A number of days in the past, Tim Zechel was nonetheless coping with disappointment. Seven targets in a check match between HC Erlangen and SG BBM Bietigheim, however he would have most popular to be on the pitch at the World Handball Championships in Poland and Sweden quite than Grünewaldhalle in Tauberbischofsheim. handball, however recognized for fencing. But nationwide coach Alfred Ghislason had different plans for Zechel, sending the Erlangen runner residence earlier than the World Cup so he may settle in at the membership. He was “extremely disenchanted,” Zechel mentioned.
Meanwhile, he’s mentally behind Grünewaldhalle in Tauberbischofsheim, skilled life strikes shortly. On Wednesday night in Gdańsk, offered Zechel arrived in Poland forward of the essential quarter-remaining in opposition to Olympic champions France. Zechelmen Gislason expands the choices in the center of the protection in the loss to Norway. So, the teen from Erlangen nonetheless has an opportunity at the World Cup, even in opposition to the infamous French.
The Erlangen faction in the German nationwide staff thus grew to 2 gamers. Until now, all the focus has been on 33-12 months-outdated Christoph Steinert, the left-hander who has performed a excessive-profile supporting function in Gislason’s aspect thus far this World Cup. Great moments got here from others, however Steinert was constant in each sport, aggressively attacking in protection, displaying his versatility in assault – he can fill two positions at the highest worldwide stage: proper half and proper wing. His spectacular interim tally contains three targets in opposition to Serbia, 4 in opposition to Algeria, three in opposition to Argentina and two in opposition to the Netherlands.
Steinert may be very common with the nationwide coach, Zechel might belong to the future
At residence in Erlangen, they’re already proud. They are organizing the crowd at each World Cup sport in Germany with one marketing campaign: each time Steinert scores a purpose for Germany, tickets for the subsequent Erlangen residence sport shall be offered for twenty-four hours at a 25 p.c low cost. He additionally scored in opposition to Norway on Monday evening, so it was a aid once more in Erlangen. Now they want Zechel to attain in opposition to France.
For Steinert and Seechel, this World Cup is an enormous deal, Germany’s first actually huge event, however it’s debatable that Steinert is already at the 2022 European Championships in Hungary and Slovakia. He performed function even earlier than he was contaminated with the crown, however Steinert distinguishes: EM was completely different with all the illnesses, confusions and surprises. Steinert considers this World Cup his first “regular huge event” and gave himself a memorable second. Steinert’s show of the Kempa trick in opposition to Serbia with left winger Lukas Mertens was sensible: Juri Knorr hit Mertens with an extended ball that rose and flew into the circle. Mertens flew the ball previous Steinert at the proper second. Inventor Bernhard Kempa could not have executed higher.
Steinert is already extremely popular amongst nationwide coaches. Gislason appreciates his confidence, defensive play, offensive versatility and coolness in throwing. The Icelander won’t hesitate for a second and will most likely put Steinert on the board in the decisive quarter-remaining in opposition to France. And Steinert is aware of what a nationwide coach has. Gislason “has a really authoritarian aura,” says Steinert: “But that robotically creates construction and self-discipline. We have a detailed relationship of belief with him, and he usually offers us free entry on the subject.”
One Erlangen is in the center of the nationwide staff, and the different hopes to change into a member of this staff in the future. The 26-12 months-outdated Zechel definitely is aware of his time to qualify might but come: Patrik Wiencek and Hendrik Pekeler, two gamers who’ve formed the staff for years, have left their interior-block spots. They depart a void stuffed by 22-12 months-outdated Julian Koster at this World Cup – and one Zechel shall be trying to fill. “If each of them had been there, there could be no place for me now,” says Zechel. He additionally desires to change into a daily alongside captain Johannes Golla, from whom he can “study rather a lot”. “Johannes takes us by the hand,” says Zechel, “and I get rather a lot from him on the street.”
The reality that he’s now an official World Cup participant is an enormous step for the runner. “It’s actually unimaginable,” says Zechel, “I did not assume it could occur.” His colleague in Erlangen, Steinert, can change it if essential.