Off to Predazzo: Interview with Wolfgang Wicki
17 Aug 2010 at 21:53 | Published by: Hans | Views: 6899 | News search
Wolfgang Wicki, Head Coach of Switzerland, off to Predazzo any day now. (Photo by Wolfgang Wicki 2010)
Interview with Wolfgang Wicki, Head Coach of Switzerland
This interview was done in August 2010. Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all thank you for letting Minigolfnews interview you.
HB: Its now one year from our last interview and the 2010 season is ready for the Championships. How has the 2010 season been in Switzerland so far? Have there been any surprises or new players breaking through?
WW: We had a good and quiet time in preparation of this season. The new mode of the Swiss team-competition opened some new angles for me for the selection of the team. There was only one surprise, Michel Pfister from Minigolfclub Amriswil.
HB: Any reflections on the Odense Championships that you want to share with us?
WW: Odense was the expected to be a difficult tournament for us. We don’t have such difficult Felt-courses in Switzerland. That’s the reason we were in Vienna but that’s not enough to get a better performance on felt. Playing indoors in Odense was a very positive experience. I had preferred if we could have gotten more days for practice. An average of 50 minutes practice time per each lane is not enough. But that were the rules, same for all. And of course we have seen great minigolf-sport performed, especially from the Swedish players.
HB: In some countries every second Year when the European Championship is played seem to be seen as not so important as the World Championships Years. What is your opinion about that?
WW: I make no difference between EC or WC. To win you must beat the same strong nations.
HB: You are soon to leave for Predazzo. What are your expectations of the performance on the Swiss Teams in Predazzo?
WW: I feel confident that we will play a good tournament in Predazzo. There is an easy eternit course and a difficult concrete course. We like difficult concrete courses, because we have many of them in our country. Then we have the different conditions of weather and temperature in this altitude of 1000 meters. These conditions we know very well from Switzerland and for this we have very much experience.
HB: Of course our readers will miss following the reigning European Champion, your daughter Sandra Wicki, in Predazzo. Why will she not be playing?
WW: She starts her working life as teacher at 23rd of August. She wouldn’t miss her first week in school. Next year she will return and play in Stockholm.
HB: On paper it seems like you have nominated two strong teams. Do you miss any players or is this the best Teams Switzerland can send in 2010.
WW: I miss many players in the team. Remo Zaugg, Samuel Hofer, Cedric Mathys, Marco Eigenmann, Sandra Wicki, Maja Wicki are players I miss job-related or by training. But the nominated team is also very strong.
HB: Who was closest to be included in the squad but was left at home (men and lady)?
WW: I had a very a hard decision to make about Raphael Wietlisbach, who I did not nominate. He took the decision very sporty and completes the Swiss Team as coach. On the ladies side there was no others to choose from.
HB: Do you have any comments on the Austrian nomination controversy story?
WW: :) I have no reason to comment this story. It doesn’t need more oil in the fire. And especially not from outside the Austrian team.
HB: What are your favourites for medals in the Team Competition on men’s and ladies side?
WW: For me there are the normally strong nations Germany, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland. And this time also Italy, because they play in their home country. This I expect for both categories. I believe the best team will be Germany.
HB: Can you mention any favorites as you see it for the individual medals in Predazzo?
WW: There are many players, but if I have to choose I would say:
Manfred Lindmayr, Harald Erlbruch, Alexander Geist, Vitus Spescha, Mike Mann, and in the ladies category I give all my hope to Rebecca Weber.
HB: Are there any nations or players that you think will have a breakthrough this year?
WW: Every year I give my hope to Finland. And Italy is easy to imagine this year, but they must play very consistently on their highest level then. By the individual players I see no new names.
HB: This year’s Swiss Championship was played on the T5000 course. Is this type of course usual in Switzerland? And it’s that good preparations for an Eternit and Beton Championship like Predazzo?
WW: T5000 is a specialty from Switzerland. It’s the same type of lanes as the Eternit, but they are made from concrete with rounded borders like on a Beton courses. It’s very much like playing Eternit, but you have to be very precise. There are some courses like this in Switzerland. The preparation with this system is not the best, but it’s at least very good for the mental strength.
HB: If you could select 2 none Swiss players to play in your national Teams (one man and one lady) who would you select?
WW: Walter Erlbruch, because he is a perfectionist in finding the best balls and lines, and Bianca Oberweg, because she is an absolute fighter and push a team extremely much.
HB: Who do you think will be the next young Swiss player to break through internationally?
WW: From my actual team now I think Reto Sommer and Cedric Mathys will be very strong in the future. Further names to come are Marco Eigenmann, Roger Wicki and from the youth category in the next years Nikolai Bhend, Kai Lödding and Andreas Schneider.
On the ladies side I think Maja Wicki will be as strong in the future like her sister Sandra and from the youth I see Manuela Bamert as good player.
HB: Again thanks for participating a good luck with the team in Predazzo.
WW: Thanks a lot and also good luck to all participants in Predazzo. May the best win.