When the OÖN reached Uwe Schneider on his cell phone at lunchtime, the handball manager of HC Linz AG was in the process of transporting a refrigerator with his three helpers from the sports center in Kleinmünchen, which is in the process of being completely renovated, to the “Exil” Hüttnerschule 3.3 kilometers away .
In the smallest hall of the HLA Master League, Upper Austria’s top club will play at least its first two home games – today (7 p.m.) against Graz and on September 25th against Bregenz.
The capacity is limited to 250 fans, the 3G rule including registration applies. “It may be that we have to send people away. Everyone thirsts for live sports, we are playing in front of spectators for the first time since October,” said Schneider, referring to almost 100 season tickets sold and a number of VIP guests who have announced themselves.
Because there is no storage space in the Hüttnerschule, the equipment (advertising boards, beer sets, etc.) has to be pushed back and forth. “Saturday starts early and will not end until late at night,” says Schneider. But even the heaviest load is not so important when the crew is carried by the feeling of victory. That is the declared goal in the test of strength with the Styrians, who do not bring back the best memories of the past season. HC Linz AG lost the relegation duels with HSG Graz (33:37 and 30:32), finished last and would have been relegated if the league grandees hadn’t managed to increase from ten to twelve teams.
“I don’t want to deal too much with the past, at that time we had seven injuries, these placement games were certainly not the benchmark. Now the cards are being reshuffled, we are confident,” says Schneider.
They are also allowed to be at HC Linz AG, who, with the exception of left backcourt player Tobias Cvetko (meniscus surgery), can draw on the full. The championship opener brought a defeat, but you don’t need to be embarrassed for the 27:28 against runner-up and cup defender Fivers Margareten.