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Handball world Cup : The national coach and the game of the future

use The time between the years for many people to simply switch off. Shut down, relax, charge batteries, and a whole lot of nothing to do. In the home of Procopius has been designed to be the least difficult. "It's not like that I have only since yesterday, on Christmas eve birthday – I know the date," says Christian Prokop and laughs. Christmas 2018 was the football coach nevertheless, he was allowed to celebrate a special anniversary – and on the other, the next major sporting event has thrown long shadows ahead of them. "Anyone who knows me, knows that I can not shut down completely," says Prokop.

With the thoughts he is, of course, for months in the tournament, which will decide on his future as national coach and his Status in German football. The verbaselte Europe championship in Croatia in January of last year, which went to defending champion Germany, with a disastrous appearance in the main round to the end, finally is a thing of the past. For the 40-Year-old in his second tournament as a national coach, the greatest stage: the world Cup in their own country. On Thursday, hosts Germany opened the world Cup with the preliminary round game against the United Team from Korea (18 PM, the Arena at the Ostbahnhof and live on ZDF). "We want to be a team to touch, the enthusiastic and the audience from the beginning to take," says Prokop.

Germany wants to convince as a unit - can it succeed?

The national coach is aware of the importance of a good start. The tournament Tableau says it's not just good with the Germans: In the main round, you must allow hardly more than a defeat to the stated to reach a minimum target: the semi-finals on 25. January in Hamburg. The more important it will be for the host to come successfully out of the starting blocks and to convince as a unit. "The individual is always allowed to its history, but the team is everything," says Procopius, "that will make us stand out."

a year Ago, in the arge doubts have arisen, which would have cost the newly-installed national coach, in spite of previously fault-free preparation and a flawless qualifying nearly the Job. Therefore, no tournament preview comes out before the world Cup Start in 2019, without a glance in the rear-view mirror; for 2018, at the European championship in Croatia, this happened in the days of Zagreb and Varazdin is just too much.

His cardinal error Prokop made at the time, already before the first EM game: Despite the Intervention of his Co-coach, he at first decided to cancel defense chief Finn Lemke, a generally esteemed types, which is not only for the necessary hardness on the Defensive, but also for the climate in the Team is important. Three days later, nominated Procopius the 2.10-Meter giants finally; as he reasoned this circumstance, however, with tactical Considerations and refused to acknowledge his mistake, felt not only the travelling German reporters – among them, longtime observer and former Bundesliga professionals – to put it mildly, sold for stupid. And as the DHB around sent, a little later, a message that there is no differences between team and Trainer, knew even the untalentier test nose: might, and, under certain circumstances, however, atmospheric distortions.

"He has made mistakes, but the criticism was excessive,"

Prokop had weakened his Standing without any Need of solid, even, and especially, internally. Henceforth, every little gesture of the Trainer has been dissected, every critical part of the sentence is interpreted. The events culminated a day before the decisive main round match against Spain that Prokop broke off the Training. In well-Handball-informed circles it is said today, the national coach was caught with circle runner Patrick Wiencek to each other, as it was about how the Spanish playmaker Joan Canellas be overcome. Wiencek, so it is said, have pointed to the analysis of the national coach to know Canellas is a little bit better. Finally, both players were over the years were team-mates at THW Kiel. A word gave the other. Until it crashed properly.

"Christian has, at the time, made an error, and later also added. For me, the criticism of his Person was covered anyway," says the former national player Stefan Kretzschmar, "at some point, have shot all on the coach, because it was for the players to get comfortable and in your concept has to fit." You have to know that Kretzschmar is Prokop's biggest advocates and supporters. To take you a few years ago in Leipzig squared up, the League-the rise in attack, entrusted to the Supervisory Board of the SC DHfK, Kretzschmar, his project to a young, largely unknown Trainer: a certain Christian Prokop. In Leipzig, he earned his merits as a shrewd tactician, and skilled in the art, which earned him the Post of national coach.

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