BERLIN (DPA) – The star player is missing and the list of injuries is long: in tough conditions, new national coach Michael Winiarski makes his debut with his team in the Nations League, but has high hopes for the youth.
“We have a lot of young players who weren’t with the national team before and now they will get a chance, especially in the Games in Canada,” Winiarski told the German press agency ahead of Germany’s opening match against hosts Canada on June 7. local time) in Ottawa.
Pol has been in power since April this year. Preparations for the first major work began in mid-May at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Keenbaum, outside Berlin. The 38-year-old says, “The players are hungry, they want to move on. We could do a good job if it weren’t for the injuries.
It’s a long list that presents former world-class players: middle blocker Tobias Krick and diagonal player Daniel Malesha are currently not fully resilient, among others. Captain Lucas Kampa will miss the first four matches in North America. Other players are also not fit.
Viniarski: “Of course we want to win the game”
Twelve games per team are initially scheduled in the Nations League. The world’s top 16 teams for men and women play against each other at three venues over six weeks. Best eight advance to the final round. The games of this “nation league” are important to the world ranking. After Ottawa, German men play in Quezon City (Philippines) and Osaka (Japan). Ranked 16th in the world, the team goes through most sports as an underdog.
Viniarski does not give any specific targets for the appointment. “Obviously we want to win the game, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on both. It’s a new situation for many people,” he says. The team is in a state of turmoil and injuries have made preparation difficult. The team is also learning a new system.
Development is the first priority. “It’s not that easy because we’ve only been together for three weeks. The first games will be great experiences. Not because of the Nations League, but also because we’ll use them for a warm-up. That’s how we get better with every Maybe sports,” says Pol who became world champion in 2014 as captain of his national team.
“George is no longer a young player”
The 38-year-old has to do without the big names of recent years – and not just in the Nations League. Star player Georg Grozer will also miss the World Cup to be held in Poland and Slovenia at the end of August. “We decided together that he would sit outside this summer and be fine,” Winiarski said. “We all know how good George is, but he’s not even a young player anymore.”
Here, too, he focuses on the positive: “It’s also a good opportunity for Linus Webber to play all summer.” Groser wants to be there again next year. The big goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris. “It’s going to be very difficult, but it’s not impossible. I really think we can do it if we work together.” DVV sporting director Christian Dunnes also pointed to this goal when Winiarski was appointed. In addition, they want to “return to the top 10 in the world rankings in the next few years”.
Winiarski doesn’t let his cards be seen when it comes to his system, but he makes it clear what he wants to see more from his team: “Energy on the field is important to me and the team fights together from the start. End.”
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