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03.10.2007, 12:39
The captain stays on board
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Stefan Lövgren extends contract with Kiel until 2009.
 

The captain stays on board

Bad news is more frequent than good news at THW Kiel nowadays. The club suffered a couple of long-term injuries like that of Nikola Karabatic and Filip Jicha.

Lövgren (no 10) can give advice for the younger players next yearHowever, there are two pieces of good news for the fans. First of all, THW signs Slovenian international, Ales Pajovic, from Ciudad to replace Karabatic while he is injured. Second, they extend a very important contract: Swedish captain, Stefan Lövgren (36), will stay with the club after the end of the season.

His former contract would terminate at the end of this season, but despite earlier plans, Lövgren will not go back to Sweden. The playmaker will play one additional season in Kiel (until 2009).

“I enjoy very much playing one more year in this club,” Lövgren said after signing. He also explains his reasons to stay longer:

“I’m fit for playing, my family likes it here and I want to reach lot more titles.”

After this signature– for Lövgren it will be the tenth season with THW – everybody had a smile on his face in Kiel. Coach Noka Serdarusic was also happy:

“When someone extends his contract so early in the season, it tells everything about the character of a player. I often said that we will never have a captain like him again. He is an absolute idol for all our players. His performance is great and he will help us with his great ambitions to reach our objectives.”

Manager Uwe Schwenker is pleased:

“As we will have a short time to prepare for the next season due to the Olympics, it’s very important to have a team that knows each other. Stefan is the leader of this team. He is one of the most important players.”

“It’s great for us, that he stays,” commented Nikola Karabatic.

Civil life can wait

Lövgren arrived to Kiel before the season 1999/2000 and took over the leading role from Magnus Wislander in 2001. Lövgren won World Championship with Sweden in 1999 and won five German titles, two German Cups and the Champions League with Kiel.

He apparently still enjoys the gameHowever, it was not an easy decision for him:

“I had to fight with myself, I did not know what to do, but now I think I made the right decision,” Lövgren said. He planned to go back to Gothenburg after the season where has a new house waiting for him. Lövgren has a wife and the two children, Linus and Thea, and he was offered two jobs. When Schwenker and Serdarusic talked to him about staying longer with the club before the season, he changed his mind.

“I still have fun and I’m still able to keep pace with the others,” Lövgren said.

As he already retired from the national team in 2006 to concentrate on his club, the burden was not so big. He only had one serious injury, but it kept him away from a special match:

Due to a torn muscle, he was not able to step on court in the Champions League Final against Flensburg. But now he is positive:

“I am all right at the moment and willing to play.”

After talks in Gothenburg, he received an okay that it’s no problem to start work one year later. As Lövgren says, his decision to stay in Kiel was not motivated by money:

“I do not get special money for staying a year more,” he told Kieler Nachrichten. “It was a decision motivated by sports reasons.”


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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