Dettmann Steps Down from German National Team

23.09.2003

Germany have officially called time on coach Henrik Dettman following the country's early exit from the European Championships in Sweden.

Dettman, who is also a coach in the Bundesliga, was under pressure to challenge for the title with the presence of Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki in his line-up.

It was too much work to comine my side and the national team
Henrik Dettmann

But Germany were knocked out in the elimination round, not only depriving them of a medal but also forcing them to miss out next summer's Olympics since only the top three sides at the championships qualified for the Summer Games.

"We had talked to Henrik Dettmann in May and agreed that his contract would expire at the end of October," German basketball federation (DBB) vice-president Wolfgang Hilgert told www.sport1.de.

"Only a major success could have changed our mind."

Dettman, a 45-year-old Finn, is head coach of Bundesliga outfit Mitteldeutscher BC.

"It was too much work to combine my side and the national team," he said.

"The DBB needs a full-time coach."

However, he admitted: "I would have loved to stay and coach the team at next year's Olympics - if we had qualified."

The surprise side at the championships, in fact, was Italy. They knocked Germany out of the competition, beating them 86-84 in the elimination round before going on to capture a bronze and qualify for the Athens Games.

Their coach, Carlo Recalcati, will remain in charge of the Azzurri but he has also just been appointed coach of Montepaschi Siena.

Nevertheless, Dettman deserves applause for his time in charge, having led the country to the semi-finals of Eurobasket in Turkey two years ago, and to a bronze medal at last summer's World Championships in Indianapolis.

Hilgert said the DBB would take their time before appointing a new coach.

"We've not yet made up our mind," he said.

"We'll present a new coach this year - be it full-time or not."

Assistant coach Armin Andres is thought to be the leading candidate for the job.


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