Kaufmann: Team spirit and tough trainingArticle
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SG Flensburg left back talks to eurohandball.com ahead of the Cup Winners’ Cup finals against German rival Gummersbach.
»2011-12 Men's News

Kaufmann: Team spirit and tough training

Lars Kaufmann is focused on winning his second straight European Cup title in only 12 months – but with two different clubs. After he secured the Men's EHF Cup in 2011 with Frisch Auf Göppingen, now the 30-year-old German international has qualified for the EHF Men's Cup Winners’ Cup final with his new club SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

In two all-German encounters, Kaufmann and Flensburg face defending champions VfL Gummersbach on 20 May and 25 May. In this interview with eurohandball.com, he talks about the finals and this season's successes.

eurohandball.com: We are now close to the end of a highly successful season, do you regret your transfer from Göppingen to Flensburg?
Lars Kaufmann: No, of course not.

eurohandball.com: What are the special strengths of Flensburg this season?
Lars Kaufmann: Our team spirit, tough training sessions and our coach Ljubomir Vranjes.

eurohandball.com: How do you rate your chances in the EHF Men's Cup Winners’ Cup finals against VfL Gummersbach?
Lars Kaufmann: We have beaten them twice in the league already this season. But despite that we must not underestimate VfL. Especially because, in the last few weeks, they have had some strong performances and beaten top clubs like the Rhein Neckar Löwen. And – like us – they want to raise the trophy in the end.

eurohandball.com: Last season you were a Men's EHF Cup winner with Frisch Auf Göppingen. What would a second consecutive international club title mean to you?
Lars Kaufmann: I came to Flensburg to fight for titles. And it would be great to win the first title in the my first season here.

eurohandball.com: After missing the VELUX EHF Champions League this season, one of the club goals was to reach this EHF Men's Cup Winners’ Cup final. How tough was it to get there?
Lars Kaufmann: It was not easy to reach the final as we had to face strong opponents, and make several tough trips across Europe. Throughout the season we played in three competitions, which usually meant three games in seven days with thousands of kilometres of travelling.

eurohandball.com: Two weeks ago you missed out in your first final, losing the German Cup final against THW Kiel. Do you still feel this sting of disappointment?
Lars Kaufmann: When you reach a final, you want to win - so it was a huge disappointment. On the other hand we have shown that we can get closer to a club like Kiel. 

TEXT: Björn Pazen