Windy City first to register
Now the registration for Partille Cup is opened and there are plenty of you that are eager to secure a place in the tournament. First to register was American Club Windy City. We had a chat with leader Craig Rot.
You’re the head coach for 3 teams from Windy City Team Handball from USA who was first club into next tournament when we opened the registration Monday September 10. at 12 a clock. First question… How did you get that fast on the keyboard?
– Well, it’s purely genetics. No, for me, when you want something bad enough you just make it happen.
When did you and the team decide to register for the tournament?
– Well, with world championship qualification on the line last year, we were not able to make the trip, which is a favorite of our players and staff. So, I have known for some time that we would be returning to Partille for another great summer of competition.
How many Partille Cup have you played so far?
– I have brought five teams to Partille Cup over the course of two seasons. We were A-playoff semifinalists with our B21 team in 2015, and we made the A playoffs with our U14 boys in 2016. We are now returning after a two-year hiatus.
What makes you come back?
– It is a great tournament for team bonding, competition, and experience. We love coming to Sweden, and so far, we have made great strides as a team because of this opportunity to play high level clubs from around the world.
How many of you are travelling to Gothenburg?
– This year we will be bringing three teams, U14 boys, U16 boys, and U16 girls. We may add more teams, depending on our expansion plans, but for now, we will be bringing 45 players and five staff.
Tell us some about your teams and your feelings now in the start of the season.
– Well, many of our players have been competing in a men’s league and took second last season in the Midwest Team Handball League against adults. We have had a solid development cycle these last two years, with many of our players competing on the national team, playing as many as 50 games last year alone. I look forward to testing them against the amazing clubs that compete at Partille, to see how far we’ve truly come since we’ve been away.
How do you prepare the sides before Partille Cup?
– Well, playing outdoors and in bad weather is an important preparation for Partille Cup, which is something I learned early on. Training goalkeepers to play with a second ball at the side of the net and always at the ready is another little Partille Cup nuance that costs us dearly our first year in competition, especially with my B21s who lost a close one to eventual champs Redberslid in the semis. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you will learn soon enough.
Your best advice for other clubs when it comes to Partille Cup?
– I think it is important to show up early and get some time out on the courts against other teams, which are always looking for practice time. Hydration is a key, especially as you are sometimes playing multiple games on different fields in a day, in weather that can go from hot to cool and rainy in a moment’s notice. Most important, for me, is to find a balance between all the social events going on and the competition itself. It truly is a spectacular week, and it is hard to manage it all as a coach.
It’s a 50th anniversary around the corner, what are your expectations?
– I expect the event to be every bit as spectacular as it is every year.
Feel free to express anything you want to share:
– It is truly an honor to be the first team registered for the 2019 Partille Cup. This tournament has meant so much to so many in the world of handball, and I look forward to returning year after year to enjoy all that it has to offer. For Americans, it is a vitally important experience in creating a handball culture in the United States. It is life changing event for our players, and for that I am so appreciative.