Off to Predazzo: Interview with Jan Strandberg
19 Aug 2010 at 18:56 | Published by: Hans | Views: 6552 | News search
Jan Strandberg celebrating with Jonas Gustavssons father in Odense (Photo by Hans Bergström 2009)
Interview with Jan Strandberg, Head Coach of Sweden,
This interview was done in August 2010. Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all thank you for letting Minigolfnews interview you.
HB: Its now one year from our last interview and the 2010 season is ready for the Championships. How has the 2010 season been in Sweden so far? Have there been any surprises or new players breaking through?
JS: We have some players who have made a really good season in Sweden. One of the absolute best players this year has been Filip Johansson from Sjöviken. He is a young player who has a good chance to make a break through international in the next upcoming years.
HB: Any reflections on the Odense Championships that you want to share with us?
JS: Of course we were happy about the good results for our players there, and that’s of course good for the marketing of WC2011 in Stockholm.
HB: In some countries every second Year when the European Championship is played seem to be seen as not so important as the World Championships Years. What is your opinion about that?
JS: In my opinion it is no difference, we always want to make as good results as possible.
HB: You are soon to leave for Predazzo. What are your expectations of the performance on the Swedish Teams in Predazzo?
JS: As you know there are a lot of players from last year who will not be in the team this year. That makes us more like an underdog this year and we have absolutely no pressure from outside. If we can be one of the teams, in ladies- as well as the men’s competition, who will be included in the fight for the medals on the last day I think I will be very satisfied.
HB: Last year you had two newcomers in the squad and that was Filiph Svensson and Maria Olsson. This year these two are the only ones reaming from the gold-teams in Odense. What has happened?
JS: It is always tough when some of the top-players decide to take a break from the National Team. There are family reasons for some of them and other reasons from others. Everyone makes his/her own decision but I hope to see at least 2-3 additional players from the Odense-team next year in Stockholm. The good thing with this situation is that some younger players get the chance to play in Predazzo and get some experience for next year.
HB: Who was closest to be included in the squad but was left at home (men and lady)?
JS: In the men’s team I have nominated Daniel Källström, Sjöviken and David Gustafsson, Askim as “substitutes at home”. There were also a few other players who were really close to get in the team. In the ladies team we have two late notifies of a cancellation which both had a good chance to be in the team if they have had the right motivation.
HB: Do you have any comments on the Austrian nomination controversy story?
JS: No, not at all. I have enough work with my own group and don’t want to put my energy in other nation’s way to work.
HB: What are your favourites for medals in the Team Competition on men’s and ladies side?
JS: Germany will definitely be the top favorites in both categories. Austria might be the one who can beat them if they have some good days. Then it will be interesting to see what the Italians can do. They have made really good championships in Sochi and Cheb and I think they can do it also here.
HB: Can you mention any favorites as you see it for the individual medals in Predazzo?
JS: Harald Elbruch (of course), Alex Geist and on the ladies side maybe Bianca Oberweg is going for the gold again. We’ll see…
HB: Are there any nations or players that you think will have a breakthrough this year?
JS: We will see soon, but it would be nice if someone from Italy could be in the top 4 at the individual competition. Maybe Anna Bandera can do it.
HB: This year’s Elitserien was predicted to be the toughest ever and still Uppsala won their title with the greatest margin ever. Do you have any reflections on that?
JS: The bad start for my team Tantogården and Jönköpings bad play on round 2 and 3 makes it very easy for Uppsala at the end. But this success doesn’t come by it selves. They work for it and if anyone wants to beat them in the next years they have to decide to do a lot of work. Not just “hope that we can beat them” but really hard work…
HB: In Germany and Austria the Bundesligas have started to play Winter-Season mode. Is this an interesting idea also for the Swedish Elitserien?
JS: I can’t see the good thing with this in Sweden. We have a short season here and as long as we don’t play additional rounds indoors I think it is good as it is.
HB: Do you think that it would be good if more skilled foreigners played in the Elitserien to make the competition tougher, as you have tried in your club Tantogården?
JS: It is always good that we have skilled players in Elitserien. If they are from Sweden or any other country doesn’t matter as long as they fit into the team and the culture of the club.
If we put a little bit more work into the marketing of Elitserien I think it is nice that there are players from different countries. That shows that we have a good league and it is interesting for European top players to play for a Swedish club in Sweden.
HB: What not Swedish players (one man and one lady) would you most of all like to have in the Swedish National Team if you could?
JS: I am quite satisfied with my teams as they are, and
HB: Who do you think will be the next young Swedish player to break through internationally?
JS: Filip Johansson (see above). He is young and has a lot of things to improve but if he wants to put in the work and the time it takes he can be really, really good within the next years.
HB: Again thanks for participating a good luck with the team in Predazzo.
JS: Thanks Hans! It will be a nice experience in Predazzo and hope that we can do as well as we can there.