New era in Kolding with Antonio Carlos Ortega: Trophies in Denmark, step further in CL | Handball Planet

New era in Kolding with Antonio Carlos Ortega: Trophies in Denmark, step further in CL

New era in Danish TOP team KIF Kolding Kobenhavn became with an appointment of Spanish coach Antonio Carlos Ortega. The Spaniard came after a few months of break since he was surprisingly dismissed from the position of MVM Veszprem coach in September. Ortega’s era in Hungary was marked with a lot of titles, two EHF CL Final4 in Cologne, where they lost final against FC Barcelona last May, but that wasn’t enough. On the „new beginning“, talked with former FC Barcelona legend…

– Currently, our training process is on some medium level, because some players live in Copenhagen, but I tried to make agreement with them to get more practice. We need to improve faster, as I am the newcomer in the club and want to change some things. Our situation in EHF Champions League was very difficult, but it was very important to feel the winning emotion against Montpellier. Our focus is on domestic Championship. We won first two matches, but it was very difficult. Our objective is to finish as best as possible in regular season, among TOP 4 teams to gain some points for the Play Off start.

After that coming a break until April 13…

– These three weeks I wish to practice more, to make small „pre-season“ and to give more concept to the team. There are few teams with good team-spirit, Holstebro, Skjern, Silkeborg have a good team, Aalborg are down with few injuries, but they are good team. Our ambition has to be to fight for the title again. It want be easy, but that is our goal, to play in EHF Champions League again.


Based on your three and a half contract with the Danes, what is your vision at the beginning of Danish challenge?

– Our goals must be to fight for the trophies in Denmark. Kolding are usually team who was playing at EHF CL TOP 16. This year we won’t, but we want to give one more step. It wanna be difficult, but not impossible. That is my goal for the future in EHF Champions League. Nordic handball is full of great players from Norway, Denmark, Iceland. I would like that Kolding becomes a place very young talented players want to come.

You will certainly change “profile” of the team with some players from abroad…

– My philosophy is to search among Danish players, than foreingers who are already in Denmark, and if I can’t find, I would like to look abroad. We need players who can play in system, and some of them can be Spanish. I can check Spanish market too.


How you see your era in Veszprem?

– I can say that my period in Veszprem was absolutely successful. I can say only that. We won alll the titles in Hungary, SEHA GAZPROM League, we improved every season step by step in EHF Champions League, at the end, played for the trophy.

How do you see the team four months after?

– I saw them for the first team after long period against Zagreb. I can’t say too much…

But they are staying one of the biggest favorites to win CL…

– They are big team, no doubt about that…


You had successful winter with Japanese national team. In a month project, Japan qualified for the World Championship 2017 in France by beating eternal rival Korea after many, many years, decades…

– It was amazing adventure. They  called me and told their wish to qualify for France. That meaned TOP 4 position at Asian Championship in Bahrain. We have only 12 days to work. I saw their matches at Asian Olympic qualification two months before that in Qatar. It was clear that in group with Qatar, Korea, Syria and Oman, we have to beat Korea. When I saw matches, difference between Japan and Korea wasn’t so big. We could lose, but also to win.

And you did it…

– They gave me all the informations about Korea, all possible conditions, facilities, everything. I didn’t know that they didn’t beat Korea 26 years. If I knew that before, maybe I wouldn’t accept (smile). We worked 12 days, 24 hours per day, it was absolutely full day working. They have been amazing. They are really good technicaly, and not bad tacticaly. The only problem is that they aren’t big. The biggest player is 190 cm tall, I had one taller, but he couldn’t play. We beat Korea, led 10 goals, at the end it was 6. It was great experience for me. We played good against Qatar, the only match was bad against Bahrain at semi-final, but that was a bad day. I could practice as much as I wanted, I had to stop work, not them! They never stop. It was pleasure, really pleasant experience to work with Japanese people.

Are there any story to lead them until Tokyo 2020?

– We, now, ended our deal. I have free hands to work with national teams apart of Kolding, who knows. I am open to speak with anybody – concludes Antonio Carlos Ortega for

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