Right up until nearing the final moments of the qualification phase Germany had to question if they would even participate at the EHF EURO 2012, but after victory in Austria, their ticket to Serbia was secured. At the end, they even ranked above Iceland to win their group.
The European Championship in Serbia is being observed very closely in Germany. Foremost, not only it is the last chance for the team to make it to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but it is the first tournament for the new national coach Martin Heuberger who was promoted from assistant coach to Heiner Brand’s successor after Brand stepped down after 14 years of service.
After winning the 2007 World Championship title and getting through to the semi-finals of the EHF EURO 2008 in Norway, the last international success – the performance of the German national team has declined dramatically.
At EHF EURO 2010 in Austria, ranking tenth, Germany achieved their worst ranking in the history of the national team and at the 2011 World Championship; the team had to get through two extra periods just to rank eleventh.
Despite some of the 2007 champion delegation still being part of the team, the Germans have lacked consistency. Besides the wellknown faces such as Pascal Hens, there are a few new names from the team of the current junior world champions such as pivot Patrick Wiencek.
Among the most important players in addition to goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter, Uwe Gensheimer (top scorer 2010/11 VELUX EHF Champions League) has also rapidly developed his game.
This is a good omen for the Germans: in the former Yugoslavia, in Ljubljana to be exact, the Germans won their first and only European Championship title.
Drawn into Group 5 of the Qualification, Germany finished top of the group with nine points. Germany has been part of the EHF EURO since the very first edition in 1994.
He is not only the model professional but the dream of every mother-in-law: left wing Uwe Gensheimer is contracted to his hometown team of Rhein-Neckar Löwen. In the meantime, on a national team level, Gensheimer has become an icon. At the 2006 Men’s 18 European Championship Gensheimer took home a gold medal and at the 2007 U19 World Championship he was named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and also won the silver medal with his team. In the 2010/11 season he was named best player of the season and top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League. His greatest strength is his throw repertoire and his speed. Rarely has there been a better example of the suggestion that goalkeepers are a little bit emotional.
Whoever sees the Heinevetter and his outbursts between the posts can well believe this thesis. Even as a youth player, Heinevetter counted among the up and coming goalkeeping talents in this time he was placed under contract with SC Magdeburg. In 2006, Heinevetter was called to the national team. But Heinevetter had to wait until the World Championship in 2011. In the meantime, he is the rising star and with Magdeburg he won the EHF Cup. In 2009, Heinevetter made the move to Füchse Berlin and currently participates in the VELUX EHF Champions League.
For the first time since 1997, Heiner Brand will not be sitting on the German bench at a top event. Following the departure announcement of the successful coach at the beginning of the year, his assistant coach of many years Martin Hueberger (47) took over the top position. Since February 1 2001, the former pivot who made 26 appearances for his national team has been coaching the junior national team and since November 1 2004 was been Heiner Brand’s right hand man. In this time, Heuberger has celebrated a European Championship title for the junior national team in 2004 and 2006 as well as World Championship title in 2009. As the assistant coach to the senior men’s national team, he was also part of the World Championship victory in 2007 on home soil. Ending his activities as the junior national team coach, Heuberger and his team successfully defended the junior World Championship title in July 2011.
|15.01.||17:30||GER vs CZE|
|17.01.||18:15||MKD vs GER|
|19.01.||18:15||GER vs SWE|
German Handball Federation Website: www.dhb.de