RUGBY: Interview mit Herrentrainer Karl Savimaki

Interview: Herrentrainer Karl Savimaki optimistisch vor der Bundesliga-Saison

Unsere erste Mannschaft mit ihrem Trainer Karl Savimaki hat sich für die neue Saison hohe Ziele gesetzt. Das Team will sich in der Spitzengruppe der Bundesliga etablieren und Favoriten wie den Heidelberger RK oder den Titelverteidiger aus Pforzheim zumindest ein wenig ärgern. Dass der Optimismus begründet ist, hat die Mannschaft bereits am ersten Spieltag gezeigt: Am vergangenen Wochenende gab es einen klaren 30:13-Sieg beim Liga-Neuling aus Luxemburg.

Am Samstag, dem 10. September, um 15.00 Uhr, wartet das erste Highlight der noch jungen Saison auf unsere Erste: Zum ersten Heimspiel kommt der TV Pforzheim an die Feldgerichtstraße.

Die Mannschaft und ihre Betreuer hoffen auf ein viele Zuschauer bei der ersten großen Bewährungsprobe der Saison. Wer Zeit hat, kommt also am Samstag zum Spiel. Am 17. September geht es dann zum SC Neuenheim in Heidelberg.

Am 24. September um 14.00 Uhr steht auf eigenem Platz schon das Derby gegen den RK Heusenstamm an.

Über die Erwartungen an die ersten Spiele und die neue Saison haben wir mit Headcoach Karl Savimaki gesprochen. Die Partie gegen Pforzheim wird für ihn bereits zeigen, wo es in dieser Saison für die Mannschaft hingehen könnte. In der zweiten Saison nach einer Neustrukturierung ist Karl zuversichtlich, auf jeden Fall besser als im vergangenen Jahr abzuschneiden. Und auch ein Titel ist für unseren Trainer längst kein ferner Traum mehr, sondern eine realistische Perspektive.

THE RUCK: Your first home match on 10th of September is already against the German Champion Pforzheim. What do you expect?

Karl: This match will give us a good indication of where we are at as a team. We have recruited well in the off season, albeit some of the new recruits are not available due to injury or issues with player passes. That said though we have a lot of depth within the squad. There are around 30 players that have the ability to play Bundesliga 1st division rugby which causes a lot of headaches for selection - good headaches to have - , but good players are missing out .

Pforzheim seem to have recruited the best out of all clubs in the off season despite losing some key players in Jeremy Te Huia and Mustafa Güngör - two very experienced players. They bring a wealth of experience with the acquisition of Arthur Zeiler in the front row and Australian-Italian Matthew Bressons who had a very successsful career within the Italian national teams setups.

We welcome Kieran Manawatu back to a playing role as well as an assistant coach role to the team with the backs which has been a hugely positive influence so far. Unfortunately he was injured in the Luxemburg match and can’t play on Saturday. But anything can happen in rugby and we have the belief that we can cause an upset, it is just a matter of giving a full 80 minute effort.

THE RUCK: Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to play one of the favorites at the beginning of the season?

Karl: It is an advantage I feel - Pforzheim will be trying new combinations and will still not be settled with the new players. But again - so are we, so it will be a matter of who executes on the day the best.

THE RUCK: What are generally your expectations for the next season?

Karl: Expectations are high, we are in the second season of a new structure that was implemented last season, so the guys are familiar with what needs to be done, so it is a matter of improving the structure even more. We have the ability to finish top 3 or 4 this year in the division and possibly higher if we put our minds to it.

THE RUCK: HRK, Pforzheim and perhaps RGH are still the favorites. Do you think your team is ready for a surprise against these teams?

Karl: Absolutely, we could have beaten RGH in both our games last year. We had a close loss and a draw so we know it can be done. HRK is an unknown team this year with the loss of many of their veterans from last year.

THE RUCK: What do you think about the other teams in the south/west-group (SCN, Handschuhsheim, Heusenstamm, Luxembourg)?

Karl: I respect all teams. TSV finished strongly last year and will be looking to build further on the expansive game they were playing. Heusenstamm will be looking to turn things around from an uncharacteristically low finish last season and SCN, whilst they have lost a lot of players, will be looking to their young stars to continue the strong reputation they have. There will be no easy games this year.

THE RUCK: And when will SC1880 be ready to be German Champion again?

We are ready to be German Champion now - we just have to believe it and execute the game plan for a full 80 minutes and to build on the success of the youth teams at the club.

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