06.02.2016, 05:50
EHF Champions League trophies galore on the bench

EHF Cup countdown, part 10: SC Magdeburg (GER)

EHF Champions League trophies galore on the bench

SC Magdeburg is not only this season’s EHF Cup Group Phase participant with the longest list of international titles, but they have also the biggest number of Champions League trophies on their bench: Head coach Bennet Wiegert, son of former SCM coach and Olympic champion Ingolf Wiegert, was part of the 2002 squad, which took the title as the first non-Spanish team, and his assistant Tomas Svensson has won the trophy six times, including five times with FC Barcelona.

Wiegert was appointed the new SCM coach at the end of December in 2015.  He took over from the Icelander Geir Sveinsson, while Svensson was a goalkeeper coach before and is now his official assistant.

On the 60th anniversary year of the club (with rowing, athletics, swimming and handball sections) the performance of the team in the Bundesliga forced the handball department to fire the previous coach, under whom they had qualified for the group phase by eliminating Hungarian side Csurgoi KK.

With Wiegert and Svensson at the helm and defence ace and newly crowned EHF EURO champion Finn Lemke and several more international experienced players in the squad, Magdeburg aim for their first ever participation in the new EHF Cup Finals set up.

In the 2012/13 season, they failed against the winners and country-fellows Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the quarter-finals after they had won the old format of the competition three times (1998/99, 2000/01, 2006/07)

In Group A, SCM face Granollers, Aalborg and Dinamo Bucuresti - and the older fans in Magdeburg will re-live their memories, as their club already faced Granollers back in 1977 - victorious.

Three questions to coach Bennet Wiegert:

What are your expectations for the group ptage of the EHF Cup - regarding your objectives and your group opponents?
Bennet Wiegert: We have a demanding group, facing Granollers, Aalborg and Bucuresti, so I expect thrilling and tight matches. Granollers are on the international stage for decades and hence are experienced. Aalborg have shown their abilities in the Champions League. And having two teams in the group phase of the EHF Cup proves the development of Romanian handball as well as of Bucuresti. But our clear mission is to proceed to the next stage.

What does the participation in the group phase of the EHF Cup mean to you and your club?
Bennet Wiegert: To be part of the EHF Cup Group Phase is the reward of a very strong 2014/15 Bundesliga season. We have a long international tradition and we are proud to be back in European Cup competitions after 2013. For me as a young coach it is something special to play the group phase and hence I will enjoy every moment.

What teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Bennet Wiegert: I believe the field of participants this season is very level and equal. Hence, it is hard to predict potential teams, which go all the way. I guess those sides from France, Denmark and Spain are the ‘favourites’.

SC Magdeburg (GER)

Newcomers: Michael Damgaard (Team Tvis Holstebro), Finn Lemke (TBV Lemgo), Zeljko Musa (Vive Tauron Kielce), Nemanja Zelenovic (Wisla Plock)

Left the club: Bartosz Jurecki (Chrobry Glogow), Espen Lie Hansen (A1 Bregenz)

Coach: Bennet Wiegert (since December 2015, before: Geir Sveinsson), assistant coach: Tomas Svensson       
Team captain: Fabian van Olphen

Qualification for the EHF Cup Group Phase:  Round 3, 42:37, 23:24 against Csurgoi KK

Past achievements

VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Winner: 2001/02
Semi-final: 2003/04
Quarter-final: 2002/03,
Last 16 2005/06

EHF Cup records:
Winner: 1998/99, 2000/01, 2006/07
Finalist: 2004/05
Semi-finalist: 2011/12
Quarter-final: 2012/13
Last 16: 2008/09

EHF Cup Winners’ Cup records:
Semi-final: 1996/97
Quarter-final: 2007/08

EHF Champions Trophy
Twice winner and three-time finalist

Champions Cup (forerunner of the Champions League)
Winner 1978, 1981

German league champions: 2001 (GDR league champions 1970, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991)
German cup winner: 1996 (GDR cup winner 1970, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1990)

TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc

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