DHB team – Gislason’s newcomers move into the spotlight

These are Lukas Zerbe (TBV Lemgo, right wing), Julian Köster (VfL Gummersbach, back room), Hendrik Wagner (Eulen Ludwigshafen, back room), Joel Birlehm (SC DHfK Leipzig, gate) and Lukas Mertens (SC Magdeburg, left wing).

Alfred Gislason: “Creating new competition”

“Perhaps this lineup will surprise outsiders – for us the nomination is only logical. This squad reflects current capabilities and perspectives.”, said Gislason. “We want to be more broad, create new competition and be more flexible in our selection. I’m really looking forward to working with this team.”

The realignment is most evident in the goalkeeper position, which has always been a showpiece of the German selection in the past. But the time of experienced men like Johannes Bitter or Silvio Heinevetter seems to be over. For the Portugal Games, Gislason sends a very young duo to the stage in the 24-year-old Till Klimpke (HSG Wetzlar) and the 23-year-old Joel Birlehm.

Born in Herford, Birlehm, who signed on with the SC DHfK Leipzig two years ago through the East Westphalia stations GWD Minden and TuS N-Lübbecke, is about to play his first international match. After top performances in the Bundesliga, this nomination is not particularly surprising.

Till Klimpke – world class stuff

Klimpke, who made his international debut two years ago and comes from the famous Wetzlar goalkeeping school around Jasmin Camdzic, which once formed national goalkeeper Andreas Wolff (paused this time), has been part of the elite selection for a little longer. “Till has the physical and mental prerequisites to make it into the world class. I trust him to do that. He’s also a very fine character.”, says his former trainer Kai Wandschneider to the ARD – Sportschau.

In addition to the goalkeeper duo, Gislason also surprised with his nomination with two young players from the 2nd handball Bundesliga: Julian Köster from VfL Gummersbach and Hendrik Wagner from den Eulen Ludwigshafen, relegated from last season.

Julian Köster – “Does things that are not normal”

Köster moved from TSV Dormagen to Gummersbach in February, cured a serious injury and then advanced to become a mainstay in the back of VfL without any major start-up problems. “Julian is a very special player who will go his own way. He does things that are not normal and that others cannot do. He is also relatively young.”says Gummersbach’s managing director Christoph Schindler about the 20-year-old top talent who has a contract until 2024. “As a passer and in terms of his understanding of the game, Julian is outstandingly good”, says Schindler, who would love to keep Köster beyond the season.

Wagner, too, will most likely end the season as a national player in the second division. The 21-year-old from Ludwigshafen will not join HSG Wetzlar until 2022. In the last series, the backcourt player was one of the vertical starters of the season, and with 182 hits, he finished 14th on the Bundesliga scorers list.

Hendrik Wagner – “Great character for different roles”

“Hendrik is not only a great character that you like to have on your team, but also a player who can take on different roles and has the talent to carry out these tasks to the point”, describes Wetzlar’s new coach Ben Matschke his ex- and soon-to-be protégé.

It will also be interesting to see how the outside players present themselves: Lukas Zerbe from TBV Lemgo, nephew of the former national team captain Volker Zerbe, and Lukas Mertens from SC Magdeburg, who won silver with the U20 national team in 2016. In addition, construction player Simon Ernst (SC DHfK Leipzig) is making his comeback in the A-Team. After three cruciate ligament tears, the 2016 European champion is back in the squad for the first time in years.

With less pressure to the EM

The upcoming international matches against Portugal are mainly used to find a team, the results will be secondary. But even at the upcoming European Championship in January 2022, when the German handball players meet Belarus (January 14), Austria (January 16) and Poland (January 18) in Bratislava, this newly formed team will not be under great pressure at previous major tournaments. Maybe they will Nobodys from this lower expectation can cause one or the other surprise.


Stand: 05.11.2021, 07:39

We want to say thanks to the author of this short article for this awesome web content

DHB team – Gislason’s newcomers move into the spotlight