Hello, kind of you to take some of your time for us.
No problem, practice tasks have already been handed out.
Where do you stand with your team ?
All within the limits I expected. When I accepted the job I had already studied the team for quite some time. I knew their strong and weak points from their games in the league in the previous seasons. I knew that the loss of out two important players would not make life easier for us but I had already done some scouting for a good replacement and the club has not been inactive either.
What were your requirements for the team?
I need dedicated players, people with the right attitude. With T71 you have a selection of hard working, hard practicing players with a professional attitude.
Is that something you expect from your time with the Swedish national team ?
Yes, you need proper conditions all around, one of the reasons why I ended my work with the Swedish federation were the changes they wanted to operate after our successful qualifying games. I can still work along my lines with the youths teams, so I still coach the under 16s.
When did the move from Sweden down to Luxembourg come about ?
Etzella contacted me, and I coached them as from 2005.
You were really successful with Etzella, obtained everything you could expect with their team. Why did you want a change ?
Numerous reasons, but one I would like to put forward is my family. There were a few changes back home, and I wanted to devote more time to my wife and five daughters. The girls are grown-up now, so are planning a family reunion without the constraints of their schooling. Some of my family might even be moving down here.
Does T71 live up to your expectations ?
Yes, it does. The team is growing stronger, and everything is gradually falling into place.
Any qualms about the setup of our teams ?
Yes, I still have problems accepting the constraints on my players because the school or job demands are so much higher than in Sweden for example.
Do you favour a different system ?
The Swedish model appears to me to answer many of my demands. Schools can opt to become centres for certain sports and offer special classes. Students get an extra four hours’ practice a day and can practice before school and during lunch breaks for example. In my opinion schools and clubs could and should work closer together. In Sweden the system has been operative for some eight years and there are tangible results. We have moved away from sports centres to local schools offering these preferential conditions. My experience of the Swedish system has convinced me of the well worth of that system, I’m a maths teacher myself, so I think I can judge the system from the inside, and from both vantage points.
Where do you lay the emphasis in your training ?
Basically I try to motivate my players as much as possible, they must have the ambition. I trust my players to achieve their goals and fight bad attitude. In my conversations I convince them that they waste their talent by not working enough. Some players find it easy to follow the advice, others have to work a little harder. Desire to perform beats talent in the long run.
Highly interesting and promising views. We wish you the best of success with our teams.