Without him THW Kiel would have a lot of problems at the beginning of the new era. The world’s best player by Handball-Planet.com in 2012, Filip Jicha was a key player for the German team in the victory at the start of EHF Champions League in Plock, as against HSG Wetzlar in DKB Bundesliga a week before. He talked exclusively for our website after the match in Poland…
What do you think about group B of EHF CL, that THW Kiel is playing in? What are your predictions?
– We are playing in a strong group and actually all teams in this group are really good, all of them. Maybe only Porto is a little bit out of the group, but on the other hand it is always hard to play with somebody who didn’t play in Champions League for a long time. In my opinion all the teams are really great and that is why we are very happy that we won in Płock. It was such an important game for us and we did it and I have to say we are very happy now. EHF Champions League is just in the beginning right now and after the first game I cannot say who will go to 16 and who will finish at the group phase.
“OUR TARGET – COLOGNE 2014”
THW Kiel don’t play so convincing at the start of the season…
– Right now we have so many problems in our teams and we are, as I said, in the beginning. We are working on it every single day, for our play system to be better and better. Right now I can’t say any names of the teams. For sure we, as THW Kiel, we want to continue good play in CL, to get our target which is Final Four in Cologne, but still that is a long way for us.
So I guess you are not able to say who are expected teams in Cologne as well?
– Oh, there is many of the teams who could play there this season. Wish me that we are there, that we will be again part of this event. And personally, I would say Barcelona, Veszprem, Kielce as well, Hamburg, Paris… There is so many teams right now who can go there and beat.
“BARCA IS THE FIRST FAVORITE TO WIN EHF CL”
Who is then the first favorite to win EHF Champions League this season?
– I would say this team is Barcelona, because with Nikola (Karabatić) and Lazarov they have really great team with very good players. For me they are favorite for this competition.
You mentioned Kielce in the teams who can play in Final Four again. You’ve played with them in last Final Four and you lost. Now you are in the same group and you are going to play together soon. Do you want to take revenge?
– I didn’t directly said that they are favorites to play in Final Four, but for sure they are in this group that could play for it. Of course if we will play again against Kielce we wouldn’t like to repeat that, what we have done. But that weekend in Cologne in last Final Four wasn’t a great weekend for us. It was first and last weekend when we didn’t play well. I wouldn’t say that we are mad or sad on Kielce, no, they played well and maybe it is better to say that we played very bad in this two days. But this is the past and we are looking forward to playing Champions League this season again and see what we can do.
The game with Płock was pretty similar to two of your games in Bundesliga, when you won in last seconds.
– We are in the beginning of the season and we have many problems. Many players went away, many players came and most of them are very young players. You always need a little bit of time, now we are working hard during the trainings but we just need time. We did a great matches in Bundes and here in CL and that is the most important thing, we are very happy.
“GOOD ATMOSPHERE IN KIEL”
What do you think about new THW Kiel?
I think that team spirit is the most important thing and I think that the social network, how the team works is really great. Now I have to say we just need a bit of time and we are on the right way. If we stay focus we will manage it but you also need a bit of luck. All players need to be on board always, without injuries and if this happens we could stay focus on our target. It is a long season and we are really on the beginning. Right now we can be happy, we can enjoy the moment for few hours but tomorrow we have to work hard again and try to be better and better – concludes Jicha for Handball-Planet.com
TEXT: MICHALINA CHABOWSKA