The first throw was spot on, even if it wobbled a bit…
3.6 million viewers (15.9 percent market share) watched the opening success of our handball team at the European Championship against Belarus (33:29). And the fans were surprised: Because Germany plays Doppelkopf. With two “captains” at the European Championship. One leads the team onto the floor first, the other speaks to the team.
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Today the DHB selection against Austria (6 p.m., BILD live ticker) can take the next step – the early main round qualification. The DHB troops have to do this Julius Kuehn (27/Melsungen) dispense. Kühn, who scored six goals against Belarus at the start, tested positive for Corona on Saturday.
“We have to be there from the start, we didn’t manage that in the last two games. We slept through the start,” says the official captain Johannes Golla (24/Flensburg).
He has to hold the shop together at the back, in front Philipp Weber (29 / Magdeburg) plays the trumps. And during the time-outs, Weber speaks: “It developed like this. In defense, BamBam (Wiencek; d. Red.) and Golli discuss things during the game. If we take a break in attack, it’s my job to show the guys the right path.”
Germany plays Doppelkopf at the EM!
Golla & Weber lead loud and quiet. “Golli embodies world class”, enthuses Timo Kastening (26/Melsungen), tactical victim against Belarus. The right winger continues: “Golli may not be the loudspeaker in the cabin, but he is the mediator behind closed doors.”
Doppelkopf – a game for four!
Weber is the loud, audible leader of the DHB selection (eight newcomers) in the tournament, Golla is the quiet one. Next to them, the two oldest in the team determine the direction: Patrick Wiencek (32/Kiel) and Kai Häfner (32/Melsungen).
Häfner, European champion 2016, was outstanding with eight goals against Belarus. His words carry weight – the colleagues listen carefully. National coach Alfred Gislason (62): “Things are going really well for Kai. It was the best game I’ve seen him play against Belarus. Not only because of his goals, but also because of his many assists.”
European Championship hope Häfner (“That gives tailwind for the upcoming tasks”) benefited from the tactical trick of the coach. Gislason rotated with Christoph Steinert (31/Erlangen) in defence, allowing Häfner to save energy in defence.
“That relieved me,” he admits: “It doesn’t cost that many grains when I have to cover the outside. That gives you air for 60 minutes.”
Also against the Ösis. Häfner: “We don’t want to ruin our good start, we have to deliver.” With two heads…