Rune Jarstein speaks about a possible career in winter sports, the competition for game time at the goalkeeper position and the game against Bayern Munich on Sunday (24.02.18).
Berlin - While the rest of his Hertha teammates were at work on the training pitches, he wasn’t there. Anyone keeping an eye out for Rune Jarstein did so in vain. Any worries of him being injured again and having to miss out on Saturday’s crunch-match with league leaders Bayern Munich were quickly quashed though. “I missed the session because I was doing a workout with Henrik Kuchno in the gym,” explained Hertha’s man in net. In the afternoon, he was back out with the rest of the squad again. The Norwegian found the time to speak to herthabsc.de in between the sessions about a possible career in winter sports, the competition for game time at the goalkeeper position and the game against Bayern Munich.
Herthabsc.de: Rune, do you keep up with the Winter Olympics? Things are going well for Norway at the moment...
Jarstein: I should follow it much more closely really, but I have seen a few of the events. I’m really happy with how Norway are doing - it’s probably the best performance we’ve had in a very long time. It’s really fun to watch these athletes do their thing. Norway and Germany are very close together in the medal table I believe, but I think Norway will pull through (smiles).
Herthabsc.de: Do you do any winter sports yourself?
Jarstein: No, unfortunately not. Football was always my passion. Even when it snowed I’d just play snow football. Skiing is a lot of fun, but I haven’t done much of that. After I’m done with my football career, then I’ll start my skiing one (laughs).
Herthabsc.de: After missing three games with injury, you’ve played in the last two games. Thomas Kraft took your place while you were injured. How do you think he did?
Jarstein: Thomas played really well and made a lot of good saves. I’m really happy for him. We train well together and we always have got along. He’s a very experienced goalkeeper.
"The competition is always there, although that’s a good thing. It makes you better"
Herthabsc.de: With Thomas playing well, do you worry that you’ll lose your place as the first choice keeper?
Jarstein: I knew that I’d play again when I was back to full fitness. But I also knew that Thomas is a very good player and that I’d have to play well to keep my place. The competition is always there, although that’s a good thing for both of us. It makes you better. The pressure is always there as well, but I thrive under pressure too. It was a feeling that I felt especially when I made my return against Leverkusen. I am really happy that I can play again. A day without football just doesn’t feel right. Three weeks out with injury, only being able to follow the games from the stands or on TV - that was really difficult.
Herthabsc.de: You were right in the thick of things straight off the bat against Leverkusen, as you unintentionally gave away an indirect free-kick. Have you ever experienced a game like that?
Jarstein: Never. I’ve said this before, but I was really surprised when the referee blew the whistle, because I’ve done that so many times in the past. But I had to deal with it. Thankfully, we were able to get out of that situation without conceding. Looking back, it was a funny thing to watch. I didn’t really know what I should do - the free-kick was only about eight metres out from my goal. Should I stand still, should I rush out? It was a weird situation, but we had it covered (laughs).
Herthabsc.de: Now it’s off to Munich. Before your first game against the record champions, you said that it “was the biggest game of your career to date”. What are your feelings heading into this game?
Jarstein: It’s always something special when you play against Bayern, because they’re one of the best teams in the world. It’s a big game for us. We have to enjoy the occasion, but we can’t be overwhelmed most importantly. I’m expecting a lot of shots to be taken towards my goal and I’m ready for the challenge.