In the handball world, Spaniards are known as great workers who diligently build playing and coaching careers. When they devote themselves to handball, they become fanatics and often have no time to think about anything else but tactics, players and matches.
The handball team of Serbia has been led by such a man for two years, the Spaniard Toni Gerona. Our selector is a true example of a coach who has achieved success through hard work. Tony currently manages the French Chartres and the national team of Serbia, and in his career he was also the strategist of Barcelona, Al-Jaish and the Tunisian national team.
Octopus brings you a special interview with Toni Gerona before the start of the World Cup, which starts today and will last until January 29.
Since the Spaniard has been on the bench, the „eagles“ have played several important games that can show how much the new coach has influenced the team.
– When I joined the team, I really felt great, as I do now. I looked forward to the gatherings and looked forward to working. I will always remember the beginnings with Serbia and the two matches with France, as well as the two meetings with Slovenia last year when we secured a place in the World Cup. The progress is visible and I try to always add something new to the game. We worked on how to adapt in moments when the opponent changes the style of play, which is very important, and I expect that we will still improve – Gerona is clear.
Serbian handball players start the World Championship on Friday against Algeria, and in Group E they will also meet with Germany and Qatar. Although at first glance it seems that we will have no problems with anyone except the Germans, this is by no means the case. In the last few years, African and Asian national teams have invested a lot of money in sports infrastructure and in the education of handball players. Both Algeria and Qatar have big plans for the championship.
– It is certain that Germany is the best selection in the group if we look at all aspects. Besides them, we have a lot of respect for Qatar because of everything Valero Rivera is doing with that team. They started their preparations already in August and it is clear that he will arrive in Poland in great shape. Likewise, Algeria is a dangerous team. They have several important players who are injured, but it is certain that they are ready to make a surprise – Gerona pointed out.
When asked if he could promise a medal with Serbia as he won with Tunisia, Gerona laughed and said that he already has a bronze with the „eagles“ from the Mediterranean Games in Oran, which were held last year.
– I won a medal with Tunisia, but at the Mediterranean Games and the African Cup. It’s simple, I want a match with Serbia, but I can’t promise that. Our goal is the quarter-finals, which takes us to the Olympic Games, and I hope we will achieve it. I expect that if all the players are healthy, we can make a good result – concluded Gerona.
We thank Tony for the conversation and look forward to Friday and the first game in the group. „Orlovi“, good luck.