Sport and study calling Glandorf to CologneArticle
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NEWS FEATURE: Flensburg’s top scorer against Kielce hopes to make it to the VELUX EHF FINAL4, even though it would mean postponing his European Handball Manager exams

Sport and study calling Glandorf to Cologne

Holger Glandorf is one of the rare handball players to have all major European Cup trophies in his cabinet: With his former clubs HSG Nordhorn (2008) and TBV Lemgo (2010), the right back won the EHF Cup, followed by the Cup Winners’ Cup (2012) and VELUX EHF Champions League (2014) with SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

But even at the age of 33, the 2007 World Champion has career firsts to look forward to. On Wednesday, Glandorf will play his first match in Kielce and this first appearance is more crucial than any other international match so far this season for him and Flensburg.

After the 28:28 draw on home court last Saturday, the second leg of the quarter-finals will decide whether SG or Vive Tauron will make it to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne.

Glandorf will definitely be in Cologne in the last week of May as he is already preparing his post-handball-career.

The back court shooter is currently the only active player who is part of the first edition of the European Handball Manager Certificate, a course run by the German Sports University Cologne and the European Handball Federation.

The written and oral exams are on the agenda of Glandorf and his classmates in their final appearance of the one year course at the end of May.

“We will find a solution for my exams if we qualify for the VELUX EHF FINAL4,” Glandorf says. Interestingly, Stefan Walzel, Programme Director of the European Handball Manager Course, checked the on-court form of Glandorf in the first leg match against Kielce.

Glandorf impressed him and the other 6,000 fans with eleven goals from 13 attempts.

“I could help my team, but it would have been better if we had won the match,” Glandorf explains.

On Wednesday he expects “a great atmosphere, vociferous fans, a fair reception and another even match” in Kielce.

“We played in Skopje already, and we know how the atmosphere is different to some Bundesliga arenas, but we will definitely enjoy it.”

After Flensburg were unable to utilise their famous fast breaks last Saturday, the right back hopes his side can set that straight in the second leg.

“On one hand, Kielce did not miss so many chances, on the other their transition and general defence tactics worked well. In our defence there’s still room for improvement, so when we strengthen it the number of fast breaks might be higher.”

All at Flensburg dream of booking their tickets to Cologne after their highly successful debut two years ago.

“We do not prepare for the match at Kielce with certain memories from Cologne, but everybody who played there already knows that an exceptional event awaits the winner,” says Glandorf: “all of us want to return to LANXESS arena.”

In general, the 2014 VELUX EHF Champions League winner was not surprised by the first leg matches.

“Kiel are very strong on home court, but in this duel nothing is decided. I had expected Zagreb to be a little bit stronger and did not expect such a clear Paris away win and Veszprem again proved their extraordinary form against Vardar, but I still expect a close second leg.”

For German handball, Glandorf hopes that both Bundesliga teams will be part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 on 28/29 May, but admits “the main thing is that Flensburg are there.

“But if we fail, Kielce will be a deserved participant of this event. Definitely one of Europe’s top teams will proceed from our quarter-final tie.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor