Kraus heading back to where it beganArticle
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2007 world champion returns to his roots at Frisch Auf Göppingen next season
»2012-13 Men's News

Kraus heading back to where it began

After three years, which included his one and only German championship, centre back Michael Kraus will leave VELUX EHF Champions League participants HSV Hamburg after this season.

29-year-old Kraus, 2007 world champion with Germany, returns to where all began, to EHF Cup participant Frisch Auf Göppingen, where his career had started.

“Mimi” moved from Göppingen to Lemgo in 2007, before he arrived in Hamburg in 2010.

Kraus signed a three year contract at Frisch Auf on Monday, three days before he will be on the court for the return leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16 match against RK Celje.

“Michael shall be the leader in our team for the next years and will also be the attraction for the whole youth programme of our club,” Frisch Auf coach Velimir Petković was quoted on the Frisch Auf website.

Petković was the crucial coach in the development of Michael Kraus. Club director Gerd Hofele mentioned that Michael Kraus has green and white blood in his veins.

From HSV's side, they wish the best for Kraus’ future.

“We could agree with him for a transfer, though his contract was valid until 2014.

“We wish him all the best and we really appreciate that his level of performance currently is rising after a long time with several injuries.

“Together with Michael we are now focusing on the objectives we have in the current season,” HSV club director Christoph Wendt said.

“We respect his will to return,” coach Martin Schwalb added.

“I will give all I can for HSV until the end of the season,” Kraus was quoted on the HSV website.

“To win the German championship was my personal highlight at Hamburg.

“At that time I moved to HSV is was absolutely the right step for my personal development. But for me it is a matter of the heart to return to where I came from,” Krauss added.

Kraus is not the only top star leaving HSV after this season: Igor Vori (Paris Handball), Marcin Lijewski (Poland), and goalkeeper Dan Beutler have announced their departures.

Beutler will return to IFK Kristianstad in his home country Sweden – after ten years in Germany (Flensburg and Hamburg).

35-year-old Beutler, who arrived 2011 at HSV, signed a four years contract at Kristianstad.

Additionally Swedish Fredrik Petersen will transfer to German side Füchse Berlin.

But Hamburg have already found successors for those players.

Danish pivot Henrik Toft Hansen will arrive from first time Last 16 participants Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, German internationals Petar Đorđić (currently injured) will join from SG Flensburg-Handewitt, and Adrian Pfahl from VfL Gummersbach.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor