Big shoes for CarlénArticle
«Go back

VELUX EHF Champions League countdown, part 7: HSV Hamburg (GER)

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Men's News

Big shoes for Carlén

The time had come for a change. But before this change took place, HSV Hamburg grabbed their chance and ended the six year long supremacy of THW Kiel in the German Bundesliga.

Last season, nine years after the club was founded, they became German champions for the first time.

From successful coach to management

A perfect farewell present for coach Martin Schwalb, who went on to become Managing Director and President of HSV.

Ciudad Real as bogey team

The only thing missing in that most successful season in the club’s history was the title at the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

For the fourth consecutive time BM Renovalia Ciudad Real meant the end of all hopes and dreams, as in the semi-final of the VELUX EHF Champions League they eliminated Hamburg for the third time in a row. In 2010 they beat the Germans in the quarter-finals.

In the end Hamburg finished third at the EHF FINAL4.

Sweden power in Hamburg

A new era has started at HSV: Per Carlén, former Swedish world champion and former coach of SG Flensburg-Handewitt, is going to fill Schwalb’s shoes as the new head coach.

His left handed son Oscar will succeed Krzysztof Lijewski (Rhein Neckar Löwen), he arrived together with his father, but will not be able to help his new club until October, as he’s still suffering from a rupture of the crucial ligament occurred in February.

Third new Swede is goalkeeper Dan Beutler, also coming from Flensburg, who replaces another Swede, Per Sandström.

Bad luck during preparation

The preparation of HSV was overshadowed by several injuries: Besides Oscar Carlén, the Gille brothers Guillaume and Bertrand could not train over the entire program.

Their second left hander Marcin Lijewski was out for weeks and to complete the problems, playmaker Michael Kraus had a severe car accident. A knee injury will stop him until end of September.

So it was no surprise that Hamburg missed the first German title against their old enemy THW Kiel by losing the Super Cup Final 23:24.

Good luck at the draw

But the hopes for success in the VELUX EHF Champions League are still very high, especially as Hamburg were rather lucky in the draw.

They will not have to face any "big fish", but face opponents like Plock, Koper, Constanta or St. Petersburg.

Schwalb demands success

"As defending German champions we have the demand to win this group to have a good base for the upcoming knock-out stage," Managing Director Martin Schwalb said.

His opinion about the opponents: "We are looking forward to welcome back our former player Dmitri Torgovanov with his new club St. Petersburg. We have to have respect for Cimos Koper, as they left great clubs like Celje or Velenje behind in the Slovenian league. But as it is our aim to fight for all national and international titles, we are the favourite in this group."

Team agrees

Director Christoph Wendt is also lucky about the upcoming opponents: "It’s an interesting group, as we do not have to compete with old rivals, but new challengers – in contrast to former draws. We are curious about the group."

For team captain Pascal Hens – one of three 2007 German world champions in the HSV squad – the objective is clear: "We want to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 – and we will have to build the base in the Group Stage.

We only know Wisla Plock from our European Cup matches in 2006/2007, but this team has developed, otherwise they could not have beaten Kielce in the Polish finals. On the other hand it is good to face four new opponents."

Three questions to coach Per Carlén What are your expectations for the upcoming season of the VELUX EHF Champions League – concerning your objectives and your group opponents?

Per Carlén: It’s great for me as a new coach to take over a team which just reached their long-term objective to become German champions.

This is good for the players and their confidence, so everything fits perfectly. Every player is aware that he can win titles with this team – and we want to implement this knowledge in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

But in the VELUX EHF Champions League it is irrelevant if you have become champions or not. We have to give 100 percent in every match, as strong opponents await us in the Group Stage, and of course also later on. What does the participation in the VELUX EHF Champions League mean to you and your club?

Per Carlén: For me, participating in the VELUX EHF Champions League is the greatest thing of all. There are three titles that we could win: the German championship, the German cup and the VELUX EHF Champions League. It’s our aim to win at least one title and to be part of all other competitions until the very end. What teams are your personal favourites to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and for winning the title this season – and why?

Per Carlén: First of all defending champions FC Barcelona Intersport. In case of Atletico Madrid you have to wait and see how they cope with the relocation to the Spanish capital, but they are always candidates for the semi-final, as HSV had to learn the hard way in the last years. Like in the Bundesliga, THW Kiel and hopefully also my team are candidates for the title.

Club facts – HSV Hamburg (GER)

Newcomers: Oscar Carlén (SG Flensburg-Handewitt), Dan Beutler (SG Flensburg-Handewitt)
Left the club: Krzysztof Lijewski (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Per Sandström (MT Melsungen)
Coach: Per Carlén, since 2011

Qualification for the 2011/2012 VELUX EHF Champions League season: German Champion

VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Participations (including 2011/2012 season): 5
Semi Final (3): 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2010/2011
Quarterfinal (1): 2009/2010
Cup Winners’ Cup records: Winner 2006/2007

German champion: 2011
German Cup winner: 2006, 2010

Further information

Find more information on HSV Hamburg HERE.

Join the growing community of handball fans on Facebook!


TEXT: Björn Pazen