Still in Stockholm: Interview with Jan Strandberg
24 Nov 2011 at 10:35 | Published by: Hans | Views: 7642 | News search
Swedish Television (Peter Jonsson) interviewing Jan Strandberg. (Photo by Patric Fransson)
Interview with Jan Strandberg (JS), Swedens Head Coach
This interview was done the 30th of October 2011. Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all congratulations to a great Stockholm Championship of 2011? How do you rank this Championship compared with successful years of the past?
JS: Thanks! The 2011 championships has been something really special for me. To play a WC in my hometown, on my own home course with all spectators made this event something to remember for the rest of my life. The organization made a great job during the two weeks in August and the fact that we were quite successful also kept up the media interest on a high level.
HB: What were your goals before the Championship?
JS: We had great possibilities to prepare, so the target was to fight for the gold in the men’s team competition. In the women team competition we know that it should be very tough to win the gold, but we also knew that if we played on our absolute top level it should be difficult for the other teams to beat us.
HB: Just before the championship you where facing some unwanted drawbacks from Stockholm from great players like Fredrik Persson and Anders Olsson. Also on the ladies side Karin Wiklund and Sandra Weaver couldn’t play due to small children’s. How did this affect the preparations and expectations for the Championships?
JS: It’s always nice to have all the best players in the team, but the best players also have to be the most motivated players. If they have any doubt of this it’s not fair either to themselves or to the other players, so of course I have full respect for their decisions.
The success of the Swedish men’s team also showed what a group can do together if they believe in something and work hard for each other.
HB: The men’s team play got a great start on Wednesday. How did you manage to keep the keep the focus for the second day?
JS: We knew the course very well and were aware that if we have to play almost the same results on the second day to win the gold.
HB: Can you tell us about the feelings you had in the final laps of the Men’s Team play?
JS: Standing on the side and watch the team playing on this high level in front of this fantastic audience, well it can’t be any better than this.
HB: When did you understand that is was going to be gold for the men’s team.
JS: We had really good results already on practicing and when we played even better on the first day of the competition I realized that we would be really hard to beat this time. But, when I really understood that we would win the gold I think it was after the 20-20 start (Filiph and Gustav) on the last round. The Germans were playing good, but nothing could stop us at that time. A great feeling…
HB: Can you tell us about the reactions from the German team and coaches after the men’s team play?
JS: We got a lot of respectful congratulations of course. I believe that they are never satisfied with a silver medal, but I also think that can live with this. At least until the next championship…
HB: The ladies team ended in the fourth position only 4 strokes from bronze. I guess that was a disappointing result for the team. How were the girls taking this?
JS: It was a pity that we didn’t manage to win a medal, but the girls were also aware of that we had to play on our best level to make it the whole way. We didn’t do that this time, but they could be happy for the men’s team. I think in 2-3 years we will have a really strong ladies team who will be fighting for the gold medals in the championships every year.
HB: Can you share your memories around the final rounds in the stroke play with Filip Svensson as winner?
JS: The start of the last round was not perfect for Filiph, but he kept the patience and when he made an ace on lane 7 and 8 I understood that he would be hard to stop. His teammates playing in front of him did a great job by supporting him with cheering after every ace they did and again, the audience was terrific. The five-in-a-row-aces on the last five lanes was a performance I never will forget. Filiph is such a great guy and such a great athlete and he is so worth this gold medal. Great role model for Minigolfers around the world.
HB: And then we have your wife Eva playing the golf of her life in the match play almost winning the final against Bianca Oberweg. How did it feel to watch Eva play during Saturday?
JS: The absolute top of her performance was that she showed her expressions of joy during the whole day. During the year she has been working very hard with keeping the focus on the right things and I think everyone could see that she was enjoying every second on the arena. Eva is another great example what you can do when you are able to handle your state of mind.
HB: Now two month later which memories are the strongest from Stockholm?
JS: It’s hard to pick only one of these great memories. It’s more like a “two-week-euphoria”.
HB: What is your opinion about the way the Stockholm championships were played with 2 days team, one day stroke play and one day match play?
JS: It’s difficult to have an objective opinion about this when two of our players made such a great performance in two different single categories.
Although I still prefer to have one single champion only. Regarding the team competition I think it can be interesting with only 2 days. It should make it easier for more nations to fight for the medals etc.
HB: How has your success been noticed by media and people around you?
JS: The media group at WC 2011 did a really great work. We got so much space in newspapers and in the Swedish Television that almost every citizen of Sweden who are interested in sports had noticed that Sweden hosted the WC and also had great success there.
When I am visiting the Swedish Sports Federation Centre I always get some comments about the WC and I here also from other sports which great job we did with the media etc.
HB: Will you be continuing in your position as Sweden’s Head Coach also in 2012?
JS: At the moment it is not 100% clear yet. I want to continue but there are also some changes to be done inside the federation, so we will see in the next 1-2 weeks.
HB: Do you have any explanation on why Sweden could constantly be in the international top positions. What is the secret?
JS: It is a lot of things I would say. Comparing to other nations we have a lot of players who can handle the three systems felt, concrete and eternit very good. This is, to a certain extent, a consequence of using all these systems in Elitserien and Division 1. This means that we always have some technically well prepared young players coming up and when, for some reason, some of our top players decides to retire from the national team we can handle that in quite a good way. We are at the moment also working with a “Talent-group” of seven players which in 1-2 years I hope that we can see some interesting improvements.
HB: What happens next for you in Minigolf?
JS: I am working with the budget for next year and preparing for a trip with the “Talent-Group” to Italy in January.
HB: If you could recruit any player in the world, as long as it’s not a Swede, to play for your club Tantogården, who would you pick?
JS: Peter Zimmermann (in the playing level of 1999)
HB: Again a big congratulation to the fantastic 2011 season and good luck in the future.
JS: Thanks Hans, and also thanks to you for a great job during the WC 2011.