|11 June 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|Lars Johansson: "We have reached a high level, now it's about establishing ourselves here so that it won't be a one-off" |
Whatever the outcome at EuroBasket Women 2013, Sweden won't be parting ways with head coach Lars Johansson after he was handed a contract extension on the eve of the tournament.
The Federation have given the play-caller the perfect tonic as he prepares to guide his nation back to the event after a gap of 26 years.
Having ensured Sweden punched their ticket in emphatic fashion last summer by topping the Qualification Round Group D with seven wins from eight games, including a memorable double over Spain, he won't only be holding the reins in France, but also potentially at EuroBasket Women 2015 too.
The height of the ambition and faith stored in Johansson is also further highlighted in that he has been promised an extra 12-month extension if Sweden were to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
National Team Manager Jonte Karlsson summarised the mood within the Federation which is one of delight that Johansson will remain at the helm for another two or three years.
He said, "He has taken us to EuroBasket Women for the first time since 1987 and the Swedish Basketball Federation think he has done this in a good manner.
"The results speak for themselves, but we also know how he has worked to achieve success.
"He is methodical, analytical, a skilled tactician and has the ability to create a group that works together.
"We are confident that we are on the right track with him as coach."
Johansson himself also expressed his pleasure at the decision and added,
"It's obviously great that the Swedish Basketball Federation have shown me this confidence and it will be great to continue working with this team even after EuroBasket Women 2013.
"We have reached a high level, now it's about establishing ourselves here so that it won't be a one-off.
"To establish ourselves at this level is much more difficult than to get here, so there is much work that remains.
"Primarily, it is about the generation that plays now which is still pretty young. Then it's about channeling the new players who are beating on the door of the national team in a good way and develop the business at all levels."
Sweden will play in Vannes against Group B rivals Italy, Spain and Russia.