Vienna - It is a major event in the Austrian football summer, even though the main role is played by a Czech. Former Czech Republic's national football team coach Karel Brückner is set to take over the Austrian national team, replacing Austrian Josef Hickersberger.
Hickersberger resigned from his possition after the Austrian team lost to Croatia and Germany and failed to advance to the EURO 2008 finals.
Brückner also quit his previous post after the Czech Republic was knocked out of EURO 2008, having lost to Turkey. He was recently replaced by his assistant Petr Rada.
Brückner's appointment as the new Austrian coach was a surprise for many who predicted the career of the 68-year-old self-confessed "football junkie" to be all but over after the EURO 2008 debacle. Well-known sport journalist and commentator Jaromír Bosák is said to have nearly crashed his car after he learned the news on the radio.
There have been both positive and negative reactions. But Brückner himself said he is not afraid.
Language barrier? A bit
Many people were surprised. What made you accept the Austrian offer?
Their great interest in having me. Even though it was not exactly easy for me. I didn't know if I should continue. But after three days, I accepted.
And what about your family?
They were surprised, but eventually, they agreed. (smiling)
You seemed a bit nervous during your first press conference in Vienna on Monday as the new head coach of the Austrian football team. Why?
Yes, I was a bit nervous. My German is not what it used to be. I speak German but it is much easier for me to use it on the field, since there it is a different language. On top of that, last three or four days I have been speaking German non-stop and it is tough for me. I am dead tired.
EURO? Disappointment, depression
What do you think of the Austrian national football team?
I know the squad and I know its best players. It is undoubtedly a young and strong team. I remember them well they played at the Euro championship against Croatia and Poland and they did well.
When you think of this year's Eurpean championship, are you still disappointed?
Two weeks after our team was kicked out, I became depressed and I cried, but then I forgot all about it. Besides, in football, positive events always outweigh the negative ones.
He who lives stays young
Are you afraid of more failures?
If the Austrian team doesn't advance past the World Cup qualifying roud, I don't think anybody would be mad at me.
What had you been up to after the Euro ended? Did you go on vacation?
I took a rest in the countryside, surrounded by nature in the Moravian forests. I do enjoy my time alone, you know...
But then it is generally believed that you do not have good relations with the media...
That is not true. I may be a bit of an introvert, but I am on good terms with the Czech media. I hope to have the same here in Austria.
Is football somewhat like of a drug for you?
Not a drug, but a way of life. I do it because I still feel strong and I don't feel old. As [German coach of the Greek national team, Otto] Rehhagel said in Luzern during the EURO 2008 draw: He who lives stays young. (laughs)