Persoon excited by fresh challenge with UHC Hamburg

* * Picture: Sabine Müller/World Sport Pics

New UHC Hamburg coach Johannes Persoon is looking forward to his rebuilding job with UHC Hamburg this season following Claus Henkel’s hugely successful reign.

Under Henkel, the Bundesliga club – who host the women’s ABN AMRO Ranking Cup on October 2nd and 3rd – won three national championships in eight seasons with a star-studded line-up.

International striker Charlotte Stapenhorst returned to her hometown of Berlin for second division team Zehlendorfer Wespen while Janne Müller-Wieland and Hannah Seifert are unavailable for professional reasons for the first half of the season.

It has opened the door for new faces and Persoon – speaking to the Hamburger Abendblatt – says it is something he is thrilled to do.

He had been playing at the top level with Grossflotbekker THGC while working as Henkel’s assistant last season but this coaching role was one he wants to give his full focus this term.

“You don’t turn down an offer like this if you have ambitions to train in the Bundesliga,” said the new head coach.

“It will be a great challenge to absorb the change in players but my game plan is an offensive one. We don’t want to hide, we want to play an intensive-running system and be physically at the top level.”

The side welcomes Scotland and GB star Amy Costello, the Swiss Under-21 national player Charline Heselhaus and Ida Köllinger who is moving from Mülheim.

The squad also features Olympic duo Lena Micheel and Amelie Wortmann, rising German international goalkeeper Noelle Rother and Teresa Martin-Pelegrina. 

And they have started in confident mood, picking up wins over Uhlenhorst Mülheim (4-0) and Club Raffelburg (1-0), drawing with Münchner SC away from home before falling to reigning champions Düsseldorfer HC.