25 Jul. 2013
In 2009 and 2011, Martin Heuberger led Germany to two gold medals at the Men’s Junior World Championships in Egypt and Greece – then he took over the German men’s national team in 2011. Heuberger came to Bosnia-Herzegovina not only to analyze the work of his successor Markus Baur (2007 World Champion as a player) and the German team, but also to see the development of junior handball in general.
In this interview with www.ihf.info, Heuberger talks about his impressions of the event in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
What is your current mission and your job at this tournament?
Martin Heuberger: I want to be informed about the next generation of players on international level and of course I want to see the development of the German players, who might become part of my men’s national team.
German was dethroned already in the eighth-finals against France after five victories in the preliminary round. Are you disappointed?
Martin Heuberger: It was an unlucky one- goal-defeat against France, as the Germans did not find the right means to break through the strong French defence. Indeed, I am disappointed a little, as I would have liked to see those players in the crucial matches of a World Championship – because this stage of the tournament is highly important for their future development. But a ranking position is not everything, it is more important to play international matches on highest level to take the challenge for the future.
What is your general impression of this event in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
Martin Heuberger: The host has organized a fantastic event, everything is running very smoothly, the accommodation and training facilities for the teams are perfect. And what I really appreciated was the spectator’s interest in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and especially in Ljubuski. Our match against Croatia was attended by more than 5000 spectators, this was a very special feeling for our players.
And your opinion from the supportive point of view?
Martin Heuberger: The top of the world has moved together, more nations are able to win big matches and to beat top teams – this became clear in the eighth-finals, when teams like Switzerland or Netherlands caused major surprises. But they are also well-deserved among the top 8 like Brazil. Especially the 2016 Olympic host made a huge step forward – and it will be highly interesting to see their further development on their way to their highlighter. The performing level of all teams has rapidly increased from the eighth-finals on. All quarter-finals were highly equal, which proves the closeness of those eight teams. Nearly all of these teams can beat any other competitor.
By looking upon the tactics - did you recognize something new?
Martin Heuberger: There were no major new inventions from the tactical side, but it is obvious that the junior teams are trained to use the same tactics the men’s team play to later-on integrate the players easier. Sweden and Spain are perfect examples, as they have the same tactics like the men’s teams, especially regarding the defence. So you can see a clear long-term concept in a huge number of federations.
Is there one player you would consider to be the best right now?
Martin Heuberger: If I have to name only one, I would say that Spaniard Alex Djushebajev stands out from the rest.