Hammelburg volleys: a very special game against freiburg?

Hammelburg volleys – FT 1844 freiburg (saturday, 8 pm)

It is not a derby. And also, as far as common careers of players and coaches are concerned, the two second division clubs TV/DJK hammelburg and FT 1844 freiburg have hardly anything in common. Nevertheless, a special game takes place on saturday evening in the saaletalhalle. Because of what happened last season in the same place. But this time everything will be different.

Actually, the freiburger were already out of the picture. Relegated in the 2019/20 season, the club applied for a "wild card". The volleyball bundesliga (VBL) agreed in mid-may. Managing director klaus-peter jung said at the time: "we see freiburg as a valuable location that will support the development of the 2. Volleyball bundesliga sud the manner in the future can positively shape." especially the "coherent overall concept" have been the deciding factor that the freiburger were allowed to stay in the league.

Bad memories

This ligaverbleib some in the league, and also in hammelburg, must not have liked to have seen. After all, the last time the two clubs met on 16. February gave in a nervous game some provocative actions. "This game got a bit out of hand; however, the topic has been settled for us for a long time. Both clubs have had a lot of talks about this, so we are looking forward to a fair and sporting duel", today, volleys press spokesman oliver wendt is trying not to let any bad blood come up at all. He reports of talks between hammelburg’s matthias benner and freiburg’s team manager florian schneider. "All those involved are looking ahead."

New hammelburg coach cornel closca does the same. "What was, must be forgotten. Sporty we have no problem at all." except for a few players, the teams are completely different. What he is right about.

Much has been reported about the hammelburg upheaval and the departures of lukas spachmann, felix bendikowski, henning schulte and coach karl kaden. But also the freiburger have had to endure an upheaval. The breisgauer have strengthened with the australian caleb watson, player rupert scott from england and libero jonathan schonhagen from SV schwaig. They are supposed to form the experienced counterweight to the young squad around the 2.08 meter tall middle blocker paul botho, giovanni bower and luc hartmann.

Standings should not change

While the hammelburg volleys are shining with six wins from six league games, including the 3:2 win at unterhaching, the newly formed freiburg team is stuck in the bottom of the table. They have only collected four points in their seven games.

But volleys coach closca did not want to underestimate the opponent. Also because he watched the past three freiburg games and one preparation match on video. "I did not expect them to be second to last. It’s a good team, but they are not yet so well coordinated." compared to last season in hammelburg, when closca was still on the sidelines as hammelburg’s cotrainer, TF 1844 played faster volleyball. "We have to be careful."

But the romanian also sees two significant advantages for his team. There was the return of two players: luca dierks overcame his toe injury and got the okay from the doctor and physio to play again. But closca doesn’t want to take the risk of bringing on the 20-year-old too early. Ben stoverink’s injury turned out to be a thigh soreness. He is also fit again.

"We are well attuned. But we have to be careful to stay awake", says closca, who is happy to have these two players available again and to be able to vary them.

The trainer’s second trump card is an emotional one: the spectators at the tribune. "They take us forward." the volleys realized what this factor can mean when he was absent. The match in unterhaching was only seen by about 40 spectators, some of them from hammelburg.

He has prepared his team tactically, but not emotionally for freiburg in particular, closca claims. The game will show whether this was the right decision.

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