Super ambitious LionsArticle
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"Stimulus package" for Rhein Neckar Löwen: the new coach Noka Serdarusic wants to build a top team with Stefansson and other stars.

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Super ambitious Lions

After finding a new coach, Noka Serdarusic, for the next three years, Rhein Neckar Löwen are going to build a new team with international stars. The number one on their most wanted list is Olafur Stefansson, currently playing for Ciudad Real. But the list is long…The new boss of RNL

With a year after leaving THW Kiel, Noka Serdarusic will start a new chapter in his coaching career. The 58-year old Bosnian coach will take Rhein Neckar Löwen over on 30 June 2009. Serdarusic signed a three-years contract with the German CL participant.

After losing the Champions League Final of 2008, Serdarusic was sacked by THW with 15 successful years, 25 national and international titles behind. The most successful Bundesliga coach ever received a lot of offers from clubs and federations afterwards. But at first he took care of his health and he was operated on his hips.

He always confirmed that he intended to carry on coaching and now he signed a new contract with “the Lions”.

“I didn’t want to retire from handball, but I looked for a job with a big potential in it. Now I found this chance in Mannheim,” Serdarusic said. “This club wants to improve and wants to be number one in every competition. This is what I like and what I want.”

Löwen manager Thorsten Storm, who worked together with Serdarusic in Kiel and had some quarrels with him when he was a Flensburg manager, is excited by contracting Serdarusic:

“This is a significant step for our club. If you’re looking for a good coach, there’s nobody more suitable for this position.”

Rhein Neckar Löwen changed coach at the beginning of the season when they fired Jurij Chevtsov. His successor is Wolfgang Schwenke who has a contract until the end of this season.

“We have talked to him because we want to continue our cooperation,” Storm said.

Building a top squad

In an interview with, Serdarusic talked about his plans:

“To build a successful team is a long process. Everything has to come together. I need players who are hungry for success.”

But Serdarusic didn’t want to say anything about the rumours what players he meant. Names such as Siarhei Rutenka, Árpád Sterbik, Bjarne Myrhol and Christian Zeitz are circulating inthe German media. …Even that of Nikola Karabatic, who is good friend of Serdarusic from their times in Kiel.

“Every club wants to sign Nikola, but he has a contract in Kiel,” Serdarusic said.

Stefansson deal set

A successful player would join RNLThere is another top player who will most likely end up in “Löwen”: Olafur Stefansson. His manager Wolfgang Gütschow said, that the three-time CL winner Icelandic will join the German club and will sign a two-year contract.

Stefansson had signed a three-year contract with a second division team in Denmark, but the main sponsor of the club, the Danish Kasi group owned by Jesper Nielsen, changed their mind. Nielsen is main sponsor of Rhein Neckar Löwen and joined the club board.

“We want to form a top team and we need top players,” Nielsen said in an interview. As a kind of gift he wants to bring Stefansson to his new club.

“If Olafur wants to come, the deal is perfect,” “Löwen” manager Thorsten Storm said. But in addition, he wants to sign Holger Glandorf, another left-handed player.

“Olafur wanted to play for Serdarusic, now he has the chance.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen