“2003 is good omen”Article
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Thierry Omeyer and Bruno Martini formed a successful team in the past and now they can lift the CL together title again. The French goalkeepers talk about their trophy dreams.

“2003 is good omen”

It happened during the first leg of the CL Final between THW Kiel and BM Ciudad Real: we were in mid second half when THW’s goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer saved a big shot by Olafur Stefansson with his leg. The hall celebrated and the fans were already focusing on the other end of the court as Kiel were on the attack. Only one person is still watching Thierry Omeyer and showing his fist as encouragement – Bruno Martini. The French goalkeeper needs this kind of “goalkeepers’ communication” from his compatriot.

Omeyer and Martini celebrate the German title together“I was not completely satisfied with my performance,” Thierry Omeyer admits. “I feel a bit tired after such a long season.”

The roles are clear between the two goalies. When the Swedish Andreas Palicka was injured in May, The “Zebras” signed the 38-year old Bruno Martini, who had already retired from the French Nimes in 2007. He is practically the mentor of the Kiel no 1.

“I am here to help Omeyer, to talk to him,” said Martini. “I know that I will not play much.”

In the first leg of the Final he spent all 60 minutes on the bench, still he had an important task.

“When I received so many fast break goals in the second half, it was very good to talk to a goalkeeper with experience,” said Thierry Omeyer. “You can see it well from outside and you can give some good hints.”

The French duo is not new to each other. They played three successful years together between 2000 and 2003 with the French club Montpellier HB. They won both French league and cup three times and they could also celebrate the Champions League title in 2003 and the World Championship title in 2001.

“When we both arrived in Montpellier in 2000, I was a sort of elder brother for him. I was 30 that time and he was only 23 and a big talent,” recalls Bruno Martini.

The experienced player joined THW only for these games. He has a marketing company in Montpellier and among other tasks he also undertakes duties for the French Handball League. These weeks, however, are an exception for Bruno Martini. He stays in a hotel in Kiel, takes part in the trainings and enjoys the “really good atmosphere” in the team. He prepares intensively with Thierry Omeyer for the return game on Sunday. “We talk a lot about the shooting habits of the Ciudad Real players,” he says.

In these days the two goalkeepers also recall the CL title gained together in 2003. They lost by 19:27 in Pamplona, but then Montpellier could lift the trophy through a 31:19 success.

“There was an incredible atmosphere, nobody hoped that we could still make it,” Thierry Omeyer adds. This is also a warning that Ciudad Real could also turn the page despite the 34:39 defeat in Kiel.

Bruno Martini calms Omeyer down: “Do you remember what we played in the quarterfinal against Zagreb back then? 28:28! Exactly what THW played this season in the quarterfinal. That’s a good omen for us to lift the trophy again.”

TEXT: Jan Kirschner