Interview with Danny Heister (Borussia Düsseldorf coach): "Pressure is cool!"


Interview with Danny Heister (Borussia Düsseldorf coach): "Pressure is cool!"

Interview with Danny Heister (Borussia Düsseldorf coach): "Pressure is cool!"

As record winners, Borussia Düsseldorf and its successful coach Danny Heister are among the hottest contenders for the title at the Liebherr Cup Final Four on January 7 in the ratiopharm arena Ulm/Neu-Ulm. In this interview, the coach talks about the challenging preparation for the elite tournament, expectations and the special significance of the competition.

In previous years, the Liebherr Cup Final Four was usually the first event after a longer break from competition around Christmas and the turn of the year. How do you at Borussia Düsseldorf deal with the changed constellation?

The season has already been very full so far. That's why we're always looking for gaps where the boys can catch their breath and regenerate. Up until two days before the cup final round, the WTT Finals are taking place in Qatar, with Dang Qiu and Anton Källberg from our team, and before that our important Bundesliga match in Hamburg against 1. FC Saarbrücken TT directly after Christmas. Of course, we will prepare for the cup tournament with as much focus as possible, but we will also take another three-day break around Christmas, because it is also important for the boys to be at home with their families. After returning from Hamburg, we will train again until New Year's Eve afternoon. There's no other way to reconcile all our interests and concerns this season, even though everyone is so keen that they've already announced that they want to train with their families. So I'm not really worried about the tight schedule before the cup tournament.

ASV Grünwetttersbach is Düsseldorf's semi-final opponent in the final round of the cup. Do you rate your team as the favorite like many others?

Yes, I also think we're the favorites, you have to be honest. But: It's a cup semi-final, knockout mode, a morning game and Grünwettersbach are an unpleasant team. They have Wang Xi, even though we all normally play well against defenses, but the other three - Ricardo Walther can really shoot on a good day, Tiago is a good player with a lot of experience, and Deni Kozul has already brought Timo Boll to the brink of defeat, which also says a lot. So despite our role as favorites, this semi-final has to be played first and we have to be wide awake. We're taking the game very seriously and can't take it lightly, which is why we're traveling here on Friday rather than Saturday.

Many are predicting a repeat of the long-running duel between your team and Champions League winners 1. FC Saarbrücken TT in the Final Four. Is that also your prediction?

We hope that we make it to the final, and the other semi-final between Saarbrücken and TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen is of course also a cracker. But it's not up to me how the game turns out. If we reach the final, we would take it as it comes.

Your club is a record cup winner, but has come away empty-handed in the last two years and has only won the cup once in the last five years. Does that make you even hungrier?

We always want to win as many titles as possible. We always prepare very meticulously for this, but not because we haven't won in the last two years. Of course, we also know that the cup is the easiest way to win a title.

Is the pressure to succeed in the cup particularly high - precisely because the path seems formally the easiest and a title would therefore already be a certainty?

The other teams also want to win the title for the reasons described above. In general, however, pressure is part of the game, it's part of my players' job and my job too. But pressure is cool, you do it all for these pressure moments, that's what you're a competitive athlete for. You just have to make sure it doesn't become stressful.

What do you think of when we talk about the special fascination of the cup?

It's a title. At the end of the day, you add up how many titles you've won in total and don't count up the individual competitions. Nevertheless, the cup is of course important for us, and what makes the competition special for me is being on the road with the team for a whole weekend, that the four best teams are usually there, that there is a large audience at this highlight and that it creates a special atmosphere. That makes it a great event.

Great events always create great memories. What is your special cup moment?

Düsseldorf's Men in Red 2011 in Stuttgart - for sure. That was my first title with Borussia, which is always something special with a new club. But it's true that every one of the eight cup wins with Düsseldorf so far has been a special memory for me, and not just because of my ambition.

Thank you very much for the interview, Danny Heister.

TTBL Redaktion

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