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German Coach Bernhard Peters (2/24/2001)
--K.Arumugam
FRIDAY 23 Feb,2001: Bernhard Peters succeeded renowned coach Paul Lissek, whose contract was not renewed by the German Hockey Federation(DBH). Peters, his former deputy, is in charge of rebuilding German team that had failed to reach the semi-final of the Sydney Olympics. Forthcoming Indo-Germany Test Series is the first major assignment for Peters. Being successful coach who led Junior German men and women to World Cup titles, he is looking forward to the Series to test his wards. Excerpts of his first interview given to any Indian journalist.

I think you put up quite a few years in coaching. Can I have a brief recap?

I am already coaching for nearly 15 years, worked with the junior teams (men and female) of the German Hockey Association.

A few lines about your playing career.

I played during my studies in Cologne for the Club "Schwarz-Weiß Köln" for round about three years, just national level.

3 Stick2hockey:. Since when you are coaching German Under-21 teams?

I coached the German junior women's team from 1985-1989, won with them the world championship in 1989 at the end of my engagement. Afterwards I changed to the junior men's team, following my collegue Paul Lissek. The junior men's team got world champion in 1993 in Terrassa.

4. Stick2hockey: What do you feel is the highlight of achievement in the spell you coached the juniors?

Both titles made me very happy. The success was a confirmation that I did my work in the right way.

5. Stick2hockey: Does the team that is coming to India has any junior players?

There will be five actual junior players in the team which will come to India. The whole team was educated in my junior coach career. That makes me proud and I see an advantage in knowing them all very good. I'm looking forward creating a new team for Germany.

6. Stick2hockey: How do you feel about succeeding world renowned Paul Lissek? Any pressure as he had great image?

No, I was in his coaching team for a long time, I worked in the development of the talents, who played them in the senior team

7. Stick2hockey: How do you assess German(men)'s team at Sydney Olympics, a close miss for the semifinal. Wasn't it?

It was a very strong team, but they didn't play well just in the important pool match versus Great Britain.

8. Stick2hockey: Surprisingly, Germany did not seem to convert penalty corners there. Any reasons?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. First Germany suffered under some bad decisions of the umpires. We chose bad corner variations and the players, better the whole team, was mentally not strong enough.

9. Stick2hockey What are the major changes that had taken place in German hockey after the unexpected 5th place?

Three new coaches

10. Stick2hockey Have you ever visited India, personal and professional?

I'ver been to India twice. In 1992 in preparation of my junior team for the junior men's World Cup 1993. Five years later I've been in Madras for the Champions Trophy as assistant coach of Paul Lissek.

11. Stick2hockey: What is your general opinion about Indian hockey?

Indian hockey is very fast, very skillful, with very good counter attacks, an excellent individual play. 12. Stick2hockey: Do you think the no off-side situation give advantage to the attacking teams like India and Pakistan?

Yes, because of the excellent counter attack with their fast forwards

13. Stick2hockey: When India played a Test series in 2000. Did you watch that?

No, I didn't.

14. Stick2hockey: What will be your emphasis of the Test Series against India now, winning or testing the talents? Testing the talents and the whole team

15. Stick2hockey: Do you know Indian coach Cedric D'Souza(he was the coach when India played the 1995 Champions Trophy at Berlin)? Your views on him.

I think he has an great knowledge in tactics. It' s an honour for me, to be his college now!

16. Stick2hockey: Indian forward Dhanraj Pillay will not be available for the Series as he is busy with his assignment in Malaysia. Without him, do you feel your chances of winning the Series becomes easier?

India is missing the best forward in the series.

17. Stick2hockey: You may have observed him play closely, after all he played there for stuart club?

One time!!

18. Stick2hockey: Your observation about any other player of the present Indian team.(Most of them are Sydney Olympians)

I was very surprised about the Indian team in Sydney. They made very good matches but had the same bad luck in qualifying for the semi finals as Germany. The Indian team has several very excellent players.

19. Stick2hockey: At least three leading players -Chris. Bechmann, captain Mayerhofer and the experienced goalkeeper Christ. Reitz

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