Ice hockey - "There's the heart at home" - sports in the region
NHL professional Korbinian Holzer and former national goalkeeper Markus Janka want to lead the fourth division Geretsried to its old size. A conversation about family traditions and marathon phone calls from California.
Ex-professionals and national players on the board: This is known from the Bundesliga. But with a fourth division? In ice hockey? In the nineties of the last millennium, the TuS Geretsried was on par with the famous neighbors EC Bad Tölz. Both clubs played in the second division, the youth work of the TuS gave birth to internationals such as Uli Liebsch and Andreas Morczinietz. The turning point came in 2006: After the collapse of the ice rink in Bad Reichenhall with 15 dead, the Heinz-Schneider ice rink was statically examined - and proved to be unsustainable. From today to tomorrow the Geretsrieder ice hockey was virtually homeless. Founded in the same year ESC River Rats plays today in the Bayernliga, in the autumn, the stadium after 13 years to get a roof again. For the board election this Tuesday (19.30 clock, Ratsstuben) now have two prominent self-proclaimed their candidature: the former national goalkeeper Markus Janka, 39, and Korbinian Holzer, 31, NHL professional at the Anaheim Ducks.
SZ: Mr. Janka, Mr. Holzer, a former and a current national player want to lead a fourth division. With permission: why?
Markus Janka: After the short-term resignation of Thomas Stöber in early May, the club has approached me. Although they could bridge the time to the election for emergency. But in the current situation due to the stadium renovation and the additional financial burden, it was clear that they needed a chairman for the transitional period, who would take over the position provisionally. For me that is absolutely uncharted territory, but you can learn that. And stopping halfway is nothing. Since I'm not alone because of our family history.
Her father Oskar headed the ice hockey department of TuS Geretsried for many years.
Janka: In him I have a good adviser on the other side in the office. He saw everything.
You run a waste management company that has provided TuS with financial support.
Janka: We still support the Geretsrieder ice hockey. Sure, the times are different, and probably not easier than before.
Some experience in cleaning up can not hurt you.
Janka: That is obvious (laughs). We talked to each other in the family and with my partner colleagues, so my brother and my father. But it was pretty clear that I did that when needed. Helps nothing.
Mr. Holzer, there are long-distance universities, long-distance relationships, but how is this supposed to work, as a remote board? California is not just around the corner.
Korbinian Holzer: That was the question when I said that I would like to help more actively. I have been an external consultant for a year now. Most of the exchange went through Peter Holdschik (second chairman). We talked on the phone for hours at a time or in spite of the time difference or communicated via Whatsapp. I was surprised how well that went.
What can you contribute from a distance?
Holzer: Of course, I can not be actively involved in the games. But I've thought a lot about the stadium redevelopment, sat down and made plans for the design of the cabins. I know a few ice rinks, and there's something in everyone to look at - and if it's the contingency plans. I really put heart and soul into it. I think we work very well as a team. It does not matter if you're in the same office or a few thousand kilometers apart.
Sitting in the same office does not have to be conflict-free, is it, Mr. Janka?
Janka: In the same office it is sometimes even more difficult. It would not have happened to my father at the time that one squats in California and is a member of the executive board.
You finished your career in 2017 with the Tölz lions; Her professional career, Mr. Holzer, started in Tölz. Would your involvement in this form also be conceivable at another club?
Janka: For me that would be unthinkable. Where you come from, there is the heart at home. The question does not arise. Geretsried or nowhere, very clearly.
Holzer: My Geretsrieder past is already a long time ago. But I never lost sight of the club. The club is a matter of the heart for me, here I grew up. I am grateful for that and would like to give something back.
What is your vision?
Holzer: That at some point the identification between club and city will be the same as it once was. Previously, the club had in each junior class a team in the highest league. Everyone knew the TuS. In the 13 years without roof over the stadium the club suffered a lot. We now have a transitional year ahead of us. But I think the club has the potential to be as successful as it used to be.
Which agenda do you follow?
Janka: Currently, relatively little is said about the sport, simply because the conversion is not yet completed. The first league game is on October 4th, we hope to be ready to play in our stadium until mid-November. Until then we only have away games. But we can do it.
Holzer: Success can not be planned. Of course we have an agenda in mind. We want to play again with all junior teams in the best Bavarian leagues. That will take a while. Not a year, not two years, but longer.
You have lost 13 years.
Holzer: That is unfortunately the case.
The good news is: there are still offspring in Geretsried.
Janka: For this achievement one must pay the utmost respect to our predecessors. How they kept the club alive is worthy of all honors.
And now come two greenhorns and sit down in the made nest.
Janka: Almost done. Nearly.
Holzer: It's quite different, whether you work in a club or in a limited liability company like Red Bull München, that's a completely different machine. The association has changed. Volunteering, that's not without. I was hoping it would be easier to convince people. But that's bone work. And it will stay that way for a long time, the work is really starting now. We have Tölz, we have Salzburg with the academy, we have Munich, we have Rosenheim: You have many clubs in the area, which brutally push young and take off a lot. The fact that we once again have a foundation to build on, in the U7, in the U9 and in the U11, that is already impressive and shows the importance of ice sports in Geretsried. We have to work to create the framework conditions that these players do not get away in the U13 or U15 to Salzburg or Munich. So that one can eventually come back to the Oberliga with as many local players as possible.
Janka: This is only possible if you get the necessary support from the regional economy. We are all in demand.
Also the chairman?
Janka: Of course.
You said before: Everyone knew the TuS. How long will it take for the ESC to reach such a name?
Janka: It will definitely be a long way. But, do not forget: TuS was a long way back then. It started around 1960, and when was the TuS big? Mid-eighties. After 25 years.
Sounds like a long-term project.
Janka: Will we get there again? Difficult. I am doing very hard with this comparison. If people say in ten years, "the TuS" does a good job, then that's okay for me, because that means that the ice hockey club in Geretsried do a good job.
Holzer: I also say TuS from time to time. It's up to us to build something to say in ten or maybe 20 years, Look, the ESC. That people only perceive you as ESC. This is an exciting task and we want to face it.