Hey Hector! Thanks for taking some time for us to discuss the indoor season coming up!
First of all, what are the teams‘ goals this season?
This season we want to look at each game individually and go week by week. We do want to reach the final and I think if we play well and work as a team we have a good chance to make it.
At the moment a lot is happening in hockey, many different tournaments; the U21 teams have their world cups and the olympics is coming closer and closer. How do you think this will have an affect on the indoor season?
There will be a big difference. Teams with few international players will not be at a disadvantage whereas teams with many international players will be. But this situation was known long before the start of the season -so they will be working with the right players. I am sure that the level will continue to be as high as always. It will be a special season!
In the Netherlands the federation stopped the indoor branch, do you think that this could happen in other countries as well? In your opinion, is it too much for the players?
I don’t know whether this will happen in other countries as well, this is more of a financial question. Germany is a country which allows players to play both indoor and outdoor at an international level without doubting the importance of indoor hockey. In my opinion what has happened in the Netherlands is a big mistake. Players who have played indoor always come back to the outdoor season better than the ones who didn’t. This is because they played at a competitive level, stayed fit and also continued to stay in their rhythm.
Which game are you looking forward to the most?
Even the smallest teams can compete! If you play a good system anyone can win. At the moment the first two games are the ones which I am looking forward to the most. Munich and Frankfurt are two tough teams and will be the key for the season. However we have to perform in every game and it does not even need to be said but of course we always want to win the derby!
How do you select your team? You have some foreign players - do they play indoor?
At the moment we are working on our team selection. Everyone gets a chance and everyone has to prove their place in the team. We take this week by week as well. When it comes to our international players there is a bit of a mix. Our Polish player is currently injured and hopefully returns in time to join the team to play. We have two Spanish players with lots of experience: Alvaro Tello has played in the Bundesliga before and Manuel Prol is the captain of the Spanish indoor team, so we’ll be looking at him to make an impact as well.
What is your prediction: who will play in the final four and who will be battling for relegation?
Both questions are very difficult to answer. It is really difficult to make a prediction because every team has a chance. Which team will battle relegation? Maybe one of the new ones, but this assessment is more because I do not know the new teams very well. Which team will make it to the final four? Hard to make a prediction…The teams in the north and west are really good. HTHC is missing a few players, Polo has an experienced coach and many good players but many are also international. Alster has very good players and less internationals. I think them and UHC can go through from that pool. I also really like Berlin, but they have to play the north to make it through to the final four. Not to forget MHC - they have played in the final the last two years and are of course a favorite. We (TSV Mannheim) want to complete the final four. Finally, I would like to say that I have the greatest respect for all teams - let’s wait and see who finally gets it.
Picture by Fabian Matalla (@fabianmatalla_photografy)