so important, they will be under big pressure. Two, three decisions can change the game, but I always tell my players: “Look at you, how many mistakes you did during the match?”. We need to put more money in developing that part of the game. We can do things like, for example, to make clear how many passes you have after reffere put his hand up for passive attack. That would be a good idea, like they did in Brazil at Junior WCh. Also, I would like that players can shoot from 9 meters-throw directly, and not to pass firstly. That will bring more excitement to the game.

HANDBALL AT STADIUMS – NICE JOKE

What do you think about handball at football stadiums?

– It’s a nice joke, not more. Handball has to be played in handball arena with closed doors. It’s a nice joke, but not some kind of step forward.

2019, joint WCh organization with Denmark…

– Hope that we will have German team to play the Final. We want to develop our team, but it won’t be an easy way – concluded Bob Hanning.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Bob Haning o Nenadiću: Kada hoće, on je jedan od najboljih na svetu | Balkan Handball

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