Rumors have been heard, now the ice hockey sensation is perfect: Pat Cortina, ex-coach of the DEL finalist Wolfsburg, will be the new coach of SC Riessersee.
He says: “It's unbelievable here, it suits me exactly.
- Real male friendships are worth something. Pat Cortina and Christian Winkler have one. Once, that was 15 years ago, they stood together behind the gang in Munich. Worked towards one goal: to lift the EHC into the DEL. The mission was successful. They were doing their job. “After that, we both developed, he as a manager, I as a coach,” says Cortina. Mind you, in different directions. “But we've never lost sight of each other.” A relationship that is characterized by friendship, but also respect.
Well, that Winkler, once goalkeeper at SC Riessersee, now ice hockey director at Red Bull Sports, contacted his specialist and chatted with him about the SCR.
He described the plans that are flourishing under the Alpspitze to him.
Something about 2024, something about DEL2, something about development.
"That sounded good," says Cortina today, as he has just signed the contract with the old champions in the major league.
"I can rely on Christian if he says that is good, then it will also work."
SCR managing director Pana Christakakis: "At first I thought Christian was kidding me"
When the 56-year-old's interest was piqued, Pana Christakakis came into play. "At first I thought Christian was kidding me when he asked if Pat Cortina would be a candidate for us," admits the managing director of SCR-GmbH. The former coach of the DEL finalist Wolfsburg, the current German runner-up. “But this dream soon became serious,” says Christakakis. In a positive sense.
Cortina was interested.
“I needed a new challenge,” he says openly.
“I still have a lot of energy in me,” he clarifies.
So the first discussions took place.
Cortina drove to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
And was impressed.
"I know this club, it has a great tradition." He felt something of it first hand.
“I stood in the ice rink, saw the jerseys under the roof.
The names: Andi Raubal, Franz Reindl, I know all of them. "
Intensive discussions and a trump card: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the surrounding area, the mountains
Christakakis put all his powers of persuasion into the balance.
“Those were intensive discussions to get a DEL trainer into the big league.” One thing quickly became clear to him.
Cortina didn't play poker, he was serious.
"And if two sides really want to, then they come together in the end."
Those responsible for the SCR held one trump card in their hands: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the surrounding area, the proximity to South Tyrol, the mountains - everything to do with the Olympic ice sports center.
“It's unbelievable here, it suits me exactly,” assures Cortina.
Also because a daughter lives in Munich, the woman comes from the Fassa Valley.
Pat Cortina as CSR coach: "One with whom we can build something"
It is therefore clear: The SCR has a coach, a well-known one. “But above all, one with which we can build something,” adds Christakakis. As is well known, those responsible want that. A few weeks ago you spoke about the SCR2024 mission for the first time during an online fan talk. In three years, the makers would like to return to the DEL2 with the club. "Pat is the man with whom we want to implement this, in our eyes the ideal building block."
Therefore, the contract is formulated a little more long-term.
Two years plus an option for a third season.
A duration that Cortina is good for.
“I don't want anything short-term anymore,” he says clearly.
“You can build something here, and we want to do it together.
I was looking for a job like this. ”Important: There is initially no pressure to succeed.
At least not from the club side.
“We're not saying Pat Cortina is here now, so we'll become champions.
We designed everything for three years, ”says the managing director.
And the coach adds: "We have a lot of work to do, but it is important that we tackle things and always achieve as much as possible."
SC Riessersee: Important positions in the squad still open
Numerous important positions in the squad are still open. Cortina will provide its input in order to be able to occupy it. "I hope that we will find good young players who are not only looking for money, but also for getting ice age." For example, also from the cooperation partner from Munich. “This partnership is very attractive,” he emphasizes. Just like the overall package, apparently. And Christian Winkler will certainly meet Cortina again more often.