The incorporation of young new talent has revived dreams for the Spanish women's national handball team
Carlos Viver has 17 years of experience as a player for C.B. Granollers, Granollers Basketball club. Upon retiring, he remained on the Catalan regional technical staff in charge of the women's team. DISCOVER MORE
CARLOS VIVER, COACH FOR THE SPANISH WOMEN'S NATIONAL HANDBALL TEAM
"The incorporation of young new talent has revived dreams for the Spanish women's national handball team"
Carlos Viver has 17 years of experience as a player for C.B. Granollers, Granollers Basketball club. Upon retiring, he remained on the Catalan regional technical staff in charge of the women's team. After spending three years on the bench for the men's team in the Liga Asobal, he accepted the challenge of coaching the Spanish women's national team.
Carlos Viver, coach for the Spanish women's national handball team.
How do you rate the participation of the Spanish team in the 2017 Women's Handball World Championship in Germany?
The most pragmatic rating is eloquent: We lost in the Round of 16 against our main rival Norway, which went on to take the silver medal in the final held against France after first defeating Russia (the current Olympic champion) and Holland (runner-up in the 2013 World Championship). But if we analyse the work performed, the progress made by this group of players who we started coaching in March, and the integration of new players - with barely any experience in international competitions - the rating is positive. The incorporation of this young talent has revived dreams for the team as a whole, and that ambition has been transmitted to the fanbase, which looks hopefully towards the team's future.
With a bronze in the London 2012 Olympics, two silvers in the 2008 European Women's Handball Championship in Macedonia and the 2014 games in Croatia and Hungry, and a bronze in the 2011 World Championship, the heritage the team has received from Jorge Dueñas, the former coach, is very relevant. Is it possible to maintain that level?
They are different stages and times. In a competition at the highest level, winning a game earns you medals, while losing one sends you home. Those successes hard-won by the Spanish handball team in international tournaments are based on the progression of the national league, which is increasingly competitive, which has allowed players to show off their talents and translate them to the national team. In this World Championship, we have begun a renewal process for the team. We are going to try to make the best transition possible so that the incorporation of young players with great potential can help us remain amongst the elites in handball. We are optimistic about the future, but we must have patience with the younger players. There is still a lot of work to be done, but if we do everything well, we will be able to maintain the highly competitive level of the national team.
The best players in the Handball World Championship (Germany 2017).
THE GUERRERAS IBERDROLA LEAGUE: THE BASIS OF THE NATIONAL TEAM'S SUCCESS
You mention the Guerreras Iberdrola League; how do you see this competition in comparison to stronger leagues in Europe?
Our League suffered from the consequences of the financial crisis, but since then, both the federation and the clubs are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the Guerreras Iberdrola League once again becomes a great competition. We still have a long way to go to reach the level of leagues such as those in France, Hungary and Germany, for example, that have stronger foundations than we do. The important thing is that the federation, the clubs, and certainly the players themselves have never thrown in the towel when faced with adversities. Thanks to all that hard work, the Guerreras Iberdrola League has grown to become a high-level professional competition. And without a doubt, that is going to impact the national team in a positive manner. In this context, support from companies such as Iberdrola has a price. Over time, we will learn how to properly evaluate what this involvement means, since it deals not only with economic support, but also the momentum in which it takes place. Sponsorship is fundamental for expanding the impact of women's handball in Spain.
Of the 95,037 total sports federations in Spanish handball, only 30,942 are women's. How could so much success be achieved with such a small number of women's federations?
We Spaniards know very well how to utilise our resources, and women's handball in Spain is no exception. The more players we can get to join the national team, the better. However, what is truly important is that the players who do come in do their best and that the technical staff can good use of that effort and extend it over time in order to prolong the period of successes. Furthermore, Spanish handball players know very well how to adapt to circumstances and maintain their level of competitiveness even in the worst situations.
SPAIN, HOST OF THE 2021 WOMEN'S HANDBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Among all of the world elite teams, only the Holland team is coached by a woman. When do you think this situation will reverse?
In reality, our colleagues in the profession aren't lacking anything to make the leap. And that moment is bound to arrive, since they are very skilled. The Spanish national team has had women scouts in the past, and I am convinced that we will have them in the future. It's logical and well-deserved.
Spain is going to be the host of the 2021 Women's Handball World Championship. What do you think the ultimate drive is for handball in our country?
It is a fantastic decision for women's handball in Spain. It is a unique opportunity. We are in time to organise a world championship that will go down in history and that will help us improve the foundations for our sport on the organisational level. In the sports arena, hopefully we can get the right group of players to aspire to the top. The young players who we are incorporating into the dynamics of the national team are providing us with very good results, good hopes and involvement, and the work environment is very good. Furthermore, the more veteran players offer their experience and legacy to form a more compact block. The experience in the World Championship in Germany helped everyone grow and improve.