|19.09.2008, 09:16||◄ last page|
Eurohandball.com talks to Hening Fritz, world champion goalkeeper of Rhein Neckar Löwen.
Fritz wants to play an important role
Fritz is World Champion (2007), European Champion (2004), Olympic silver medallist (2004), World Championship silver medallist (2005) and EURO silver medallist (2003) with Germany. On a club level in SC Magdeburg and THW Kiel he won several domestic titles and twice the Champions League. On top of all, Fritz was voted World Player of the Year in 2004.
Fritz today enjoys playing in the Champions League with Rhein Neckar Löwen. He talks to Eurohandball.com about the objectives of his club and the importance of playing in the “king’s class”.
Eurohandball.com: Your club reached the group phase – how important was this step for the future of the “Lions”?
Fritz: This step means a lot for us, as we are an ambitious club. And with this ambition it’s very important to meet the top clubs of Europe. We want to show our class in this most important competition on club level. I’m happy that we joined the elite for the first time.
Eurohandball.com: In the first group phase your team will play against Zagreb, Plock and Szeged. It seems to be quite a difficult task compared to other groups. What’s your objective?
Fritz: We want to reach the main round, but we have strong opponents. In the Champions League you’ll never meet easy teams. But our aim is to win every match in every competition. I believe that Zagreb and our team are the favourites of the group.But also Plock and Szeged are strong, we have to prepare very well. I don’t exactly know the team of this club. So we have to wait and see what will happen.
Eurohandball.com: You just returned from the Olympics with a disappointing result: you went out in the quarterfinals. Was it hard to come home and prepare with the Lions just a few days later?
Fritz: I have been playing professional handball for a long time, so I know how to switch very quickly from the national team to the club. This situation is not new for me. As we have some new players at the Lions, we have to prepare very well. Nine players were in Beijing – so our preparation starts with the season. I had to forget very quickly what happened in Beijing. But now the Lions are getting in form as the new players fit in – on and off the court.
Eurohandball.com: The Lions have many world class players, but the club didn’t win a title in their four-year history. What titles can you win this season?
Fritz: It’s very easy: we want ton win every match in every competition. And in the end we count our points and see what we actually won. We have high objectives in the German league, German Cup and Champions League. But we can’t say now what titles we will win. I hope that we can play an important role in every competition.
TEXT: Björn Pazen