Flensburg on a shopping spreeArticle
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NEWS FEATURE: 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winners bolster their squad with world and EHF EURO champions

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Flensburg on a shopping spree

SG Flensburg-Handewitt’s list of signings for the next season is impressive: One world champion, two EHF EURO champions and a Serbian returnee.

After the 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winners had already announced Petar Djordjic, Henrik Toft Hansen (both arriving from HSV Hamburg) and Rasmus Lauge (from THW Kiel) in May, they have now signed French star Kentin Mahé.

Three weeks ago Mahé - world champion with France - was awarded Most Valuable Player of the EHF Cup Finals in Berlin, where he won the silver medal with his team HSV Hamburg.

In the upcoming season another Northern German club will benefit from his qualities. On Monday, the 24-year-old playmaker signed a three-year contract with Flensburg until 2018.

"The negotiations were short and I have a good feeling to be back in the VELUX EHF Champions League with Flensburg. I believe we can go very far with this European top class team. And I’m hungry for my first title at club level," Mahé was quoted on the club's website.

Coach Ljubomir Vranjes praises his new arrival: "Kentin is clever, he is fast and he is a fighter."

Manager Dierk Schmäschke adds: "Thanks to our sponsors we could arrange this transfer. Kentin fits perfectly in our playing system – and when we had the opportunity to sign him, we immediately took the chance."

The centre back will meet some well-known faces in Flensburg, as his current HSV teammates Henrik Toft Hansen and Petar Djordjic will move northwards as well.

Toft Hansen, brother of THW Kiel’s Rene Toft Hansen, was EHF EURO champion in 2012 with the Danish side and won the silver medal at the 2014 EHF EURO on home court.

"Me and my girlfriend Ulrika didn't have to think for long, when I received Flensburg's offer. It’s close to Denmark, we have great fans, a great team and an extraordinary coach there," said Toft Hansen.

"Henrik will help us in defence and attack, and his mentality is the same that we have," said Vranjes about the 28-year-old line player.

The third former HSV player to sign is Petar Djordjic, who played for Flensburg from 2010 to 2013 and won the Cup Winners’ Cup with the club in 2012.

The 24-year-old Serbian born left back has been hit hard by serious knee injuries in the previous years, but now hopes to show all his abilities: "I know most of the players, I know the coach and I’m looking forward to being back again."

"Petar is one of the best left back shooters in Europe. He is still young and has great potential, but he needs to work hard to come on top," Vranjes says about his newcomer.

Like Toft Hansen, 23-year-old Rasmus Lauge plays for the Danish national team and became EHF EURO champion in 2012. After two years in Kiel, he will also move a bit closer to the Danish border.

"SG represents a German-Scandinavian mentality, and the philosophy of handball is extraordinary," says Lauge, who signed a three-year contract.

"I am looking forward to the great atmosphere in the arena, and my impression is that Flensburg will be among Europe's top teams again next season."

TEXT: Björn Pazen / me / cor