“Zebras” too fast for “Lions”

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It was as handball-classic as many expected. The reigning German champion – Rhein-Neckar Löwen  – hosted Germany’s record champion, THW Kiel on Thursday night in a much-anticipated second-leg tie of their Champions League matchup.  The “Lions” had taken a slim, one-goal lead into the 2nd game, after winning in Kiel last week by a hair (24:23) and after squandering a …

He is the greatest

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It’s been a little more than a week that two of the greatest handball players of all time decided to retire from national team duties.  Their careers will go down as some of the most successful in all sports.  Legendary goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer and left-back Daniel Narcisse have probably won more trophies than their respective show cases can handle. It’s …

“I like the Danish mentality”

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Emily Bölk is just 18 years old, but she talks like somebody who’s in the business for a long time.  Her list of achievements is extensive as well for someone her age.  She has won various youth titles and was named MVP in a number of competitions. On the senior level she’s just making a name for herself and all …

A (Global) Day of Handball?

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While football is basically dominating all headlines in Germany, other sports have to come up with smart promotional ideas.  In 2015, Rhein-Neckar Löwen did a great job using the “Tag des Handballs” (Day of Handball), to fill, almost, the entire football stadium of Eintracht Frankfurt.  A lot of activities around the game offered kids as well as grown-ups a great …

SG Flensburg-Handewitt

The long road back

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Jacob Heinl is known as a hard-nosed defensive stalwart and he has done the job at the same club – SG Flensburg – for over 20 years.  But for more than one year he was out because of a nagging back injury that was caused by the Coxsackie virus.  As I didn’t study medicine, I will spare you the details, …

A new language

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It was the move most people expected after Norway’s Christian Berge decided to stay put.  Still, the promotion of Ljubomir Vranjes’ current assistant, Maik Machulla, as Flensburg’s next head coach is a bold move.  But to me it’s the less risky one, although the former Bundesliga player will follow into the footsteps of the most successful as well as most …

The second year itch

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For many, maybe for most it’s the key position in handball, it’s the one between the pipes. If you can field a good, maybe even a great goalkeeping tandem, you’re on the right track to form a winning team. But putting a goalkeeper on the bench, especially one of very high quality, is a great risk. Goalkeepers have big egos. …

Rolling the dice

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Just recently the IHF announced the shortlist of nominees for the World Handball Player of the Year 2016 award. While the nominated players raise some question marks, the list of coaches on the men’s side I find unacceptable. But first, I will take a look on the women’s side – ladies first, as it should be.  Here the IHF did …

Hips don’t lie

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Andreas Wolff was named German Handball Player of the Year once again and also made the shortlist of the five players being nominated for World Handball Player of the Year 2016 by the IHF.  The stunning loss of Germany against Qatar in France, in January, his new experience in the EHF Champions League with Kiel and his burden as Germany’s …

Loerper not feeling the pressure – yet

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Just recently Anna Loerper was named Germany’s Handball Player of the Year for a second time in a row.  While she didn’t outperform her competitors as much as last year, she still did an outstanding job, on and also off the court, as the new captain of the German national team.  I talked to the playmaker of the TuSsies Metzingen …