Filip Jicha has won his first derby as a handball coach against the SG Flensburg Handewitt with the THW Kiel, but there was no time to celebrate: On Sunday both teams start with great ambitions in the new Champions League season.
No, Filip Jicha was not in the mood to celebrate. For the wild jubilee dances of his players, the coach of the THW Kiel lacked the strength at the end of a gripping north duel against the SG Flensburg Handewitt, the first derby run of his still young coaching career, quite obviously.
“It is a madness,” said Jicha, still fixed and ready from the 60-minute full-throttle handball of both teams, and snorted through facilitated. The former world handballer knew only too well the importance of the 28:24 record champion’s success against the title defender. For him personally, but above all for the great season goals of the zebras.
Instead of losing the connection early on, the THW added the first defeat to his archrival and now mixes with 6:2 points fully at the top of the table.” We absolutely wanted to avoid running after four minus points from the start,”said National Player Hendrik Pekeler:”We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves earlier last year. So now we are in the middle and keep everything open.”
Can a German club finally make it back to the Champions League Final?
A roaring victory party fell out. Shortly after the whistle, players and managers focused on the next big task: The Kielers celebrate their comeback in the Champions League on the weekend after 504 days.” It was already a great program,”said Jicha, at the THW since summer successor to the legendary Alfred Gislason,”and will not stop until after Christmas”.
Eleven games have the Kielers in their legs since the start of the season at the DHB Cup on the 17th of August
Eleven games and it continues with high tempo. With Vive Kielce hosting on Sunday (19:00 clock) not only the Champions League winner of 2016 and semi-finalist of the previous season in the Kiel Savings Bank Arena, it comes directly to the reunion with National Guard Andreas Wolff, After three years at the THW in the summer he changed to the Polish series champion.
The goals in Kiel are also high internationally. For three years, no German club has made it to the final tournament of the best four teams in Cologne, that is now to change.” 2016 was the last time we were there,”said Jicha, who experienced the last Kiel royal class triumph 2012 as a player himself. There will be “everything possible” to achieve the final round again.
The demands are also great for the second German Royal Class starter in Flensburg (starting on Sunday/17:00 clock in Celje). After four unsuccessful quarter-finals, “it’s finally time to come back to Cologne,” said SG-Captain Lasse Svan of the Handball Week. During the last Stippvisite in the cathedral city 2014, the Northern Lights succeeded historically: Flensburg won the title as the last German team to date.
The favorites are also different this year. The internationally unsuccessful star ensemble of Paris St. Germain takes the next stage with the outstanding solo writers Mikkel Hansen and Nikola Karabatic, but also the nine-time champion FC Barcelona and Telekom Veszprem (three times in the final game, three times lost) are again considered the hottest candidates on the European Handball Throne.