Melsungen want to crown anniversary with trip to BerlinArticle
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MEN’S EHF CUP COUNTDOWN #6: MT Melsungen (GER). With numerous German national team players in their squad, Melsungen want to end their series of quarter-final eliminations

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Melsungen want to crown anniversary with trip to Berlin

In 2020 the handball division of MT Melsungen celebrates its 100th anniversary, and the club hopes to present themselves with a special gift: their first participation in the EHF Cup Finals.

The finals tournament of the Men’s EHF Cup takes place in nearby Berlin this year.

Benfica and Bjerringbro seem the major other contenders to make it to the quarter-final from group A.

Three questions before the Men’s EHF Cup group phase:

- Who are the key players?

Melsungen love their nickname ‘MT Germany’ as they boast a number of national team players, like Tobias Reichmann, Julius Kühn and Kai Häfner, but also EHF EURO 2016 champion Finn Lemke or upcoming talents Dimitri Ignatow or Fin Backs. Next season, goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter and EHF EURO 2020 rising star Timo Kastening will also join MT.

Häfner and Kühn are the main weapons from the back-court area, while Reichmann is the one for the counter-attack goals. Two of their other stars are Montenegrin goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic and line player Marino Mamic, who won silver with Croatia at EHF EURO 2020.

- Is making it to Berlin a realistic goal?

German participants always belong to the contenders for a spot at the EHF Cup Finals. The away matches against Benfica and Bjerringbro will be crucial for Melsungen, who will likely be hard to beat on home court. To avoid the risk of finishing as the worst second-ranked team, Melsungen have to win at least one of those key matches.

- What does the group phase participation mean for the club?

MT Melsungen is the leading team sports club in the Kassel region in the centre of Germany. Thanks to a globally acting main sponsor, they have been growing over the last years and adding top stars to their squad. So for the club and the region it is important to play internationally.

“Being part of the EHF Cup group phase is a great confirmation of our positive development of the recent years,” says manager Axel Geerken, a former Kiel and German national team goalkeeper.

“The duels with international opponents mean new and interesting challenges that will certainly bring us ahead. Last but not least, these matches are a nice gratification for our fans.”

Under the spotlight: Julius Kühn

The left back was out for nine months and missed the World Championship 2019 on home court after tearing his ACL in an EHF EURO 2020 qualifier in Kosovo on November 2018. But Kühn returned for the start of the 2019/20 season and is now back on track. He scored 27 goals for Germany at the EHF EURO 2020.


The whole club is eager to continue on their international path for the third time in this competition.

“Participating in international competitions is always an additional challenge, but also a nice difference from the national league’s daily routine. We are happy to be part of it and we are also happy for our fans,” says team captain and defence, boss Finn Lemke. “Our opponents from Portugal and Denmark have a bigger international experience than us. The Polish team has participated in the EHF Cup for the last two years. So we will not underestimate one of the teams and we will have to prepare very well.”

Fun fact

MT right wing Tobias Reichmann was the only player in 2016 to become EHF EURO champion (with Germany) and VELUX EHF Champions League winner (with Kielce). That summer he also won the bronze medal with Germany at the Rio Olympic Games.

What the numbers say

It is Melsungen’s third appearance in the EHF Cup. In both previous editions they made it to the quarter-final, but were defeated by Skjern (2015) and Saint-Raphaël (2017).

MT Melsungen (GER)

Qualified for Men’s EHF Cup group phase: Olympiakos SFP (GRE) 53:47 (R3)

Newcomers: Kai Häfner (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Stefan Salger (Eulen Ludwigshafen), Glenn-Louis Eggert, Jona Gruber and Ole Pregler (Melsungen youth academy)

Left the club:  Michael Müller (Füchse Berlin), Philipp Müller (SC DHfK Leipzig), Simon Birkefeldt (IFK Kristianstad/SWE)

Coach: Heiko Grimm (since April 2018)

Team captain: Finn Lemke

Opponents in the group phase: Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN), KPR Gwardia Opole (POL) and SL Benfica (POR) in group A

European Cup records:

EHF Cup:
Quarter-final: 2014/15, 2016/17

German league:  -
German cup:  -

Photo: MT Melsungen Instagram

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew