Interview with Sascha Greber (Team Manager SV Werder Bremen): “The clocks are set to zero again.”


Interview with Sascha Greber (Team Manager SV Werder Bremen): “The clocks are set to zero again.”

Interview with Sascha Greber (Team Manager SV Werder Bremen): “The clocks are set to zero again.”

After four years, Werder Bremen is back in the play-off semi-finals of the German Table Tennis League (TTBL). In this interview, team manager Sascha Greber talks about the Hanseatic team's chances, the importance of continuity in the Green-Whites' personnel planning and the cooperation with the Bundesliga club's main club.

Sascha Greber, Werder Bremen's first play-off game in four years is just around the corner. What weighs heavier ahead of the semi-finals against 1. FC Saarbrücken TT: the pressure or the anticipation of the comeback in the Champions League?

We're obviously really looking forward to our first play-off game since 2020. We're also very happy that we can start with the first leg in Bremen. All our players are fit and highly motivated. There's no doubt that the anticipation outweighs the excitement in this constellation.

In the semi-final of the 2020 Corona finals, also against Saarbrücken, Bremen only won two sets in their only match. What chances does Werder think it has this time against the Champions League winners and winners of the main round?

Four years ago, we didn't have a home game due to the coronavirus restrictions, which of course meant we didn't really have an equal chance. We had no chance at the Saarbrücken table, but now the clocks are back to zero.

Bremen had always been among the play-off candidates in previous years, but missed out on the semi-finals three times in a row. What made the difference this season when it came to making the play-offs?

The league has been incredibly evenly matched and there have been a few surprises as a result. However, we remained injury-free in the final phase and saved ourselves in the final game in Bergneustadt, where our team put in an incredibly strong performance in terms of play and fighting spirit. That came at just the right time.

Your team this year and at least in the coming season consists of practically the same players as in 2020: Mattias Falck, Kirill Gerassimenko and Marcello Aguirre. What role did this continuity play in this year's play-off qualification?

Continuity is very important for us. Most of our players have always played in Bremen for a very long time, there are a few names. It's no coincidence that Mattias, Kirill and Marcello are entering their sixth year with us. As a result, our team is also a close-knit community, which is certainly one of our greatest strengths again this season. We cultivate this and we also attach great importance to it.

But you have to be able to afford such continuity because, as already mentioned, the play-offs have always been one of Werder's objectives in recent years. Were there any doubts about the course of the squad planning in the meantime?

No, not at all, not at any time. We know that with very good performances we are always in a position to compete for the play-offs.

Bremen is part of the Werder family and therefore certainly also a big name. Was there any dissatisfaction from the main club or even the professional footballers about missing out on the play-offs?

The opposite is the case: we enjoy a great deal of support from the main club, there is great cooperation and an excellent relationship. We are very, very happy that we can always fall back on the professional infrastructure at the Weser Stadium if necessary.

At relegated FSV Mainz 05, the millionaire soccer pros did not want to finance the table tennis adventure for more than two years, but at designated newcomer Borussia Dortmund, the soccer group is probably also financially committed to its top table tennis team for the first time. What is the situation in Bremen?

Werder Bremen is not just a Bundesliga soccer club, but also a Bundesliga table tennis club, a Bundesliga 2 women's handball club, a Bundesliga chess club with many junior teams, athletics, gymnastics, gymnastics - there is really, really great support for all of them. In my now 24 years as manager after my active time in the second division, we have always received the greatest support from the main club, and the club has already set itself up for the future in such a way that the competitive teams are supported. The great recognition we enjoy from the main club is also shown by the fact that our management regularly attends our home matches in the hall and also has personal contact with the players.

Finally, back to the play-offs: Are there three reasons why Bremen and not Saarbrücken will be in the Liebherr TTBL final in Frankfurt on June 30?

Saarbrücken has been one of the top teams in Europe for years and is incredibly well positioned overall, not just at the top, with incredible quality. Of course, that makes us a blatant underdog, but as I said, we're at zero. We have our fantastic fans behind us in the first game and we also remember our championship year in 2013, when we managed to spring a surprise in the semi-final in our arena by beating Borussia Düsseldorf 3-0, even if it has become even more difficult for the underdogs in the meantime. Our huge anticipation is perhaps also a plus point.

Thank you very much for the interview, Sascha Greber.

Interview: Florian Manzke

Featured image above: Sascha Greber (Photo: SV Werder Bremen)

TTBL Redaktion

More News