Kiel: no fear in SpainArticle
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THW Kiel are optimistic before the first leg in Ciudad Real – only minor injuries.

Kiel: no fear in Spain

By car, by bus, by plane – 400 supporters will follow THW Kiel on Sunday for the first leg of the Champions league Final in Ciudad Real. They have high hopes even as THW will meet the probably best and most expensive team of the world on their home court, the “Don Quichote Arena”.

Serdarusic is somewhat worried about the energy levels of KarabaticIn contrast to last season, there are fewer injuries in the team of THW Kiel. In 2007 players such as line player Marcus Ahlm or middle back Stefan Lövgren could not step on court in the finals against Flensburg-Handewitt. This year it’s looking a bit better.

The problem is not with injuries, but with players running low of energy – as coach Noka Serdarusic reminded. Especially last season’s CL topscorer, Nikola Karabatic, seems to lack some power:

“He has to play constantly for 60 minutes, so the training sessions are more regeneration than trainings,” said Serdarusic three days before the match in “La Mancha”.

In addition, Marcus Ahlm has some problems with his back, but as Serdarusic says, “he’s a fighter, and he will give 100 percent”.

Kim Andersson and Christian Zeitz (after his long-term shoulder injury) will neither be able to play on their top level. But Serdarusic is optimistic to reach an ideal result at the first CL Final:

“Experts say that the best teams of the world will meet in the finals. Ciudad have great individual world class players, mostly the best in the world. But we are the title holders, so we don’t have to hide in Spain. We will try to play our game.”

The teams never met in the CL before.

“Both matches will be special moments in the history of our club,” Serdarusic said. “But we have to play better than we did at our last Bundesliga matches to have a chance to raise the trophy in Kiel again.”

The team counts on the fans to make them feel at home already during the away match. And one week later more than 10.000 supporters will stand united behind the team in a sold out Sparkassen Arena.

TEXT: Björn Pazen