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Interview with Mich Zeyen (28.12.2006)


Not much point introducing you to the public the way we do it with our foreign players, since you have already played in several teams in the country and are one of the trade-names in the Ladies’ league.
True! After my early playing experience at LES ESPERANTS, Wasserbillig, I moved on to GRENGEWALD for my cadettes playing days, and then to RACING for the junior and ladies stages. This is my sixth season with T71.

Reasons for that transfer?
Oh, the obvious ones. With my playing heaving reached what I considered a top level, I wanted to play in the Nationale I, and T71 offered the most promising opportunities.

Didn’t the transfer pose any major practical problems?
No, the requirements are basically the same for all Nationale I teams and my secondary school schedule allowed me to combine studies and practice, with the usual compromises to be made. Now, in my second year at Uni Lux in Walferdange, I can still manage the same work- and practice load. Travelling from Manternach to my practice sessions doesn’t really bother me.

In your six years with T71 you will have seen a coach or two?
Obviously! I started my Dudelange career with Rol Schumacher and also saw the various attempts at finding a coach to suit the needs of the club at both top levels.

Any qualms about that those unsteady times?
No, we had our successes with Todd Triplett, and the coaches which followed also contributed to creating the team we have today. We reached the top in 2003, and Carole, Claude and Ander were all stepping stones to that top position.

Do you share the impression we got from our previous interviews on the changes which followed Carsten Steiner’s arrival?
Oh certainly, I was quite surprising to see what the new professionalism brought us. We are back at the top and aiming for the top four in the championship. Progress in the Cup also seems guaranteed.

This appears to be a trend in Luxembourg basketball. Professional coaching – does it make all that difference?
I can only talk for T71, I have seen what the club can do for you. With that kind of professional ambiente playing for the club becomes a treat. T71 offers optimum conditions to its players, the organization is geared around the players, be they female or male. Sponsoring and club work all go to the teams and we do get the financial incentives which make it possible for us to balance our own input in time and money. As a student I really appreciate the extra incentives.

Do you feel the strain, now in your sixth year at the top?
There is no denying that playing takes its toll. I no longer play for the national team, mainly because my back would no longer stand the double load.

Does that worry you?
Sure it does. I couldn’t have played on at both levels, and might even have quit altogether. But then there is something which made all the difference: The professional approach at T71. Not only did I get preferential treatment by specialist doctors and medical staff at the club, I was also taken to specialized doctors abroad, and they did solve my back problems.

You got that sorted out, then. Any last minute comments?
I definitely enjoy my stay at T71. The club has all on offer and this allows me to organize my spare time accordingly.

Was going to ask.
Well, I do have my work at Uni, where I want to qualify as a social worker, and I do want my social life to run alongside the many demands club-playing puts on you. A little work on the side helps me finance the little extras, I am the sociable type, and working as a waitress in a pub in Hollerich is something I really enjoy.

Sounds quite impressive. We’d like to thank you for the time you could grant us today and hope it works out alright for you and your team.
No problem! Enjoyed talking to you.