Handball Bundesliga: attack by the foxes from Berlin

Et can not be easy to assert yourself next to such heavyweights – especially not if you are only 27 years old. Jaron Siewert trains the handball players at Füchse Berlin. He does it well: His team took a point from THW Kiel on Sunday and has now been unbeaten in 16 games, if you add the final phase of the previous season.

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The team has accepted the youngest coach in the Bundesliga in his sophomore year. And the decision-makers in the Füchse management are happy that their plan with the inexperienced coach is working out. “Jaron is a godsend for us,” says managing director Bob Hanning. “Jaron has a high handball IQ”, praises Stefan Kretzschmar, the Sports Director, “it’s impressive how calmly and analytically he works with the team.”

Hanning, Kretzschmar: Siewert has the two most eloquent handball makers in Germany. So far, that hasn’t made him down. Siewert has chosen a clear strategy. He speaks soberly about the Füchse brand handball. He leaves Hanning and Kretzschmar to ponder the broad lines of handball. That works like a well-functioning division of labor.

Kretzschmar regulates expectation management

Apparently, the two heavyweights hardly talk into the young coach either. And when a crisis comes up, like in April, Hanning and Kretzschmar take over to distribute the necessary kick-off. It was a typical Hanning plan to try this “nameless” trainer. After four years with the experienced Velimir Petkovic, something was to come that could shape an era. Hanning still knew Siewert as a player, accompanied his career as a coach in the Füchse youngsters and at TuSEM Essen and announced in 2019 that from the 2020/21 season onwards, Siewert would be the head coach of the Berlin team. That was brave.

In order not to burden Siewert too much, Hanning brought Kretzschmar to Berlin at the beginning of 2020 – he is a professional when it comes to expectation management. For PR, too, of course. So Siewert can take care of the day-to-day business. So appropriately occupied in the decisive positions, the foxes are now slowly attacking. So far they have fought with SC Magdeburg for third place in the table and mostly got the short straw: The ranks of the past three years: four, five, six.

Stefan Kretzschmar (left) is in charge of public relations and expectation management.  Coach Siewert has the team under control.


Stefan Kretzschmar (left) is in charge of public relations and expectation management. Coach Siewert has the team under control.
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Bild: Picture-Alliance

Now it can be a little more – the Champions League is the goal. The current season is a year of transition. That is why sports director Kretzschmar exercised restraint when the Kiel trainer Filip Jicha said on Sunday that the foxes were a candidate for the title: “That we’re playing for the championship this year is new to the trainer and me.

That shouldn’t be the slogan for the next few weeks either. ”The question that remains is what is possible this season. In a thrilling exchange of blows with the THW Kiel, the foxes showed that they can keep up. However, this is nothing new. There was a lack of consistency and the lack of a matter of course to go to the performance limit every three days during the months of triple work.

It has to go higher in the coming season. From 2022/23, the foxes want to play for the championship. While understatement was her motto up to now, the imminent attack on the top is backed by two sensational transfers: Max Darj, the head of defense of the Swedish national team, will arrive in the summer of 2022. The Berliners are even more proud to welcome Mathias Gidsel to the capital from June. The Danish left-hander could have signed with almost any top European club. Kretzschmar praised: “Mathias is one of the greatest talents of our time.”

The backbone of the Berlin handball project has been formed by Paul Drux and Fabian Wiede in the back room for years. Their possible successors from the younger generation have meanwhile moved up to the professionals – Matthes Langhoff and Nils Lichtlein, both born in 2002. In terms of youth work and permeability, the Füchse are leaders together with TSV Hannover-Burgdorf.

With his factual manner, Siewert achieved that nobody asks him the two most unpopular questions: What is it like to be younger than most of his players. And how he found his role alongside Hanning and Kretzschmar. In any case, no one has called him the “nail man of handball” for a long time. Instead of talking about him, people in Berlin prefer to talk about the team’s successes: Nothing could please the handball teacher Siewert better.

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