January 31, 2023

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Sweden’s Martin Boquist Expelled: Handballgutta’s New Golden Man

New co-driver: Martin Boquist will lead Norway in the WC with Jonas Willi.

He claims he was forced out of the Swedish handball team. Now Martin Boquist – with the gold of the tournament as a player and coach – is ready for the World Cup with Norway.

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As a player, he helped the 45-year-old Boquist win a World Cup gold and two European Championship gold medals with the legendary ‘Bangan Boys’. Last season, Sweden won their first gold since their peak with Bengt Johansson as national team manager. Boquist was an assistant to Glenn Solberg when EC gold was secured in Budapest.

Then the Swedish Handball Federation crashed. After six years on the coaching staff, Boquist is no longer part of the future plans. The Swede believed Solberg was behind the shooting and told Aftonbladet everything else was “utter nonsense”.

– I had a pretty good one there, Boquist tells VG.

Handball WC: Matches and broadcast schedule.

– I’ll choose my assistant. For my part, it was important to make this switch, as Glenn Solberg told SVT earlier this season. He “inherited” Boquist when he took over Sweden’s presidency three years ago. At WC at home, he has former Elverum coach Michael Apelgren on the bench.

While this summer Norway national team manager Jonas Wille was quick to secure Martin Boquist in his squad. The duo became famous when Willy took charge of Swedish side Skovde five years ago. Now Martin Boquist – who lives with his family in Enkoping – has signed a contract with Norway until 2026.

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The end: Martin Boquist (right) with Sweden coach Glenn Solberg at last year’s European Championships.

What can you bring home with you after winning gold with Sweden?

– Humility. It’s hard to live with this situation and still believe in your abilities. I grew up on “Bengan Boys” and the team game in which many Swedish players are involved. It’s hard to say what exactly. But it’s more about being aware of how to get the “flow” in the game. Then it comes to good collective defensive play. Martin Boquist replied, I think Norway has that.

– I don’t believe much in the term “winner’s mentality”. But I strongly believe that the game that we are planning should suit the players that we have. Then you feel safe and can do good things. He adds that Jonas and I are very concerned about that.

So far the new duo has been successful in training. Norway has won five matches in a row. Nearly 15,000 spectators witnessed Norway beat Portugal, Brazil and the United States in Trondheim last week. On Friday, the handball boys opened the World Cup tournament against North Macedonia in Krakow, Poland.

Jonas Wille started his career as national team manager with a Danish Cup title in his track record as a club coach. He doesn’t put much stock in Boquist’s championship-winning experience.

– I think not so much about it, but about the qualities of Martin. It’s absolutely amazing. His ability to see details in the game and the ability to debate at a high professional level. Mixed with his human qualities and good social skills. He is an outspoken person with good manners. I would have appreciated it regardless of whether or not he won the gold,” Willie says.