“Rock in the wall”:handballers rely on gislason

The german handball federation (DHB) has clarified the situation one day before christmas eve and given national coach alfred gislason a contract until the summer of 2024.

The 62-year-old islander, whose contract expired in february, is expected to lead the national team not only at the upcoming european championships (13. Until 30. The team will not only lead the team in hungary and slovakia on january 2022, but also in the 2023 world cup in poland and sweden, as well as in the major events of 2024: the european home championships and the olympic games in paris the following summer.

"We have achieved a great deal in the past few months. I am sure that the further development of the currently very young and inexperienced team will give us a lot of pleasure," said gislason, who is spending christmas with his children and grandchildren in iceland. For the upcoming road he asked for patience despite many rough events. The prerequisite is "that we get time for this path".

Experienced coach "as a rock in the fire"

Gislason succeeded christian prokop at the beginning of 2020 and has since had to contend with a number of adversities. First, the corona crisis slowed down professional sports for months. Ghost games and tournaments followed, in which the head coach had to replace numerous high performers. The historically poor performance at the world championship in agypt (twelfth place) did not make the association doubt the new coach, as the long-term extension now also proves.

"Alfred gislason, with all his experience, is a very good fit for the rebuilding of our national team. This new and young formation will need such an experienced coach as a rock in the fire," said association president andreas michelmann. At the olympic games in tokyo, the DHB team made it to the quarterfinals, but lost to agypta. Now the european championship awaits, which gislason will tackle again with a young team in two years’ time, with his sights set on the european championship at home.

After several resignations and cancellations, the national coach has made a virtue out of necessity and called up nine tournament newcomers to the 19-man squad. With goalkeeper andreas wolff, backcourt players julius kuhn, kai hafner and simon ernst as well as circle player jannik kohlbacher, only five european champions from 2016 are still in the lineup. "We have an inexperienced team and need time, but i’m sure we’ll be on the board from the first second with a rough fighting heart," gislason said.

President michelmann also stressed that the team and the experienced coach "need to be given time to work together". Sports director axel kromer called the islander, who long coached top german club THW kiel, "the helmsman" for a young squad.

European championship preparation begins on 1. January

"In the end alfred has also decided for us. This was already evident in the conversations of recent weeks, when he repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm for the prospects of german handball and the current pool of players," commented kromer. The preparation for the european championship begins on. January with a training course in grobwallstadt. "Our plan is in place, the joint work in the training hall will start in the new year," gislason announced. Coach’s contract content will no longer play a role.


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