When he was a young player, Roberto Garcia Parrondo was coached by Manolo Cadenas on club level at Ademar Leon, later-on, Cadenas was Garcia Parrondo’s coach in the Spanish national team. On Tuesday (20:00 hrs local time), the two Spaniards will face as coaches of SEHA Gazprom League Final 4 semi-finalists Vardar (Garcia Parrondo) and Meshkov Brest (Cadenas). Before this duel for a final spot at Brest, seha-liga.com talked with the two Spaniards.
What is the secret of success of Spanish coaches?
Garcia Parrondo: I don’t think that there is a certain secret. We work hard, we have a system how we want to play handball. It is our job to improve the players and take the best out of them. But in the end, there is nothing special in my opinion.
Cadenas: I absolutely agree. There is no secret at all. The preparation on matches and the analyse of the opponent is most important. No matter, if you are a Spanish coach or not.
The Spanish handball school is famous for the focus on defence – will this be the key in the semi-final on Tuesday?
Garcia Parrondo: Defence can win you a match, but you cannot win a match without defence. But still, the attack has the same importance.
Cadenas: Completely correct. You have to see the match as the whole, with defence, fast-break, position attack, goalkeeper et cetera.
Vardar are the defending champions and Brest are the hosts of the event – which is the bigger advantage in the upcoming semi-final?
Garcia Parrondo: It always makes things easier, when you play at home, this is a true advantage for Brest. I hope we can do a good job and make it to the final though we face the hosts. Both teams are strong, both teams have Champions League experience, and both teams are tired after their matches last weekend. Therefore, the base is almost equal for both, in my opinion there is no big favourite.
Cadenas: Playing at home is an advantage, but Roberto is right: The time to prepare was quite short for both teams. From psychological and physical point of view, Vardar have the advantage of one day more time to recover and that they made it to the Champions League quarter-final, while we failed at Flensburg. But we want to give them a hard fight, though Vardar in my opinion are the favourites.
What makes Vardar so strong in this season?
Garcia Parrondo: Many people had predicted a fall of Vardar, as some players left the club. But we play as a team, this is the key. Even when some key players such as Gorbok, Borozan or Moraes were out due to injuries, we still kept the level high and made it to the SEHA - Gazprom League Final4 and the quarter-final of the Champions League.
Brest have beaten Vardar twice in this season – is this a good omen?
Cadenas:To be honest, in one SEHA Gazprom League match, Vardar did not use their first team. But mainly our away win at Skopje boosts our confidence for the semi-final.
What are your memories, when you were coach of Roberto?
Cadenas:Roberto was a good player, an intelligent player, and he could play on several positions. Now he has this Spanish handball philosophy inside, which he uses as a coach. And he has the advantage that he only played in really good teams and learnt a lot for his coaching career.
And how do you describe your relationship to Manolo?
Garcia Parrondo: I like him very much, I know his family, so we have a perfect relationship.
Photo credit: Kolektiff Images