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28 June 2012 | in Handball, World University Championships

21st WUC Handball Close-up of the Day: Meet Team Members from Kuwait and Portugal

A first for Team Kuwait

BLUMENAU – Yesterday, June 27th, being a day during which only men’s games were played FISU decided to go and meet two of the surprise teams of the tournament, the team of Kuwait and the team of Portugal.

FISU first met with Mr. Jamal Nasser Bouericky, head of delegation of a surprising team of Kuwait which after a tough start against Poland has beaten Mexico in what was an uncertain match.

FISU: Jamal, how did you get to coach this team and how developed is handball in Kuwait?

JNB: I am the director of sports of Kuwait University and thus I had the chance to come here as head of delegation and bring the players for the first time to South America. Regarding handball, our national team and clubs are very good and this is a sport which has been strongly growing in our country these last years.

FISU: Has it been a challenge for you to bring a team there?

JNB: It has indeed been a challenge because as you may know there is only one university in Kuwait and thus very few university players, in addition four of our best players could not join us, it is consequently an even bigger satisfaction that we have been able to win this game against Mexico

FISU: Is it the first time you come to a FISU event? How do you find the atmosphere?

JNB: It is indeed the first time, and we really enjoy the festive atmosphere and great level of competition, it is a very good experience for us and we hope to be able to participate to future FISU events, starting with the Universiade in Kazan next year.

FISU thus had a chance to meet with Kuwaiti team members Fahad Alhajri, Abdullah Almutairi and Mohamad Abdulredha to ask them their feelings about the FISU event.

FISU: What do you think about this event?

Players: Although it is not our first international tournament, it is the first time for us in South America and the atmosphere is very festive, and the people very friendly.

FISU: Is it complicated to play against teams from other continents?

Players: For us it is since first of all we are not used to the strong style of the Europeans neither to the passion of the South Americans. Our problem is also that we do not play often together and thus we need time to build a real team strategy, but we enjoy the event and we hope to be able to go to Portugal in two years.

Team Portugal, the next WUC Handball hosts in 2014

FISU then met with Gabriel Oliveira, coach of the Portuguese team, Tiago Perreira captain of the team and goalkeeper Bruno Dias.

FISU: Gabriel, from all the teams here at the WUC, Team Portugal is the only team whose staff is entirely coming from the university. Does it help in the cohesion of the team?

GB: It does indeed since we do not have such a hierarchy coach-players, I meet them almost everyday in the university and I have selected them myself. On the other hand we also discuss a lot together about the strategy to implement, it is not only me giving order and then applying them, it is a real friendship relation.

FISU: Seeing the atmosphere of the game today, do you think it will be the same in Portugal in two years?

GB: The good thing in 2014 will be that the competition will take place in a university, meaning many spectators, and in addition we will be in Europe and so we will probably have to play many high level games which will make the atmosphere even better, so we first hope to do well in here, but also in two years in Braga and Guimaraes.

FISU: Tiago, you have been part of the U21 national team in Portugal, is there a difference with this team?

TP: The main difference is that we play very often together because out of 14, we are 7 playing for the University of Minho, and we have already played several EUSA championships together.

FISU: Do you think that helps against teams which are not used to play together?

TP: It is certainly an advantage and sometimes it enables us to compensate some lacks, but in the end we still have a very good team.

FISU: Bruno, people often say that goalkeepers are crazy, how did you get to that position?

BD: When I was a kid at school, I was not as fit as today and my classmates always ordered me to be the goalkeeper, and in the end I realized that I was not too bad at it, so once I started to play handball in a club, I started as goalkeeper – Tiago nevertheless mentioned that Bruno is indeed a bit crazy.

FISU: Do you analyze the game of the strikers before playing them, do you have time to think during a game or the goalkeeper is merely acting through reflexes?

BD: We analyze the game, but during a match the goalkeeper needs to be very adaptable since the strategy of the opponent often changes according to what happens. In the end the striker has more pressure than the goalkeeper since scoring is “normal”, making a save is my job but not that easy.

The next World University Championship will be held in Braga and Guimaraes (POR) and we hope to find those two teams again fighting for the podium


(Source: Julien Buhajezuk, FISU WUC Dept.)