One down, three trophies to go for KielArticle
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NEWS FEATURE: THW win German Super Cup in one-sided final against Füchse Berlin thanks to goalkeeper Sjöstrand

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One down, three trophies to go for Kiel

First competition, first trophy secured and three more to follow. THW Kiel have started their mission for a perfect season successfully on Tuesday in Stuttgart after defeating 2014 EHF Cup semi-finalist Füchse Berlin 24:18 (13:9) to take the German Super Cup for the eighth time.

The match winner for THW was goalkeeper Johan Sjöstrand, who saved 23 shots, while at the opposite end Füchse shot stopper Silvio Heinevetter was awarded “man of the match”.

“This was our first step into a hopefully successful season, but one saw that we still have huge work ahead to integrate our newcomers,” said THW coach Alfred Gislason, who won the all-Icelandic coaches’ duel against Dagur Sigurdsson, who is also the German national team as of one week ago.

Even without the likes of Aron Palmarsson and Niklas Lauge Schmidt, Kiel forged ahead easily to an 8:2 lead, having all three new back court players Joan Canellas, Domagoj Duvnjak (both arrived from Hamburg) and Steffen Weinhold (from VELUX EHF FINAL4 winners SG Flensburg-Handewitt) on the court.

Without Heinevetter, Füchse would have been in much deeper trouble and they managed to claw themselves back into the game when Gislason started his huge rotation, but never really got close enough. At one stage in the second half Kiel took a 23:15 lead and their first trophy of the 2014/2015 season was all but guaranteed.

“We definitely want more - in all competitions,” said Gislason, who has a major focus on making it to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 again: “Besides becoming German champions, this is our major target, like in every season.”

Kiel had been part of the final event four times out of five, raising the trophy twice (2010 and 2012). Last season they lost the final against their arch rivals Flensburg in Cologne.

“Thanks to our new arrivals the depth and the quality of the squad has improved - which should be the key to having enough power in the crucial part of the season,” line player Patrick Wiencek said, adding: “After a really tough preparation we are looking forward to the start of the season.”

Last week THW lost their final international test match on home court against another VELUX EHF Champions League contender, PSG Handball. “Our level of performance was much higher than against Paris,” Gislason said.

“We hope to have a successful start in the German league to be fit enough and well-rehearsed for the start of the Champions League in September. It is our clear will to finish our group on top to have a perfect base for the knock-out stages,” concluded Wiencek.

His team will face Zagreb, Metalurg, PSG (including former THW stars Thierry Omeyer and Daniel Narcisse), La Rioja and a qualifier in the group phase, beginning on 24-28 September.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor